E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Hinges. (Latin, cardo.) The election of the Pope hinges on the voice of the sacred college, and on the Pope the doctrines of the Church depend; so that the cardinals are in fact the hinges on which the Christian Church turns. There may be six cardinal bishops, fifty cardinal priests, and fourteen cardinal deacons, who constitute the Popes council, and who elect the Pope when a vacancy occurs.