Cardinals, Patriarchs, and precedence

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Do cardinals still out-rank patriarchs in the Catholic Church’s order of precedence? I know that at one point they did. If so, that is beyond absurd. Of course in reality most Eastern Catholic patriarchs are also cardinals, but some are not. Would, for example, the Melkite Patriarch, who I know has refused the purple, rank below the Cardinal Archbishop of Montreal? Or who would the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria (who would rank first among the Eastern Catholic patriarchs) rank below the Dean of the Sacred College?
 
Do cardinals still out-rank patriarchs in the Catholic Church’s order of precedence? I know that at one point they did. If so, that is beyond absurd. Of course in reality most Eastern Catholic patriarchs are also cardinals, but some are not. Would, for example, the Melkite Patriarch, who I know has refused the purple, rank below the Cardinal Archbishop of Montreal? Or who would the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria (who would rank first among the Eastern Catholic patriarchs) rank below the Dean of the Sacred College?
Oh, things are more complicated than that. What do you do with the two remaining patriarchs of Antioch that Rome claims, Syriac and Maronite.

And does the Melkite patriarch of Antioch rank before the Coptic because he also holds the Melkite title to Alexandria personally?
 
Oh, things are more complicated than that. What do you do with the two remaining patriarchs of Antioch that Rome claims, Syriac and Maronite.

And does the Melkite patriarch of Antioch rank before the Coptic because he also holds the Melkite title to Alexandria personally?
:bigyikes: 😉
 
If I can throw in another question, if the Eastern Patriarchs outrank Cardinals, how does this play in the College of Cardinals? Like, as you know, Eastern Patriarchs (if made Cardinals) are brought into the Order of Bishops in the College. But yet, the senior-most Cardinal-Bishop is the Dean; the Dean may not be a Patriarch, but it still seems he would outrank an Eastern Patriarch who comes after him in precedence in the College.

This is probably a bit of a fundementalist observation, but it bothers me that there is much so in terms of precedence. There was all that bickering between Rome and Constantinople, sometimes over authentic issues, but other times seemingly just because one wants to come before the other. There was also all that about the precedence among the Pentarchy Patriarchates (and even then, I found it odd that Jerusalem would dead last). Then we today have strict guidelines in the College of Cardinals, where the Cardinals from day one, with the publishing of the Biglietto, know and have to stick to their precise place in the College. Although I’m aware that essentially all Cardinals are the same, without much regard in terms of precedence, it sometimes seems to clash with when Jesus was telling two of the Apostles to quit bickering over who’ll be first in heaven. Sure, in a perfect world, those higher in precedence would be servants of those in lower precedence, but we’re still leaps and bounds from there.

I’m reluctant to make any judgement against the custom of the Church though, because my experience has always been that the Church’s customs come about through wise custom and meticulous consideration. In short, I shouldn’t complain, because they know what they’re doing.
 
The college of cardinals is a special case. The dean only presides within the councils of the College of Cardinals.

In liturgical and synodal matters precedence is simple, and Cardinal doesn’t figure, other than most cardinals are also bishops.

A Cardinal’s place in precedence is by his level of ordination.

But also, remember: not all cardinals are bishops, and certain members of the order of cardinal-deacon may not even be clerics, instead being “doctors of the church”, and while too old to vote, still members of the college.
 
Patriarchs SHOULD come before cardinals, but is that actually the case? Are you guys sure about that? Either way, people still speak of patriarchs being ELEVATED to the rank of cardinal :p. I remember that was the term used when the Chaldean Patriarch was recently created a cardinal…he was reportedly “raised” to the dignity of the purple ;).

Isa: I’m pretty sure the Coptic Patriarch ranks before the Melkite Patriarch. The Melkite only holds Alexandria as a “personal title”, while Alexandria is the Coptic Patriarch’s true see. The Melkite Patriarch’s see is actually Antioch…with Alexandria and Jerusalem as additional “personal” honors. As for the three Patriarchs of Antioch, precedence would generally be determined according to their date of creation, though the Melkite Patriarch’s additonal personal titles of Alexandria and Jerusalem may place him about the Maronite and Syriac Patriarchs…anybody know?

Is this the basic order of precedence in the Catholic Church?
Pope of Rome
Eastern Patriarchs
Cardinals
Latin Patriarchs (Lisbon, Venice, Jerusalem, and Goa/East Indies)
Major Archbishops
Latin Primates
Metropolitans/Archbishops/Archeparchs
Bishops/Eparchs
 
Patriarchs SHOULD come before cardinals, but is that actually the case? Are you guys sure about that? Either way, people still speak of patriarchs being ELEVATED to the rank of cardinal :p. I remember that was the term used when the Chaldean Patriarch was recently created a cardinal…he was reportedly “raised” to the dignity of the purple ;).

