On July 3, 1952 Pope Pius XII was named Bishop and installed as the titular bishop of Liviade and coadjutor bishop of his home diocese in Sankt Poelten on August 31, 1952. Four years later, on May 10, 1956 Pius XII promoted him to Archbishop of Vienna, a position he held until resigning on September 16, 1985 at the age of 80. He was named to receive the red-hat in the Consistory of Pope John XXIII on December 21, 1958 and remains the last living cardinal so honored in John's first Consistory. He received the titular church of St. Eusebius. He served as President of the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-believers which was then a Secretariat. His studies on Iran and serving as Ordinary for Eastern-rite Catholics prepared him well for this curial position. It saddened Cardinal Konig greatly when his successor and fellow Benedictine whom he had groomed Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer soiled the Vienna archdiocese and scandalized Austrians everywhere with his homosexual trysts with seminarians . However Cardinal Konig is greatly encouraged that Groer's successor, the Dominican Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, one of the Conclave's youngest and personally hand-picked by Pope John Paul II, will safely guide Austria through this typhoon of trouble. Cardinal Konig resides in retirement at Wollzeile 2, A-1010 Wien, Austria.
There are two areas in which lay people live their vocation. The first, and the one best suited to their lay state, is the secular world, which they are called to shape according to God's will. (158) “Their specific activity brings the Gospel to the structures of the world; 'working in holiness wherever they are, they consecrate the world itself to God'”. (159) Thanks to the lay faithful, “the presence and mission of the Church in the world is realized in a special way in the variety of charisms and ministries which belong to the laity. Secularity is the true and distinctive mark of the lay person and of lay spirituality, which means that the laity strive to evangelize the various sectors of family, social, professional, cultural and political life. On a continent marked by competition and aggressiveness, unbridled consumerism and corruption, lay people are called to embody deeply evangelical values such as mercy, forgiveness, honesty, transparency of heart and patience in difficult situations. What is expected from the laity is a great creative effort in activities and works demonstrating a life in harmony with the Gospel”. (160)
America needs lay Christians able to assume roles of leadership in society. It is urgent to train men and women who, in keeping with their vocation, can influence public life, and direct it to the common good. In political life, understood in its truest and noblest sense as the administration of the common good, they can find the path of their own sanctification. For this, they must be formed in the truths and values of the Church's social teaching, and in the basic notions of a theology of the laity. A deeper knowledge of Christian ethical principles and moral values will enable them to be exponents of these in their own particular setting, proclaiming them even where appeals are made to the so-called “neutrality of the State”. (161)
There is a second area in which many lay faithful are called to work, and this can be called “intra-ecclesial”. A good number of lay people in America legitimately aspire to contribute their talents and charisms “to the building of the ecclesial community as delegates of the word, catechists, visitors to the sick and the imprisoned, group leaders, etc.” (162) The Synod Fathers expressed the hope that the Church would recognize some of these works as lay ministries, with a basis in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, without compromising the specific ministries proper to the Sacrament of Orders. This is a large and complex issue and some time ago I established a Commission to study it; (163) in this regard the offices of the Holy See have from time to time provided guidelines. (164) There is a need to promote positive cooperation by properly trained lay men and women in different activities within the Church, while avoiding any confusion with the ordained ministries and the activities proper to the Sacrament of Orders, so that the common priesthood of the faithful remains clearly distinguished from that of the ordained.
In this respect, the Synod Fathers recommended that the works entrusted to lay people be clearly “distinct from those which constitute steps on the way to the ordained ministry” (165) and which are carried out by candidates for the priesthood before ordination. It was also noted that these lay works “should be undertaken only by men and women who have received the necessary training in accordance with clearly defined criteria: a stable presence, a real readiness to serve a determined group of persons, and the duty of accountability to their Pastor”. (166) In any event, while the intra-ecclesial apostolate of lay people needs to be promoted, care must be taken to ensure that it goes hand in hand with the activity proper to the laity, in which their place cannot be taken by priests: the area of temporal realities.
