DAILY CATHOLIC    ASH WEDNESDAY     February 17, 1999     vol. 10, no. 33


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.

20.   Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy

          The cardinal we cover today has an international scope that would give him authentic consideration for the papacy down the road were he not nearly 75 years-old. We are speaking of Cardinal Edward Isdris Cassidy, born in Sydney, Australia on July 5, 1924. He became a priest three weeks after his 25th birthday in 1949. Within six years the Holy See could see potential in this young Australian cleric and summoned him to Rome to work in the diplomatic corp. His first assignments were as papal nunciature to India, Ireland, El Salvador and then Argentina. On November 15, 1970 Pope John Paul II elevated him to bishop, bestowing on him the titular bishopric of Amantia and the personal title of Archbishop and assigned as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the Republic of China in Taipei, Taiwan. In 1973 he the duties of Pro-Nuncio to Bangladesh and Apostolic Delegate to Burma were added to his resume until 1979 when he was made Pro-Nuncio to Lesotho in South Africa as well as Apostolic Delegate to that region for the next five years. In 1984 the Pope appointed him Pro-Nuncio to the Netherlands for four more years before beckoning him to the Vatican to become Substitute of the Secretary of State for General Affairs in 1988. He served there for a year before being named President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on December 12, 1989, a post he still holds today.

          Because of his excellent record and devotion to the Church the Holy Father selected him to be included in the Consistory of June 28, 1991 in which he received his red-hat as a cardinal-deacon with the titular church of St. Mary in via Lata. Solidly entrenched in the Roman Curia, Cardinal Cassidy has been involved in numerous Pontifical Councils including the second section of the Secretariat of State, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. In addition to these prestigious memberships he also serves on the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the office of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. He serves on the commissions of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the Pontifical Committee for the Grand Jubilee of the Holy Year 2000.

          He has been a close confidante of John Paul II and extremely effective in assisting the Holy Father in his ecumenical efforts. As head of the high-profile Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity he is involved globally in religious conflicts and discussions. From communist China to Cuba, from Northern Ireland to India, from Indonesia to Jerusalem he is thoroughly involved. He helped author the reconciliation document to the Jews "We Remember the Shoah." He will also be very active in the Pope's plans and activities with his upcoming papal visits to Romania and the Ukraine in working closely with Orthodox leaders as well as Anglican and Lutheran leaders in an effort to promote Christian Unity and bring the realization of one Church - one faith closer.

February 17, 1999       volume 10, no. 33


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