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Cardinals are the highest-ranking officials within the Ecclesiarchy, after the Ecclesiarch.[1]


Cardinals are members of the Frateris clergy and form a group known as the Holy Synod[1], which elects the Ecclesiarch, the head of the entire Ecclesiarchy, from their own number. Most Cardinals lead a diocese. Although each Cardinal's diocese is outside another's jurisdiction, some rank higher than others, as they are divided into three orders.[1] There are some several thousand Cardinals.[4]

Cardinals Palatine

The five Cardinals Palatine are the highest-ranking Cardinals. They do not have dioceses or other official duties, instead serving as assistants to the Ecclesiarch in the Ecclesiarchal Palace on Terra.[2][3]

Cardinals Terran

The Cardinals Terran have dioceses on Terra.[1] They are ranked below the Cardinals Palatine.[3]

Cardinals Astral

The Cardinals Astral are the lowest-ranking Cardinals and have dioceses consisting of one or more worlds, except Terra.[3][8] The Cardinals Astral of Ophelia VII and nearby systems make up the Synod Ministra and are referred to as Astral Ministra.[1] They rank above Pontifex and furtherly the Preachers[8]

Other Known Titles of Cardinals

  • Arch-Cardinal[5]
  • Cardinal-Governor[6] also known as a Cardinal-Exemplar[7]

Known Cardinals

Main article: List of Cardinals