DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     June 25-27, 1999     vol. 10, no. 123


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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.

70.   Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo

          Coming from a committed Catholic family whose father was high up in the State General's office of Colombia, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo was born on November 8, 1935 in Villahermosa, Colombia in the Archdiocese of Ibaque. Urged by his uncle who was a bishop, he entered the seminary and was ordained a priest in Rome on November 13, 1960 while obtaining degrees at the Angelicum and Teresianum in the eternal city. He returned to Colombia where he became a faculty member at the major seminary there. In 1968 he became pastoral coordinator for the 1968 International Eucharistic Congress held in Bogota where two years later he was appointed Vicar General of that diocese. On February 25, 1971 Pope Paul VI named him a the titular Bishop of Boseta and a month later he was installed as auxiliary Bishop of Bogota on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. In 1972 he was appointed Secretary-General of CELAM (Latin American Episcopal Conference), a position he held until 1978 when on May 22, 1978 he was elevated to coadjutor Archbishop of Medelin. A year later he became permanent archbishop of Medellin.

          As archbishop he established thirty-seven new parishes in the archdiocese as well as creating a faculty for Theology and Philosophy at the major seminary there. In 1979 he was elected President of CELAM and played a major role in organizing the Puebla Conference in which His Holiness Pope John Paul II officiated. He caught the Holy Father's attention and four years later was named in the Consistory of February 3, 1983 at which time he received his red-hat in Rome and the titular church of St. Prisca. The Pope was so impressed with Cardinal Lopez Trujillo that he named him President of the Pontifical Council for the Family on November 8, 1990. The position, a very important and crucial one in carrying out the Supreme Pontiff's culture of life campaign, was full time and thus Cardinal Lopez Trujillo resigned as Archbishop on January 9, 1991 in order to devote all his energies to his curial post and relocate in Vatican City where he resides today at Piazza San Calisto 16 in Rome. For more on this Pontifical Council, we recommend going to the Vatican's web site for Pontifical Council for the Family.

          Since being appointed head of this pivotal Council Cardinal has been responsible "for the promotion of the pastoral ministry of and apostolate to the family, through the application of the teachings and orientation of the ecclesiastical Magisterium, to help Christian families fulfill their educational and apostolic mission." In addition, he oversees the Council's management of issues on sexuality and procreation, thus intertwining with many other curial offices and always remaining a favorite of the Pope's who is so staunchly pro-life in promoting the sanctity of life which begins with the family. He has presided over ceremonies globally celebrating the family including the most recent one held in Rome last October and is a main promoter of the Pope's encyclical Evangelium Vitae - the "Gospel of Life." Because of his curial experience and immersion in all aspects of the Holy See's day to day operations and because of his age, he is definitely a possible candidate for Pope in the next conclave. His candidacy would definitely be a plus for the Americas and would assure of carrying on the same conservative stance and policies of John Paul II.

June 25, 1999       volume 10, no. 123


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