DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     February 26-28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 40


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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.

24.   Cardinal Giovanni Cheli

      One of the oldest of the newest cardinals Cardinal Giovanni Cheli is President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, having resigned at eighty years-old last year. Born on the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi in Turin, Italy, he became a priest at age 24 in 1942. After some time in pastoral work in his diocese, he was summoned to Rome where he entered the Secretariat of State diplomatic corp. He was named Second Secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Guatamala in 1952, a post he held until 1955 when he was appointed First Secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Spain for the next seven years. In 1962 Pope John XXIII tabbed him as Councelor to the Nunciature in Rome until 1967 when Pope Paul VI named him to the Council for Public Affairs of the Church at the Vatican where he remained until 1973 when he was assigned to become Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations for the next thirteen years. On September 16, 1978 he was ordained a bishop and became titular Archbishop of Santa Giusta. In 1986 Pope John Paul II elevated him to the post of President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, a post he served faithfully for twelve years. He was named in the most recent Consistory of February 21, 1998, receiving his red-hat as a cardinal-deacon and receiving the titular church of Saints Cosmas and Damian.

      Though he retired from active duty last year, he still maintains Curial membership in the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and the Pontifical Commission for Interreligious Dialogue. Due to his age he is no longer eligible to vote in the Conclave and also would most likely not be considered as papal possibility were an election held.

February 26-28, 1999       volume 10, no. 40


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