Cardinals are the highest-ranking officials within the Ecclesiarchy, after the Ecclesiarch himself.
Cardinals are members of the Frateris clergy and form a group known as the Holy Synod, 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. There are some several thousand Cardinals.
The five Cardinals Palatine are the highest-ranking Cardinals. They do not have dioceses, instead serving as assistants to the Ecclesiarch in the Ecclesiarchal Palace on Terra.
The Cardinals Terran are those who have dioceses on Terra.
The Cardinals Astral have dioceses on other Imperial worlds. Those in the Ophelia VII area are known as the Astral Ministra or Synod Ministra, while those in other regions are categorised as simply the Astral.
Other Known Titles of Cardinals
See main article: List of Cardinals
- 1: Codex: Sisters of Battle (2nd Edition), pg. 34
- 2: Warhammer 40,000 3rd Edition Rulebook, pg. 102
- 3: Codex Imperialis (Background Book), [Needs Citation]
- 4: Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs, pg. 16
- 5: Codex: Adeptus Custodes (8th Edition), pg. 24 - The Aquilan Shield
- 6: Apocalypse (Novel), Chapter 1
- 7: White Dwarf 459, pg. 48 - Flashpoint: Argolish in Flames
- Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned, The Imperial Cult