DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN to FRI-SAT-SUN     July 9-18, 1999     vol. 10, no. 132


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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, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

75.   Cardinal Franciszek Macharski

          Cardinal Franciszek Macharski was born seven years and two days after Pope John Paul II in the same vicinity of Poland - Krakow. All his life he has been associated with the Holy Father, first entering the same underground seminary that a senior Karol Wojtyla had attended and being ordained four years after Karol by the same prelate Archbishop Sapieha on April 2, 1950. Like Fr. Wojtyla, he continued his theological studies but not in Rome, rather in Fribourg, Switzerland before returning to teach Pastoral Theology at the Faculty of Theology in Krakow from 1956 to 1960 during which Fr. Karol was consecrated Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow. After ten years of pastoral and administrative duties in the archdiocese, the newest cardinal of Poland Archbishop Wojtyla appointed Fr. Macharski as Rector of the Archdiosesan Seminary in Krakow in 1970. During his eight-year tenure there he also accepted increased responsibilities as secretary of various committees for the Polish Bishops' Conference. This catapulted him to Rome where he was employed in the office of the Secretary of State and numerous other Curial offices.

          On December 29, 1978 a new archbishop had to be announced since the previous one had been elected the 264th successor of Peter two months prior leaving the see vacant. John Paul II remembered his friend and elevated him to Archbishop of Krakow on that date. On the Feast of the Epiphany in 1979 he was installed succeeding Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, now the Pope. He was honored further on June 30 that year when the Holy Father included him in his first Consistory, bestowing on Cardinal Macharski the red-hat and the titular church of St. John at the Latin Gate.

          Because of his prior years working in the Curia, he has been an invaluable component within Vatican circles serving membership in the second section of the Secretary of State as well as the Congregation of Bishops, the Congregation for Clergy, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Congregation for Catholic Education. The Holy Father has depended heavily on Cardinal Macharski's input. Still Archibishop of Krakow in his twentieth year at the age of 72, Cardinal Macharski housed the Pope during his most recent papal visit and tended to his illness while he recuperated for a day in Krakow, possibly a chance for the two old friends to catch up and reminisce.

July 9-18, 1999       volume 10, no. 132


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