Who determines the number of Catholic Cardinals?: Information Roundup
The creation of cardinals rests solely with the pope. Since 1580 the Sacred College, which is the Senate of the Roman Catholic Church and which assists the pope in the administration of the church, when complete has consisted of seventy members: six cardinal bishops, fifty cardinal priests and fourteen cardinal deacons. Generally, however, there are some vacancies. The Sacred College has the responsibility of electing the pope. Cardinals have no rank in the hierarchy of the church except by virtue of their being priests or bishops. Every cardinal must reside in Rome unless he is a bishop abroad. Cardinal is derived from Latin carda, "hinge," and the cardinals were so called because important work of the church hinged on them. A cardinals title is written and spoken between his Christian and surnames: as, James Cardinal Gibbons, not Cardinal James Gibbons. His first name was James, which distinguished him from other men named Gibbons, but his social church title was "Cardinal Gibbons."