Diplomatic status of cardinals

I do not know if this is the right forum, so forgive me if I am wrong.

What is the diplomatic status of a cardinal? Would he have the same status as the Papal Nuncio or more like Prince Harry ( given that Cardinals are called Princes of the Church)? And is it also true that a Cardinal has Vatican citizenship as well?


Cardinals are issued Vatican passports. However, I don’t think they have diplomatic immunity. I suspect their Vatican passports merely allow them to travel to places that might be problematic using the passports of their home countries.

A Papal Nuncio is an accreditied diplomat, and, as such has diplomatic immunity.

So would most of the priests, bishops and Cardinals who work in the Vatican Diplomatic Corp.

A diplomat applies to the host country for diplomatic immunity. If it is granted, the diplomat is immune to local law.

But if someone like Cardinal Wuerl would apply to the State Department, he probably would get laughed at.

It is my understanding (being told by a seminary professor-priest) that cardinals are given security details commensurate with a secular prince, but they are not diplomats per se.

I believe that there is an international convention that gave cardinals a rank that is equivalent to princes of the blood royal, i.e. those born as princes.

This does not give them diplomatic immunity. Here in the UK, no prince has diplomatic immunity. Only The Queen has this, as I believe does every head of state.

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