Cardinal-nephew facts for kids
A cardinal-nephew (Latin: cardinalis nepos; Italian: cardinale nipote;) was a pope's relative -- a nephew -- who was raised to the rank of cardinal. The practice of creating cardinal-nephews originated in the Middle Ages.
The pope's cardinal-nephew was his chief assistant and confident. The man in this role was expected to act as if he were a relative of the pope; and sometimes -- often, he was in fact a member of the pope's extended family.
After 1692, this office was banned by Pope Innocent XII in Romanum decet pontificem.
This role and function is now filled by the Vatican's Secretary of State.
List of cardinal-nephews
Notable cardinal-nephews include many who would later become popes:
- Gregory IX
- Alexander IV
- Adrian V
- Gregory XI
- Boniface IX
- Innocent VII
- Eugene IV
- Paul II
- Alexander VI
- Pius III
- Julius II
- Leo X
- Clement VII
- Benedict XIII
- Pius VII
Images for kids
The Avignon Papacy (1309–1377) produced an unprecedented number of cardinal-nephews.
Pope Paul III with his cardinal-nephew Alessandro Farnese (left) and his other grandson, Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma (right)
Pope Pius V created the curial office of the Cardinal Nephew on March 14, 1566.
Pope Innocent X named the son, nephew, and cousin of his sister-in-law Olimpia Maidalchini to the curial office of the Cardinal Nephew
Pope Gregory XV with his Cardinal Nephew of unprecedented income and authority, Ludovico Ludovisi, known as il cardinale padrone.
Pope Innocent XII abolished the curial office of the Cardinal Nephew on June 22, 1692 and strengthened the office of Cardinal Secretary of State
Ippolito de' Medici, cardinal-nephew of Pope Clement VII and illegitimate son of Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici
Cardinal-nephew Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.