DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     September 1, 1999     vol. 10, no. 165


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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, The Official Catholic Directory, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

92.   Cardinal Carlos Oviedo Cavada

          The Archbishop emeritus of Santiago, Chile Cardinal Carlos Oviedo Cavada, O.de.M. was born on January 19, 1927 in Santiago. He grew up in a strong Catholic family which planted in him the seeds of a vocation to the priesthood. After Catholic High School and minor seminary training, he entered the Mercedarian Novitiate in 1944 at the age of 17 and four years later took his solemn vows and a year later became a Mercedarian priest on September 24, 1949. Realizing his potential, the Order sent him to Rome to study Canon Law at the Gregorian University where he received his degree in January 1953 and returned to his beloved Chile.

          He was appointed to the faculty of the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago in the fall of 1953 and a few years made Director of the Theology Department there. In 1958 he returned to Rome to assist the General Curia of the Mercedarian Order at their General House for three years, then was named Chancellor of the Pontifical Catholic University where he had taught in Santiago. On March 21, 1964 Pope Paul VI made him the Titular Bishop of Benevento and Auxiliary Bishop of Concepcion and he was installed three months later on June 7 back in Chile. He returned to Rome to participate in the third and fourth sessions of the Second Vatican Council and then strongly enforced the reforms as the Council set down, making sure aberrations that infiltrated other dioceses around the world in the aftermath of Vatican II did not take root in Concepcion. He was chosen Secretary General of the Chilean Bishops Conference in 1970 and four years later Pope John Paul II named him Archishop of Antofagasta on March 25, 1974.

          After sixteen years as chief shepherd of the flock in Antofagasta, the Holy Father promoted him to Archbishop of Santiago, his home town on March 30, 1990. Four years later he was honored in the Consistory of November 26, 1994 when he was elevated to the cardinalate, receiving the titular church of St. Mary della Scala and placed on the membership roster of the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for Culture. In 1998 he became ill and, because of declining health and the fact he couldn't devote full time to his flock, resigned his position as Archbishop of Chile's largest see since the task was taking its toll and he felt a younger man could be more effective. The Pope accepted his resignation on April 24, 1998. Though he still has eight years left of eligibility in the Sacred Conclave, he has basically suspended all duties while resting at his residence at Simon Bolivar 2843 in Santiago.

September 1, 1999       volume 10, no. 165


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