Non-Bishop Cardinals; i.e., The Current Cardinals Who Are Not Bishops

As of April 15, 1962, per John XXIII’s (#262) Cum gravissima motu proprio, all cardinals are required to be consecrated as bishops (unless an explicit exception is granted by the

Cardinal Roberto Tucci, a Non-Bishop Cardinal. (Image from, with thanks.)

pope, typically on the grounds of advanced age; i.e., approaching or over 80).

This requirement for episcopal consecration is now embodied in Canon 351 §1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

Since this requirement went into effect, as of 1962, about eleven cardinals were granted exceptions. Of these, American Cardinal Deacon Avery Dulles,  a Jesuit, created in 2001, who died on December 12, 2008, age 90, probably been the best known. Czechoslovakian Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík, another Jesuit, who died on April 16, 2010, also at 90 was another. He was created a cardinal deacon in 2003.

The current cardinals who are not bishops are:

1. Italian Cardinal Deacon Roberto Tucci, a Jesuit, a one time Director General of Radio Vatican, created on February 21, 2001, two months ahead of his 8oth birthday.

2. French Cardinal Deacon Albert Vanhoye, a Jesuit and academic, created on March 24, 2006, at the age of 82.

3. Spanish Cardinal Deacon Urbano Navarrete Cortés, also another Jesuit and academic, created on November 24, 2007, at the age of 87.

Anura Guruge
Publisher, Popes and Papacy


2 thoughts on “Non-Bishop Cardinals; i.e., The Current Cardinals Who Are Not Bishops”

  1. Von Balthasar, a swiss priest, was named Cardinal, but he passed away two days before of the consistory(1988).

    He is, perhaps, one of the most important theologians of the past century.(and a Pope Benedict XVI friend too)

    1. Thank YOU, Carlos.
      It is ALWAYS good to bring up and HIGHLIGHT these events. Keeps it interesting.
      Last night I was ‘talking’ with an Innocent III expert. There is so much knowledge.
      Yes, I see that my DEAR FRIEND, Salvador, had documented, as I knew he would, ‘cardinal-elect’ (I guess that is the right term) Von Balthasar:
      Thank you, again. PLEASE keep on adding YOUR expertise to this blog.

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