Cardinal Vicar (Italian: Cardinale Vicario) is a title commonly given to the vicar general of the Diocese of Rome for the portion of the diocese within Italy (i.e. excluding the portion within Vatican City). The official title, as given in the Annuario Pontificio, is Vicar General of His Holiness.
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|Vicar General of His Holiness
Latin: Vicarius Urbis
Italian: Vicario Generale di Sua Santità
|Reports to||The Bishop of Rome (the Pope)|
|Appointer||The Bishop of Rome (the Pope)|
|Unofficial names||Cardinal Vicar|
The bishop of Rome is responsible for the spiritual administration of this diocese, but because the bishop of Rome is the pope, with many other responsibilities, he appoints a cardinal vicar with ordinary power to assist in this task. Canon law requires all Catholic dioceses to have one or more vicars general, but the cardinal vicar functions more like a de facto diocesan bishop than do other vicars general. The holder has usually been a cardinal.
A similar position exists to administer the spiritual needs of the Vatican City, known as the vicar general for Vatican City or, more exactly, Vicar General of His Holiness for Vatican City.