The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

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8th Century
(701-816)

Numerical summary of the names of the cardinals who appear in the documents of the pontificates of the 12 popes of this century.

This summary is taken from the essay of a general list of cardinals published in Annuaire Pontifical Catholique which for centuries VI to X relies almost completely on the works of Alfonso Chacón (or Alphonsus Ciaconio) Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum: et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. and Francesco Cristofori Cronotassi dei cardinali de Santa Romana Chiesa: nelle loro sedi suburbicarie titoli presbiterali e diaconie dal secolo V all'anno del signore MDCCCLXXXVIII; compilata sui manoscritti originali ed autentici esistenti nella biblioteca e negli archivi vaticani e su molteplici altre fonti storiche edite ed inedite antiche e moderne. The popes of these centuries have been listed according to the Annuario Pontificio per l'anno 2001.

John VI (701-705) - 1 cardinal
John VII (705-707) - 2 cardinals
Sisinnius (708) - No new names
Constantine (708-715) - 3 cardinals
Gregory II (715-731) - 20 cardinals
St. Gregory III (731-741) - 33 cardinals
Zacharias (741-752) - 21 cardinals
Stephen II (III) (752-757) - 3 cardinals
Paul I (757-767) - 27 cardinals
Stephen III (IV) (768-772) - 9 cardinals
Hadrian I (772-795) - 5 cardinals
Total - 124 cardinals

Source: Annuaire Pontifical Catholique. XXIX (1926), p. 161; XXX (1927), p. 129.

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Synodal decree of April 14, 769, Stephen III (768-772).

With the events surrounding the death of Paul I still on his mind, Pope Stephen III convened a synod in 769 at which a new decree regarding papal elections was promulgated. It stated that only the Roman clergy was allowed to elect a pope, and cardinal priests and deacons were the only elegible electors. After the election, the new pope was to be brought to the residence, the patriarchium Lateranense, where he would receive an oath of allegiance as lord of all (omnium dominus) from the leaders as well as the rest of the army, upper-class citizens and the community of the Roman people. During these proceedings, no one was allowed to enter the city from the outlying areas. The clergy, at least, now saw the pope as the clear ruler of the city, but managed to exclude lay persons from influencing his appointment.

Source: Schimmelpfennig, Bernhard. The Papacy. Trans. By James Sievert. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992, pp. 82-83. Title in German: Das Papsttum. Von der Antike bis zur Renaissance. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellchaft, 1984. 3d ed., 1988).

Text: Regesta Pontificum Romanorum. 2 vols. Graz: Akademische Druck-U. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. Reprint of Regesta Pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVII. Edidit Philippus Jaffé. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach professoris Berolinensis. Curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald. Tomus primus (A S. Petro ed a. MCXLIII). Tomus secundus (Ab a. MCXLIII ad a. MCXCVIII). Lipsiae: Veit et Comp. 1888-1895, I, p. 285, Concilii actio III.

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Origin of the cardinals "hebdomadarii", Stephen III (768-772).

The first reference to a group of cardinal bishops in a papal document also comes from Stephen III's pontificate. As the Liber Pontificalis reports, the pope, while in the process of reforming the clergy, ordered that the seven cardinal bishops who held services during the week in the Lateran basilica should celebrate mass at the main altar of St. Peter's on Sundays. Contrary to the traditional interpretations, this regulation does not mean that from the time of Stephen seven cardinal bishops were attached to the Lateran basilica; in fact, this activity is described as having been already in existence. What is new is this service in St. Peter's. Perhaps they were to act as representatives of the pope, while he kept for himself the Sunday mass in the Lateran. Whatever the case may be, the one certain fact is that in the eighth century, of all the bishops in the duchy, seven had a closer relationship to the papal court. It was not firmly established until the twelfth century, however, which bishops belonged to this seven. The bishops who were most likely to have continuously been part of the seven were the ones from Ostia, Porto, and Albano, since they were involved in the consecration of new Roman bishops.

Soruce: Schimmelpfennig, Bernhard. The Papacy. Trans. By James Sievert. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992, pp. 82-83. Title in German: Das Papsttum. Von der Antike bis zur Renaissance. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellchaft, 1984. 3d ed., 1988.

Text: The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis). The ancient biographies of the first ninety Roman bishops to AD 715. Translated with an introduction by Raymond Davis. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1989. (Translated texts for historians, Latin Series V), p. 102, no. 27.

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