By Martin Bräuer

Nach dem Papst ist das Kardinalskollegium die höchste Instanz der römisch-katholischen Kirche. Neben der Leitung der großen Diözesen der Weltkirche und der Leitung der Dikasterien der römischen Kurie obliegt ihm die Wahl eines neuen Papstes. Im Laufe seiner Geschichte hat das Kardinalskollegium vielfältige Veränderungen erfahren. Besonders in den letzten zweihundert Jahren wuchs die Zahl von ursprünglich höchstens 70 Kardinälen auf mittlerweile über 2 hundred Kardinäle an und erfuhr eine starke Internationalisierung. Das vorliegende Werk bietet neben Einführungen in die Geschichte und Gegenwart sowie Aufgaben und Bedeutung des Kardinalskollegiums die Biographien aller von 1846 bis 2012 ernannten Kardinäle und zeichnet so die Veränderungen und Wandlungen dieses einzigartigen Kollegiums nach.

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