DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     December 1, 1999     vol. 10, no. 228


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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.

129.   Cardinal Angelo Sodano

        The Vatican Secretary of State for the past eight plus years, Cardinal Angelo Sodano holds the position of number two in the Vatican. He was born on November 23, 1927 in Isola d'Asti in the region of Piedmont, Italy. He came from a family which has channeled many members to service for the Church and the government of Italy as well since his own father was a member of the Italian parliament for three terms. Young Angelo was afforded the finest education, opting for the priesthood at an early age and studying in Rome where he received his degree in Theology from the Gregorian followed by graduation from the Lateran with a degree in Canon Law. He was ordained a priest on September 23, 1950 and assigned by his bishop to various pastoral duties for nine years until Pope John XXIII recalled him to Rome to work under the Secretariat of State Cardinal Augustin Bea and take courses at the Vatican Diplomatic Academy after which he was sent to Ecuador and then Uruguay as Apostolic Nunciature.

        On January 15, 1978 Pope Paul VI promoted him to the episcopal ranks making him Titular Archbishop of Nova di Cesare and appointed him Nuncio to Chile. After ten years in this post Pope John Paul II recalled him to Rome making him Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Relations with States, the position occupied today by Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran (the 81st selection of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY). After two years in this post, the Holy Father made him Pro-Secretary of State and he was afforded the dual honor of being elevated to the cardinalate and becoming the Pope's new Secretary of State during the Consistory of June 29, 1991 in which he received the Titular See of the Suburbicarian of Albino and the titular church of Santa Maria Nuova. For a more detailed profile on Cardinal Sodano, see 60th selection of the TOP CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY.

December 1, 1999       volume 10, no. 228


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