Isa: I’m pretty sure the Coptic Patriarch ranks before the Melkite Patriarch. The Melkite only holds Alexandria as a “personal title”, while Alexandria is the Coptic Patriarch’s true see. The Melkite Patriarch’s see is actually Antioch…with Alexandria and Jerusalem as additional “personal” honors. As for the three Patriarchs of Antioch, precedence would generally be determined according to their date of creation, though the Melkite Patriarch’s additonal personal titles of Alexandria and Jerusalem may place him about the Maronite and Syriac Patriarchs…anybody know?

Is this the basic order of precedence in the Catholic Church?
Pope of Rome
Eastern Patriarchs
Cardinals
Latin Patriarchs (Lisbon, Venice, Jerusalem, and Goa/East Indies)
Major Archbishops
Latin Primates
Metropolitans/Archbishops/Archeparchs
Bishops/Eparchs
Patriarchs, period, as a group. Cardinals don’t figure at all, save by their ordination. Cardinal is a membership, not a rank. Exception: The three types of cardinal do figure when the college of cardinals meets.

Below bishops are archpriests & monsignors, then priests, then deacons, then subdeacons, then other lesser ordinations, then papal knights, then other laymen.

A Latin Rite Patriarch is still a patriarch for precedence, in the same category as the easterns for precedence. (Even tho, in practice he’s just an archbishop administratively). But all the Latin Patriarchal sees are younger than the Eastern ones.
 
I think the best indication for the current order of precedence in the Catholic Church (as an integral unit composed of East and West) is to watch the procession of the hierarchy during the funeral of a Pope, most recently that of the late Pope John Paul II.

The Cardinals ranked first. Certain Eastern Patriarchs were interpersed as they are also created Cardinals and belong to the Order of Bishops of the College of Cardinals.

Thus, the Dean of the College of Cardinals (then Cardinal Ratzinger) ranked first and followed by the Vice Dean. Then the 4 Latin Rite Cardinal-Bishops followed by the Eastern Rite Cardinal-Patriarchs.

Next come the Cardinals of the Order of Cardinal-Priests and then by the Cardinals of the Order of Cardinal-Deacons. (BTW, there are no non-cleric members of the College of Cardinals. All are Bishops, except those few old priests elevated to the Cardinalate and who requested dispensation from being ordained as Bishops.)

Eastern Rite Patriarchs who are elevated to the Cardinalate (now 4, including the Chaldean Patriarch) always belong to the Order of Bishops (now consisting of 10 Cardinals) and are recently designated as Cardinal-Patriarchs. However, due to existing protocols, they rank below the 6 Latin Rite Cardinal-Bishops who assume title to the 6 ancient suburbicarian sees around Rome. Also, the Eastern Rite Cardinal-Patriarchs presently do not participate in the election of the Dean and Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals. Only the 6 Latin Rite Cardinal-Bishops elect from among themselves the Dean and Vice Dean.

The following may be the reasons why Cardinals are ranked highest next only to the Pope:

(1) The Cardinals are the most senior in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and are the closest advisers of the Pope. They assist him in his Petrine Ministry as the Supreme Pontiff of the (universal) Catholic Church. They man the Roman Curia, which runs the day-to-day governance of the Church worldwide.

(2) The Cardinals are the sole electors of the next Pope and who, traditionally, elect the latter from among themselves. Each Cardinal is a Pope in waiting, a Pope in training!

(3) Upon the death or resignation of a Pope, no one person or body can assume the temporary governance of the Catholic Church except the College of Cardinals, led by the Dean or, in his absence or incapacity, by the Vice Dean. The Roman Curia"s powers and authority, which are delegated by the Pope, automatically cease as they are co-terminus with his death or resignation. Thus, during the interregnum the College of Cardinals assume direct control of the reins of government of the Catholic Church, dispensing power and authority through general or special congregations formed by the Dean of the College.
 
I think the best indication for the current order of precedence in the Catholic Church (as an integral unit composed of East and West) is to watch the procession of the hierarchy during the funeral of a Pope, most recently that of the late Pope John Paul II.

The Cardinals ranked first. Certain Eastern Patriarchs were interpersed as they are also created Cardinals and belong to the Order of Bishops of the College of Cardinals.

Thus, the Dean of the College of Cardinals (then Cardinal Ratzinger) ranked first and followed by the Vice Dean. Then the 4 Latin Rite Cardinal-Bishops followed by the Eastern Rite Cardinal-Patriarchs.

Next come the Cardinals of the Order of Cardinal-Priests and then by the Cardinals of the Order of Cardinal-Deacons. (BTW, there are no non-cleric members of the College of Cardinals. All are Bishops, except those few old priests elevated to the Cardinalate and who requested dispensation from being ordained as Bishops.)

