DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     July 28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 140


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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, The Official Catholic Directory, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

80.   Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J.

          Hailing from the cradle of Popes, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J. is the favorite papal candidate among the liberal faction of cardinals. In fact, Cardinal Martini has made no secret of the fact he would like the position. That in itself should be a red-flag for it's up to the Holy Spirit, not the person himself to choose the Sovereign Pontiff. The whole problem is that Pope John Paul II is very much alive and still the Vicar of Christ and all the speculation about John Paul II's decline, which is being fomented by the modernists, is doing no good for the rest of the faithful. In fact, it's doing no good for Martini's cause either for there has been a backlash and, as is most always the case in pending papal elections, the odds-on favorite is usually not the one who wears the crown. Therefore, Cardinal Martini would do well to continue concentrating on his See in Milan where he has been Archbishop since being elevated to the cardinalate in the Holy Father's Consistory of February 2, 1983.

          He was born in Turin on February 15, 1927 two years after the death of another Turin citizen Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati who we highlighted in Monday's issue. When he was seventeen, Cardinal Martini enrolled in the Jesuit seminary and was ordained eight years later on July 13, 1952, considered an exceptionally young age for a Jesuit priest. Two years later he graduated summa cum laude from the Gregorian University with a degree in Theology, writing an excellent thesis that was soon published. He was assigned to teach in Chieri, but the academic life called him back to Rome where he again excelled, achieving his doctorate in Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. His scholastic excellence opened the door for him to be named head of the Scripture Department at the Biblicum where he also was appointed Rector of the Institute in 1969, an office he held until 1978. During this time he gained a reputation for being accessible and being a people person to the students and faculty. In 1978 he was tabbed Rector of the more prestigious Pontifical Gregorian University. That was also the year the Pope Paul VI invited him to preach the Vatican's annual retreat during Lent. It would be the Pope's last Lent. After a year as head of the Gregorian, Martini took a sabbatical to write more, authoring numerous biblical, theological and spiritual thesis and documents.

          On December 29, 1979 Pope John Paul II named him the new Archbishop of Milan a quarter of a century after Pope Paul VI had been appointed Archbishop of Milan. On March 6, 1980 he was ordained by the Holy Father and installed as the head of the important See of Milan in northern Italy. Three years later he received his red-hat and the titular church of St. Cecilia. He serves membership in the Curial Offices of the Second Section of the Secretary of State, the Congregation for Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies for Apostolic Life and the Congregation for Catholic Education as well as the Pontifical Council for Culture. He is now nearing twenty years as Archbishop of Milan where he resides at Palazzo Arcivescovile, Piazza Fontana 2, 20122 Milan. Once considered a young phenom in the Church, he is now 72 and fast approaching the age where he will be too old. In fact, every year His Holiness John Paul II lives diminishes Cardinal Montini's hopes of attaining the highest office in the Church.

July 28, 1999       volume 10, no. 140


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