DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     March 26-28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 60


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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.

36.   Cardinal Roger Etchegaray

          Born on September 25, 1922 in the Diocese of Bayonne in Espelette, France, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray became a priest at the age of 25 on July 13, 1947. After various pastoral duties in addition to founding the National Office for Pastoral Activities in Paris, he was named deputy director of the French Bishops' Conference in 1961 and Secretary General of the same group in 1966 until 1970. The year before that Pope Paul VI decreed that he be ordained titular Bishop of Gemelle di Numidia and auxiliary Bishop of Paris on May 27, 1969. A year later he was promoted to Archbishop of Marseilles, a position he held until 1984 while at the same time between 1975 and 1982 serving as prelate of the Mission de France. In 1979 he was elected President of the French Bishops' Conference, a post he held for two years. 1979 was a pivotal year for him for he was named in the first Consistory held by Pope John Paul II on June 30, 1979 and given the titular church of Pope St. Leo I. The Holy Father could see the great potential in this man and tabbed him for numerous assignments in 1984.

          His first appointment was was President of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", a post he served until 1995. Next the Pope named him President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace where he fulfilled all duties required of him until last year.

          Finally, on November 15, 1994 His Holiness, seeing the greatness in this French prelate and his expertise in the Curia and with people universally, chose him to head up the newly organized Central Committee for the Jubilee of the Holy Year 2000 a position of high profile with massive, global responsibilities and logistic headaches that the Holy Father knew he could conquer. He remains in this same position today and most probably will through January 6, 2001 when Jubilee 2000 will officially come to a close. He played a crucial role in the first official liturgical event for the Jubilee yesterday when he concelebrated with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth near the very spot where the Angel of the Lord - the Archangel Gabriel announced to a humble, Jewish virgin named Mary that she had been chosen from all time to be the Holy Tabernacle of the Son of God. You will be seeing much more of this dynamic cardinal throughout the next year and a half and he carries a presence that illustrates why John Paul II chose him for this massive project that truly incorporates the Universal Church.

          He was transfered to the order of cardinal bishop on June 24, 1998 and assigned the suburbicarian see of Porto-Santa Rufina which means the suburban diocese outside Rome. In addition to his full-time duties for Jubilee 2000, he serves Curial membership on the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for Catholi Education, the Apostolic Signatura Tribunal, the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. With that kind of work load, one wonders if he ever has time to sleep. But, this strategic cardinal and close confidant of the Pope's is like the Holy Father in that he draws inner strength from the Holy Spirit and guidance from Our Lady.

March 26-28, 1999       volume 10, no. 60


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