Cardinal Priests With Pro Hac Vice Titles

by Anura Guruge

Pro hac vice basically means a one time exception. In the context of cardinals, and the College, it comes up when a deaconry or church title, but mainly the former, is assigned outside of its normal province.

Right now we have 16 cardinal priests who rather than having bona fide titles instead have pro hac vice titles to deaconries. In reality this does not in anyway diminish the standing of a cardinal priest, though I am sure that there must be some who wish their title was not that of a deaconry.

This June 26, 2010 posting, half way down, has a whole section on pro hac vice (as well as in commendam) titles. Please read it if you are not familiar with the notion of  pro hac vice titles.

Typically pro hac vice titles come into play when a cardinal deacon, with 10 years tenure, seeks promotion to the order of cardinal priests per the current jus optionis rules. 14 of the current 16 instances of pro hac vice falls into this, easy to appreciate, category. Rather than having to find a title, the pope can just promote them in place. But, in two instances, John Paul II (#265) created cardinal priests with pro hac vicepro hac vice situation.] deaconries. There probably was a shortage of titles — as is somewhat the case now. [Hence, why I went and studied the

Sixtus V (#228), the IRON POPE, who did much to reform the College of Cardinals, had specified, categorically, in 1587, that deconaries and titles be kept separate with no cross-over appointments. Thus, as I mention in my June 26, 2010 posting (above) pro hac vice appointments contradict the Sixtus V intentions. I wasn’t sure whether it was John Paul II, who created the most number of cardinals in history, that came up with pro hac vice to help get around shortages of titles. But, I did a very quick search and found that Paul VI (#263) had created at least one pro hac vice cardinal priest, viz. Czechoslovakian Stepán Tróchta. This was, however, a somewhat special situation. Tróchta was created a cardinal priest in pectore in April 1969 — the secrecy most likely to do with issues with communist leaders. His name was not published until April 1973 — at which point he was said to have a pro hac vice title.

So here is the current list. Please CLICK on it to enlarge it. Thanks.

Pro hac vice titles in current use by Anura Guruge
Pro hac vice titles in current use by Anura Guruge