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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

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What is the Difference Between an Archbishop and a Cardinal?

Question:

What is the difference between an archbishop and a cardinal?

Answer:

An archbishop is usually the bishop of a major metropolitan archdiocese and may also be a cardinal. A cardinal is a member of the college of cardinals, and, according to current requirements, is usually a bishop. There is a regulation that a cardinal who is not already a bishop must be ordained to the episcopate, but this rule can be dispensed. So, with permission, it is possible for a layman or a priest to be a cardinal.

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