Woman Cardinal confusion!?

I know lifesite isn’t the most reliable, but seriously:

This ain’t a joke. Is this even possible?

In theory it is possible. It would require a change to canon law and it would somewhat redefine the nature of the office of Cardinal (or simply create a new category)- but it’s theologically possible. Cardinal is not a degree of Holy Orders. It is an administrative honorific created by the Church and regulated by the Church. Christ instituted Holy Orders and the Church only has authority to ordain men to Holy Orders. The office of Cardinal was instituted by the Church and She can change its nature.
Right now the cardinals are considered clergy of Rome- they are classified as Cardinal-deacons, Cardinal-priests, and Cardinal-bishops. A fourth category could be created for women and / or other laity.
Today only bishops (and in rare cases priests) are created Cardinals. In the past, men in minor orders were sometimes created Cardinals.


But then what happens when a Pope needs to be elected? Surely the conclave could not possibly elect her as Pope! After all, Cardinals are only the ones casting the ballot, that would mean she would be allowed to have a chance at becoming Bishop of Rome which is (I’m assuming) a Holy Order

At the essence of the role, being a Cardinal means that the person gets to cast a vote on who will be Pope if the seat is vacant.

It is not a doctrinal position, it is one that could be eliminated at the whim of a sitting Pope, and yes, even open to women.

The woman could not become a Pope herself, and that would require that she be a bishop. And that prohibition IS a doctrinal one. It simply cannot happen. But the woman could legitimately cast a vote, and could even head a dicastery. But the woman would never be a priest or bishop herself.

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No. In theory she could vote, but not herself be elected. For the past several centuries, the conclave has elected its own members but that hasn’t always been the case. Cardinal = elector but doesn’t necessarily have to = list of candidates.

A 20 year old American woman can cast a vote for the president, but she herself would be too young to run for president, right?


I would be OK with this if the first women Cardinals were Holy and eminent Mother Superiors of religious congregations.

So considering Christ only had men as Apostles (the 12), the Pope could not allow a woman to become Pope right? Or change that rule?

Hi, can I ask please, why you find this so disturbing? Thanky ou!


I mean no disrespect. But it is shocking to hear this kind of news. After all my understanding before this conversation was that only men could be ordained as Cardinals and become bishop of Rome. The disturbing factor was influenced by a break in tradition. After all this hasn’t happened before. Also if a woman became a cardinal, id fear the news would try and portray that holy orders are open to women and that if they can be a cardinal, they should be a priest. Which is incorrect, of course. The bishop of Rome could only be male from my understanding.

I have no gender bias btw

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Correct. Women cannot be bishops and the Pope is a bishop.

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First one is not ordained to be a cardinal. One is appointed to be a cardinal . A cardinal is not a rank of holy orders.

Second one does not have to be a cardinal to become bishop of Rome/ pope. For example a bishop who is not a cardinal could be elected. (And I’m not totally sure about this but I think that any baptized male could, theoretically, be elected pope).



True though i think its only people in Holy Orders that allow someone to become Pope. Im not sure

The news sounds disturbing because Cardinal are almost all bishops, and all are ordained. I does not have to be, but it always has. In theory, any lay person could be appointed a cardinal, with the correct changes in canon law, if required.

So the next question is whether LSN is authored by someone ignorant of Catholicism trying to write about Catholicism, or is this simply a deceit perpetrated to bring rash judgment against a bishop they do no like? Either way, remember this when you read LSN. Deception is one of their tools. Note also that despite the headline, this has nothing to do with Pope Francis.

With this in mind, who is the Father of all Lies and accuser of the Brethren? That is who LSN serves.


My mistake again. :grimacing:

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Just FYI, St Ambrose of Milan was not even baptized yet when he was elected bishop of Milan. He was only a catechumen. (Just a piece of trivia for you.):wink:

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If a man who wasn’t in Holy Orders was elected pope he would have to be immediately ordained a deacon, then a priest, and then a bishop. Only then, once a bishop, would he become Bishop of Rome and thus pope.


Was he actually!? That’s cool. Was it because he was a great theologian? Why was he ordained so early?

Im curious :slight_smile:

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Lifesitenews should be banned from CAF.

It only manages to upset people who accept them as a reliable source for information about the Catholic Church.



True. Hence the reason i have doubts about it. Though when a topic like this comes up, one has to wonder if some of the info is true or not

If it comes from an unreliable site, why would you bother to wonder about it ?

All it turns out to be is gossip.


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