January 31, 2000
volume 11, no. 21

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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.

152.   Cardinal Friedrich Wetter
    Cardinal Friedrich Wetter was born in Landau, Germany on February 20, 1928. His father worked for the railroad in Germany and wanted young Friedrich to follow in his footsteps but the son had other ideas and entered the minor and then major seminary in the Diocese of Speyer before obtaining a Theology degree from the Gregorian in Rome. He became a priest on October 10, 1954 and after more studies and some pastoral work, he was assigned to the faculty of Eichstatt Univiversity teaching Fudamental Theology in 1962. Five years later he was transferred to the University of Mainz to head up the Dogmatic Theology Department. The following year Pope Paul VI made him a bishop on May 28, 1968, assigning him as Bishop of Speyer, his home diocese. He was ordained and installed on June 29, 1968.

    On October 28, 1982 Pope John Paul II appointed him the new Archbishop of Munich and Freising because his predecessor had been called to Rome to become the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That was of course Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who has since entrenched himself as the most powerful and influential member of the Curia. Three years after becoming shepherd of his new see, Archbishop Wetter received an even higher honor - the cardinalate. This occurred during the Holy Father's Consistory of May 25, 1985 where he received the titular church of St. Stephen al Monte Celio. He has been president of the Commission for the Faith in the German Bishops' Conference and serves membership in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Congregation for Catholic Education. He is expected to finish out his episcopate in Munich where he resides at Kardinal-Faulhaber Str., 7, D-8000 Munchen 2, Bundesrepublik, Germany.


January 31, 2000
volume 11, no. 21

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