Unfortunately, in many parts of America women still meet forms of discrimination. It can be said that the face of the poor in America is also the face of many women. That is why the Synod Fathers spoke of a “feminine side of poverty”. (170) The Church feels the duty to defend the human dignity which belongs to every person, and “denounces discrimination, sexual abuse and male domination as actions contrary to God's plan”. (171) In particular, the Church deplores the appalling practice, sometimes part of a larger plan, of the sterilization of women, especially the poorest and most marginalized, often carried out surreptitiously, without the women themselves realizing it. This is all the more serious when it is done in order to obtain economic aid at the international level.
The Church throughout America feels committed to show greater concern for women and to defend them “so that society in America can better support family life based on marriage, better protect motherhood and show greater respect for the dignity of all women”. (172) There is a need to help women in America to take an active and responsible role in the Church's life and mission, (173) and also to acknowledge the need for the wisdom and cooperation of women in leadership roles within American society.
NEXT MONDAY: Installment sixteen - Chapter Four: Challenges facing Christian families
To all the world I wish to say: Now is the time for all to turn back to Me in faith. Now is the time for all men to place their trust in Me alone, and to forsake the things of this world. I am God. There shall not be strange gods before Me.
Yet you have placed confidence and all human expectations in men. Yes, you have cast Me aside and have developed world government which rejects every law of God and replaces My perfect law with rules that denigrate the dignity by which and in which I created you!
Woe! Triple woe to all who place their will above Mine! Woe, triple woe to all who knowingly seek to regulate life on earth for their benefit - not the benefit of the immortal soul.
In the past I have sent punishments upon mankind for their sins. Your world today is an abomination that carries the stench of hell. If your world looked back upon the evil hearts of men which brought about the Second World War, I solemnly tell you that an even greater punishment shall befall the world, for your atrocities are of greater evil than those of that war!
Heed My words. Repent. I want to be with My people - all of My people. I want to reign as King of all hearts. Replace My tabernacle in Its rightful place in My True Church, and My people shall once again come to Me and I to them. I shall be Mercy to a world that has no mercy upon the least of My little ones.
If you do not do this then all shall suffer: the just as well as the wicked. Let the time be now when all reverence is given to Me in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I shall pierce your hearts with Divine Love so all may know My Truth.
Prepare! Repent! The hour is now!
Say to the world: As you count time, so do its moments decrease and soon I will reveal to all the nations that I Am God, and there is no other! Behold, your sorrowing and tears reach to Heaven, and My tender Heart awaits you. Therefore, become Mine by the full commitment of your heart. Become, once again, a Eucharistic people and have for Me a hunger and thirst which appeases My much-wounded Heart. Recognize Me in My Sacrament of Love, and delay no longer in your utmost reverence of this august sacrament. Let every heart contemplate My Sacred Passion which has won for you eternal life.
Return My Crucifix in all of My True Churches, for I am greatly offended by the mere symbol of a cross where My Sacred Body has been removed! You have forgotten that Mass is much more than a banquet: It is the everlasting Sacrifice of Calvary.
Woe to all who have knowingly and willingly caused My children to come to Mass as to an entertaining festival. Woe to those who remove My True Presence far from My little ones. Did you ask Me if I wanted to be placed far away from My children? Did you ask if My Sacred Crucifix should become a mere cross where the image of suffering has been erased?
The time is at hand when I, your God, shall turn My face away from these places, leaving them hollow, a mere building in which I do not dwell! The hour approaches when My Holy Spirit will enlighten all who truly love and seek Me as to My True Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Therefore, be of great faith! Believe now what the eye cannot see, for soon you shall see and marvel with the eyes of your soul!
I love and bless you! Pray much for the hour approaches.
Henry II, who would be coronated Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Benedict VIII, was elected on this day the King of Germany, succeeding Otto III.
The First Crusade arrives at the walls of Jerusalem in their effort to recover the Holy Land for Christianity.
Death of Saint Robert of Yorkshire or of Newminister where he is buried. This Benedictine monk founded abbeys and affiliated with the Cistercians, making his monasteries much-sought-after centers of holiness and austerity, which, after his death, became pilgrimage destinations.
Blessed Pope Benedict XI, under pressure from King Philip IV of France, nevertheless carries through in excommunicating the king's minister Guillaume de Nogaret for his major part in the attack at the Papal Palace in Anagni of Benedict's predecessor Pope Boniface VIII.
Explorer Christopher Columbus departs on his third voyage to the new world.