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CARDINAL, eccl. law. The title given to one of the 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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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He becomes a powerful, indeed "fanatical," preacher and an ambitious rising star in the Church hierarchy--a favorite of the Pope and selected for a cardinalship. However, he falls ill and, dying, realizes the wrongness of his retreat into the Catholic priesthood.
He is insistent on the greatness of what he has done, for example, to the point of simple rudeness, reminding the sovereigns that they made him, a lot of promises of wealth and power; he even goes so far as to suggest that a cardinalship for his son.