DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     June 7, 1999     vol. 10, no. 109


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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.

62.   Cardinal Franz Konig

          The Archbishop emeritus of Vienna is the fourth oldest in the College of Cardinals and, at almost 95, is well past eligible age for voting in the Conclave. Cardinal Franz Konig was born in Lower Austria in the village of Rabenstein on August 3, 1905. A member of the Diocese of SanktPolten, he took minor seminary studies with the Benedictines in Melk and matriculated at the Gregorian in Rome for his major seminary degrees in Philosophy and Theology as well as focusing on Iranian religious issues at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in the eternal city before being ordained on October 29, 1933. After various teaching assignments, more studies and pastoral work, he was appointed professor of Religion at Krems on the Danube at the end of World War II. Three years later in 1948 he was named to the faculty of Salzburg University to teach Theology and Philosophy there.

          On July 3, 1952 Pope Pius XII was named Bishop and installed as the titular bishop of Liviade and coadjutor bishop of his home diocese in Sankt Poelten on August 31, 1952. Four years later, on May 10, 1956 Pius XII promoted him to Archbishop of Vienna, a position he held until resigning on September 16, 1985 at the age of 80. He was named to receive the red-hat in the Consistory of Pope John XXIII on December 21, 1958 and remains the last living cardinal so honored in John's first Consistory. He received the titular church of St. Eusebius. He served as President of the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-believers which was then a Secretariat. His studies on Iran and serving as Ordinary for Eastern-rite Catholics prepared him well for this curial position. It saddened Cardinal Konig greatly when his successor and fellow Benedictine whom he had groomed Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer soiled the Vienna archdiocese and scandalized Austrians everywhere with his homosexual trysts with seminarians . However Cardinal Konig is greatly encouraged that Groer's successor, the Dominican Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, one of the Conclave's youngest and personally hand-picked by Pope John Paul II, will safely guide Austria through this typhoon of trouble. Cardinal Konig resides in retirement at Wollzeile 2, A-1010 Wien, Austria.

June 7, 1999       volume 10, no. 109


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