DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     February 10, 1999     vol. 10, no. 28


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
      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.

17.   Cardinal Ricardo Maria Gordo Carles

          Currently the Archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Ricardo Maria Gordo Carles was born in Valencia, Spain on September 24, 1926 and became a priest on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul in 1951 at the age of 25. He was assigned to parish work in his diocese of Valencia, making a strong impression with the people and his superiors as a modern-day Saint John Bosco, working very closely with the youth of Valencia in a variety of programs. On June 6, 1969 Pope Paul VI appointed him Bishop of Tortosa where he served faithfully until Pope John Paul II elevated him to head the Archdiocese of Barcelona on March 23, 1990. Four years later he was rewarded again by being named to the Sacred Conclave in the Consistory of November 26, 1994. Upon receiving his red hat he also was given the titular church of Saint Mary of Consolation in Tiburtino.

          Throughout his priesthood and episcopacy Cardinal Ricardo has shown a special affinity to the poor and downtrodden in Valencia, Tortosa and Barcelona. To assure that all are taken care of, he went about reorganizing his vast archdiocese into four quadrants so that the faithful would not be neglected. He has been a selfless crusader in improving the conditions of Barcelona's slums as well as heading up various commissions in Barcelona on Justice and Peace. Because of this expertise, he was appointed by the Holy Father to serve as a curial member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He also enjoys membership in the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome. Here, too, he is very experienced, having enacted many educational reforms in his see including reinvigorating the Archdiocese's seminary where vocations are on the increase. He also established the Institute of Spiritual Theology of Barcelona which has attracted students and esteemed faculty from all over Europe.

          Because he is highly loved by his flock, evident in his loving, sincere pastoral approach that has endeared him to millions of Spaniards and because his entire ministry has been spent in Spain, it is highly unlikely he would be considered for papal election. While that could be a loss for the world, it assures the people of Barcelona that he will continue as their loving, wise and caring shepherd until it is time to retire or God chooses to take him home.

February 10, 1999       volume 10, no. 28


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