On ceremonial occasions, the Pope is preceded in emanation by the cardinals, glorious in their red robes. The Pope is borne along on his throne by the Papal Guards, and thousands of people throng the route to see the Pope and receive his grace.
Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church are alike princes in a kingdom. They make up what is known as the Sacred College of Cardinals .
The cardinals form the Pope ’ s council. When a Pope dies, they meet ‘ in conclave ’ to elect a newfangled pope from amongst their own number, and during the void they have to direct administrative matters and watch over the interests of the Church .
Bishops and archbishops are elevated to the College of Cardinals by the Pope. The act at any given time in the past has varied greatly, ranging from below 20, but not as a convention being above 70. The last Pope, John XXIII, and the award one, Paul VI, have increased the issue, so that since 1965 there have been 100 or more, the highest count ever.
evening when a cardinal is engaged in his ordinary daily business, his garments are edged with the red which has come to be associated with his dignity. A bright loss glows from the pipings and cloth-covered buttons on the everyday black cassocks, and from shank sashes, skull-caps and stockings. On ceremony occasions, the cardinals ’ cassocks are wholly in crimson, and they wear red satiny cloaks with voluminous trains which they drape over the arm like the Romans did their toga .
The particular sign of a cardinal number is his hat – although it is not very virtual and is rarely worn. For hundreds of years it has been a wide-brimmed, silk hat from which tassels hang on either side. More normally, cardinals wear the familiar four-cornered, crimson biretta – and skull-caps in the lapp semblance .
The claim of cardinal evolved about 15 centuries ago, most probably from the Latin bible cardo, meaning ‘ hinge ’. The title emphasises the fundamental kinship between these princes of the Church and the Pope – cardinals are the ‘ hinges of the papacy ’.
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Paul II, a Venetian-born pope who loved impressiveness, first put the cardinals into crimson – a deeply bolshevik, half-way between red and crimson – in 1464. This pope was determined to preserve peace in Italy, and the political tranquillity of his reign was offset by the impressiveness and ceremony which surrounded the papal motor hotel, and in particular the bright costume of his cardinals. It was this Pope, excessively, who organised feasts and sports for the Roman people, from which Rome ’ s main street, the Corso, got its diagnose .
At that time the Pope himself wear loss. But in 1566, a Dominican friar was elected Pope, Pius V, and he continued to wear the white habit of his rate. Since then the Pope has normally been dressed in white .
Cardinals have continued to be associated with the color red, and within the Roman Catholic Church the discolor has become symbolic of a willingness to shed blood in martyrdom for the Faith .
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