February 9, 2000
volume 11, no. 27

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    Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we spotlight each member of the Conclave in alphabetical order. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff Pope John Paul II grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year 2000. How much longer this 264th successor of Peter has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he truly is a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning days before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose. Thus we bring the reader vignettes on each cardinal in alphabetical order gleaned from the Catholic Almanac, The Official Catholic Directory, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

156.   Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung
        On March 26, 1925 Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung was born on mainland China in the village of Shui-Tsai. Realizing a vocation to the priesthood, finishing up his studies in southern China at the Theological Academy before moving to Taiwan where he studied for the priesthood and was ordained on July 6, 1952 in the Diocese of Hsinchu in Taiwan, southwest of the capital city of Taipei. Because of Communist China's intensified threats against Taiwan and Chiang Kai-shek he was exiled in Taiwan where he carried out various pastoral duties until he was sent to Rome to receive his degree in Canon Law before touring the United States drumming up support for Taiwan's cause against mainline China's aggression.

        In 1957 he returned to Taiwan where he was appointed parish priest in Hsin Miaoli followed by a series of other pastoral assignments including several pastorships. On April 5, 1975 Pope Paul VI named him Bishop of Hong Kong, then under British rule. He was ordained and installed on July 25, 1975. Ten years after becoming Hong Kong's shepherd, he headed a contingent to Peking and then Shanghai which was the first expedition by a Hong Kong prelate since 1949 when the communists took control of mainland China. Any hope of reconciling however was dimmed, but not all was lost for he had the opportunity a year later to be reunited with his own mother during a few days' window when he also visited relatives in Shui-Tsai. It was the first time in forty years mother and son had seen each other and it was a touching moment. Though she passed away shortly after that, she would have been even prouder of her son in 1988 when Pope John Paul II included Cardinal Wu Cheng-chung in his Consistory of June 28, 1988. He received his red-hat and the titular church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Moutn Carmel a Mostacciano as well as curial membership in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples as well as the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.. Because of the strong Buddhist, Hindu and Tao influence, there is less than 4% Catholic population in Hong Kong and it could dwindle more because since July 1, 1997 the British have relinquished control of this mighty port metropolis to mainland China which is trying to implement a hardline in Hong Kong as they have throughout the rest of mainland China, promoting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church, not in union with Rome and persecuting the true Roman Catholic Church.


February 9, 2000
volume 11, no. 28

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