DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     January 4, 1999     vol. 10, no. 1


          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.

Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni

          Currently 77 years-old and one of the oldest of the conclave, Gilbert Agustoni was born in Switzerland on July 26, 1922 and ordained a priest at only 24 years-old on April 20, 1946. Two of his brothers also became priests. Four years after diocesan assignments he was summoned to Rome where Cardinal Ottavianim then Assessor for the Congregation for the Holy Office wrote Pope Pius XII requesting special permission for the young priest to work for him. From July 1, 1950 on he has been a steady member of the Roman Curia. Father Agustoni became a Prelate Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota in 1970. He was ordained a bishop and made titular archbishop of Caorle on January 6, 1987 while secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, which he kept until 1992 when he was promoted to pro-prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. On November 26, 1994 Pope John Paul II bestowed the red hat on Archbishop Agustoni and appointed him fulltime Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of Apostolic Signatura.

          It is doubtful Cardinal Agustoni would be considered as John Paul II's successor because of his age and the fact that he will soon be ineligible, but his service to the Church has been exemplary. Though he is from Switzerland, he does not reside there, permanently being listed among the members of the Roman Curia.

January 4, 1999       volume 10, no. 1


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