Eastern Rite Patriarchs who are elevated to the Cardinalate (now 4, including the Chaldean Patriarch) always belong to the Order of Bishops (now consisting of 10 Cardinals) and are recently designated as Cardinal-Patriarchs. However, due to existing protocols, they rank below the 6 Latin Rite Cardinal-Bishops who assume title to the 6 ancient suburbicarian sees around Rome. Also, the Eastern Rite Cardinal-Patriarchs presently do not participate in the election of the Dean and Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals. Only the 6 Latin Rite Cardinal-Bishops elect from among themselves the Dean and Vice Dean.

The following may be the reasons why Cardinals are ranked highest next only to the Pope:

(1) The Cardinals are the most senior in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and are the closest advisers of the Pope. They assist him in his Petrine Ministry as the Supreme Pontiff of the (universal) Catholic Church. They man the Roman Curia, which runs the day-to-day governance of the Church worldwide.

(2) The Cardinals are the sole electors of the next Pope and who, traditionally, elect the latter from among themselves. Each Cardinal is a Pope in waiting, a Pope in training!

(3) Upon the death or resignation of a Pope, no one person or body can assume the temporary governance of the Catholic Church except the College of Cardinals, led by the Dean or, in his absence or incapacity, by the Vice Dean. The Roman Curia"s powers and authority, which are delegated by the Pope, automatically cease as they are co-terminus with his death or resignation. Thus, during the interregnum the College of Cardinals assume direct control of the reins of government of the Catholic Church, dispensing power and authority through general or special congregations formed by the Dean of the College.
The primacy of the cardinalate exists only during the interregnums.

Having looked at the cerimonial books, they fail to mention cardinals at all; they do mention Patriarchs.
 
Dear brother Isa,
Oh, things are more complicated than that. What do you do with the two remaining patriarchs of Antioch that Rome claims, Syriac and Maronite.

And does the Melkite patriarch of Antioch rank before the Coptic because he also holds the Melkite title to Alexandria personally?
It’s not complicated at all. The order of the rank among the Patriarchs is the order decreed by Nicea (unless there was reunion with Eastern Orthodoxy, which would place Constantinople second according to the Council called “Eighth Ecumenical” by the Latin Church).

When there is more than one Patriarch in/of a region, the “elder” See has greater rank. In other words, the one who has an older HISTORICAL claim to the title has precedence.

Blessings,
Marduk
 
The order of the rank among the Patriarchs is the order decreed by Nicea (unless there was reunion with Eastern Orthodoxy, which would place Constantinople second according to the Council called “Eighth Ecumenical” by the Latin Church).
I don’t see that Constantinople should be second, that would contradict the ealier council. If the day comes that the Assyrian Church, the three churches of Oriental Orthdoxy and the Byzantine “Orthodox” churches are once again finally and completely reunited with Rome, then we will have a hard time selling the Orientals or the Assyrians who all agree to Nicea on accepting a Cannon that contradicts it of a later council that they don’t accept. I certainly don’t accept the council of Jerusalem that the Eastern “Orthodox” held that didn’t even list Rome.

What might be a much better system is to put them in order of siniority as to when they became a Patriarch. A Patriarch it seems would naturally outrank a Cardinal but some Cardinals have responibilities that put them at least on equal terms as a Patriarch. Personally I think a Patriarch should be allowed to vote for the Pope even if he isn’t a Cardinal and the Pope has the authority to make that change if he sees it just.

What might be a good thing to have happen is if the Pope created a Latin Patriarch, a Patriarch for the entire Latin Rite that was under the Pope. This would make it clear that the Pope is not just for the Latin Rite. Perhaps I think too much about this sort of stuff that will never happen but in looking at the Eastern Catholic Churches it seems to me that a sort of grand patriarch could be used. All of the Byzantine Catholic Churches for instance could potentially benifit from having a Grand Patriarch of the Byzantine Rite. He would still be under the Pope but would be a center for Byzantine Catholics to look to on liturgical issues and would be able to help foster unity among the Byzantine Catholics with each other. There could also be a Grand Patriarch for the Syraic (Chaldean, Syriac, Maronite, Syro-Malankara, Syro-Malabar) Churches. They all use essentially the same language in their liturgy and all have very similar rites. It seems natural to me that they would want to foster greater unity with each other as well as greated cooperation. Coptics and Armenians don’t fif so well into my little system but it would never be enacted anyway. It would be seen as agression by the Moscow church for some reason that they will make up later.

The real issues here though should not be who has precedent as ceremonies. The top guys can figure that out for themselves. The real issues are the struggles tha the Eastern Catholics go through in their everyday existances. They have a great and tremendous charge, to retain Christianities presence in either Atheistic or Muslim societies that are hostile to Christianity. Not only do they have to maintain their existance but are called to spead Christianity and eventually to convert their Muslim conqurors to the true faith. They need to show that Christianity and not islam is the true faith of the middle easterner’s ancestors and that islam in an imperialistic invader that imposed its languages, religion and culture on people that it had no business declaring war on in the first place.
 
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