DAILY CATHOLIC    THUR-FRI-SAT-SUN     May 13-16, 1999     vol. 10, no. 94


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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.

53.   Cardinal Hermann Hans Groer, OSB

          A once promising servant of Mary and cardinal of the Church has dissappointed many with his actions and fallen into disgrace. There is no other way to describe the situation with Cardinal Hermann Hans Groer the Benedictine prelate who was forced to resign as Archbishop of Vienna in 1995 and last January 5th as abbot of a Benedictine monastery in Austria as well when new allegations surfaced as to homosexual conduct. His behavior is one more sign that the Church is indeed human and makes mistakes, but through the grace of God still survives as will Austria which has been in turmoil over this for some time and railed at the Holy See for not putting a stop to it sooner.

          Groer was born in Vienna, Austria on October 13, 1919 two years to the date after the final apparition at Fatima. His parents were of Czechoslovakian descent and therefore he maintained his citizenship there until 1939 when the Nazi menace surged through Europe. In 1942 he was ordained a priest and became Prefect at the Minor Seminary for the Diocese of Hollabrunn, Austria from 1946 to 1952. He had a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a young boy and spent twenty-two years until 1974 restoring the tradition of pilgrimages to the Shrine of Our Lady of Roggendorf in Austria. In 1970 he became the spiritual director of the Legion of Mary in his country and and four years later joined the monastic community of the Benedictines at Roggendoor and became a Benedictine monk in 1980. Some have maintained that it was here he fell into sin, but only God knows that for sure. The facts are that he was ordained a bishop on September 14, 1986 after Pope John Paul II had named him Archbishop of Vienna two months earlier on July 15th. Two years later the Holy Father included his name in the Consistory of June 28, 1988 when he received the titular church of Saints Joachim and Anne at Tuscolano. Sadly, at the age of 76 he was forced to resign as Archbishop of Vienna in disgrace after allegations surfaced and were substantiated as to his illicit affairs. His resignation came nine years to the day he was ordained bishop of Vienna. He retired to the Benedictine monastery where he became abbot and three years later he would have to resign again for repeated sins of sodomy. As sad as all this is, we must not hide it under the table but face it head on and be thankful that the Pope has replaced him with Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn in striving to reconcile the Austrian people. We also need to pray for Cardinal Groer for satan preys on those who are closest to God and exults when he can bring down one of God's consecrated ones. While up until October 13 this year he would be eligible to vote in the Sacred Conclave, the age limit will eliminate an embarassing situation after that and he will phase out of existence, living out the rest of his life in reparation for the wrongs he has done. He truly needs our prayers and compassion as do the people of Austria.

May 13-16, 1999       volume 10, no. 94


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