DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     April 9-11, 1999     vol. 10, no. 70


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      This new feature that we introduce today will spotlight each member of the Conclave. 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, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

41.   Cardinal Angelo Felici

          Even though he is nearly 80 years-old, Cardinal Angelo Felici started out young, very young in service to the Church. Born on July 26, 1919 in Segni outside of Rome, he enroled in the Pontifical Diplomatic Academy at the age of 23 as a sub-deacon and received a special age waiver from Pope Pius XII to be ordained the same year on April 4, 1942. After completing his studies he entered Vatican diplomatic service at the unusual age of 26 in 1945 being weaned by the best when he became a member of Cardinal Tardini's First Department of the Secretariat of State (Section for General Affairs and Council for Public Affairs of the Church as well as the Council of Cardinals and Bishops) in July of that year. For 19 years he learned the ins and outs of curial politics as well as diplomatic policies. In February, 1964 he was appointed Under-Secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs which was restructured three years later by Pope Paul VI to become the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church and on June 28, 1988 would be renamed by Pope John Paul II as Secretariat of State.

          On July 22, 1967 Pope Paul VI ordained him bishop, bestowing the honor of Titular Archbishop of Cesariana and naming him Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the Netherlands, a position he held until 1976 when he became Nuncio to Portugal and three years later to France where he remained until 1988 when, in the Consistory of June 28, 1988 John Paul elevated him to the cardinalate. He received the titular church of Sts. Blaise and Charles in Catinari as a cardinal deacon and was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints a few days later on July 1, 1988, an office he held until resigning in 1995 to become President of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei' for that year before the mandatory retirement age of 75.

          Since then Cardinal Felici's curial expertise and long service experience has been helpful through his memberships in the second section of the Secretariat of State, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for the Clergy and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

April 9-11, 1999       volume 10, no. 70


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