DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     April 23-25, 1999     vol. 10, no. 80


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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.

47.   Cardinal Michele Giordano

          As Archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Michele Giordano has had his share of crosses, the most recently being with the Italian government who had accused him of racketeering which were false claims and thrown out of court. Nevertheless, the accusations hurt this 68 year-old prelate who was born on September 25, 1930 in Sant'Arcangelo in the province of Basilicata in southern Italy. He had many relatives who grew up with him, but Michele followed a different path, entering the seminary at an early age and becoming a priest while still not yet 23 years-old on July 5, 1953. After six years of pastoral work he was tabbed as Director of the Catechetical Center as well as Direcotr of the Diocesan Center for Social Studies. At the same time he was in great demand by the Diocese as official assistant for Catholic Action. His bishop appointed him Vicar General of the Diocese in 1968 and three years later on December 23, 1971 Pope Paul VI named him a bishop, bestowing on him the Titular bishopric of Lari Castello and auxiliary of Matera. Three years after that the Holy Father removed "auxiliary" and promoted him to Archbishop of Matera and Irsina on June 12, 1974.

          After serving the flock living in the archdiocese encompassing the two cities of Matera and Irsina for thirteen years, Pope John Paul II picked Giordano to oversee the sprawling Archdiocese of Naples on May 9, 1987. That same year he was chosen by his fellow bishops as President of the Campania Province Bishops Conference. The ultimate honor came on June 28, 1988 when the Holy Father included him among those who would receive the coveted red-hat in the Consistory that year in which he was given the titular church of St. Joachim. Curial membership includes the Second Section of the Secretariat of State, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Clergy, and the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers. Because of his limited experience exclusively within Italy he would not be considered a strong candidate were a papal election be held in the near future.

April 23-25, 1999       volume 10, no. 80


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