January 3, 2000
volume 11, no. 1

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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.

140.   Cardinal Alexandru Todea
    Retired since 1994 and ineligible for participation in the Sacred Conclave, Cardinal Alexandru Todea was born in Teleac, Romania on June 5, 1912 and growing into his early teens, found himself with a vocation to the priesthood in the Byzantine-Rite Catholic Church in union with Rome. He was ordained a priest in the Byzantine Roman Rite on March 25, 1939 and assigned pastoral work in various parishes for the next nine years. But in 1948, with World War II over, the communist regime overthrew King Michael and a Soviet-style constitution adopted as they took over the spoils and took control of the Romanian government. For the next few decades he would have to live under the suppression of the hammer and sickle and then the ruthless regime of Nicolae Ceausescu.

    In 1950 Pope Pius XII named him Bishop of Cesaropoli on July 4, 1950 and, because of the Soviet suppression, he was ordained and installed in secret by Archbishop Gerald P. O'Hara, the Holy See's representative to Romania. However the communists found out and in 1951 he was arrested and brought before a kangaroo court where he was sentenced to life imprisonment during a time when all clerics in Romania and Soviet satellite countries were being repressed and persecuted. Fortunately for him, thirteen years later in 1964 an amnesty was granted because of the two facts; first the Soviet forces had withdrawn from Romania and a new constitution was adopted which reduced ties with the U.S.S.R.; secondly, Romania established diplomatic relations with the United States and, to show good faith, the government agreed to release all religious prisoners. Free to once again practice he reentered pastoral work. During his time in prison he had been the glue to keep the Byzantine community together for many had been imprisoned together.

    On March 14, 1990 he was installed as Archbishop of Fagaras and Alba Julia by Pope John Paul II. Because of age and the after-effects of injuries from prison, he retired on July 20, 1994 at the age of 82. His age did not prohibit the Holy Father from elevating him to the cardinalate during his consistory of June 28, 1991. At 79 Cardinal Todea became one of the oldest cardinals ever bestowed the red-hat. He received the titular church of St. Athanasius. Now 87, Cardinal Todea resides today at Str. P.P. Aron 2, RO-3175 in Blaj, A.B., Romania.


January 3, 2000
volume 10, no. 1

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