CARDINAL, eccl. law. The title given to one of tho highest dignitaries of the court of Rome. Cardinals are next to the pope in dignity; he is elected by them and out of their body. There are cardinal bishops, cardinal priests, and cardinal deacons. See Fleury, Hist. Eccles. liv. xxxv. n. 17, Ii. n. 19 Thomassin, part ii. liv. i. oh. 53, part iv. liv. i. c. 79, 80 Loiseau, Traite des Ordres, c. 3, n. 31; Andre, Droit Canon, au mot.