DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     March 10, 1999     vol. 10, no. 48


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      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.

29.   Cardinal Godfried Danneels

      This Flanders-bred prelate was born in Kanegem, Belgium on June 4, 1933. Twenty-four years later on August 17, 1957 he was ordained to the priesthood and assigned pastoral work and advanced studies for two years until his Bishop named him Spiritual Director of the Major Seminary in Bruges. After a time in that post, he was sent to the Gregorian University in Rome where he received his doctorate in Theology and was assigned to the faculty of the Catholic University of Louvain to teach Liturgy and Sacramental Theology. On November 4, 1977 Pope Paul VI elevated him to the episcopacy, naming him Bishop of Antwerp. Two years later on December 19, 1979 Pope John Paul II promoted him to Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and he was installed a month later on January 4, 1980. At the same time he was chosen to head the Belgium Episcopal Conference. In 1983 he was nominated for the honor of the red-hat in the Holy Father's February 2, 1983 Consistory. Cardinal Danneels received the titular church of St. Anastasia.

      This sixty-six year-old member of the Sacred College continues as the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. He has become world-famous as a student of Liturgy, having compiled an impressive work in his Dictionary of the Liturgy. He continues to this day to be a spiritual director to many of his clerical and lay flock as a devoted shepherd and serves as Military Ordinary for all of Belgium. Curial memberships include the second section of the Secretariat of State, the Congregation for the Oriental Church, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and the Congregation for Catholic Education, as well as the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Though an expert on the liturgy and possessing a pastoral approach, many are doubtful he would be a serious contender were a papal election to be held soon. He will be sixty-seven this summer and lacks the global experience, yet as a compromise candidate he might be a darkhorse because of his popularity worldwide.

March 10, 1999       volume 10, no. 48


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