DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     March 17, 1999     vol. 10, no. 53


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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.

32.   Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur

          Long a member of the Roman curia and a trusted confidant of fellow countryman Pope John Paul II, 75 year-old Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur was born in Sancygniow, Poland on February 29, 1924. He was pursued a Law Degree at the renowned Jagellonic University in Cracow and it was in Krakow where he felt the calling to the priesthood, just as Karol Wojtyla also had his calling four years before his friend Andrzej. Cardinal Deskur was ordained on August 20, 1950 and assigned to continue his studies in Moral Theology at the University of Frieburg. Within two years Pope Pius XII summoned him to Rome for employment within the Secretariat of State. In 1954 he was promoted to undersecretary to the office. Following this he became secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications which was back then called the Pontifical Commission for Film, Radio and TV. He served as secretary of this organization which was quite instrumental before and during the Second Vatican Council. In 1974 he was appointed President of the same Pontifical Commission. He held this position from 1974 to 1984. On June 30, 1974 Pope Paul VI elevated him to titular bishop of Tene and assigned him President of the same Pontifical Commission he had been secretary of. Six years later his dear friend John Paul II bestowed the honor of archbishop in February of 1980. The Holy Father included him in his Consitory of May 25, 1985 as a cardinal deacon receiving the church of St. Cesario in Palatio.

          On January 26, 1996 the Pope transfered him to the order of cardinal priest. He is currently the President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications offering his expertise to the current President Archbishop John Patrick Foley from Philadelphia. Cardinal Deskur also holds Curial membership in the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, plus the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers and the State of Vatican City Commission.

          He remains one of John Paul's most trusted advisors as they have been friends since their days in the seminary when the Holy Father was four years ahead of Cardinal Deskur.

March 17, 1999       volume 10, no. 53


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