The body of all the cardinals that elect the pope, assist him in governing the church, and administer the Holy See when the papacy is vacant.
(proper) The cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, serving as a privy council to the pope and electing his successor.
College-of-cardinals Sentence Examples
The elevation of Newman to the college of Cardinals in 1879 was regarded with approval throughout the English-speaking world, both on Newman's account and also as evidence that Leo XIII.
He issued an important constitution on the 18th of July 1289, which granted to the cardinals one-half of all income accruing to the Roman see and a share in the financial management, and thereby paved the way for that independence of the college of cardinals which, in the following century, was to be of detriment to the papacy.
Themselves Frenchmen, and surrounded by a College of Cardinals in which the French element predominated, the popes gave to their ecclesiastical administration a certain French character, till they stood in more and more danger of serving purely national interests, in cases where the obligations of their office demanded complete impartiality.
Urban, in fact - who meanwhile had created a new College of Cardinals with members of different nationalities - enjoyed one great advantage; his rival failed to hold his own in Italy, with which country the actual decision virtually lay.