DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     September 10-12, 1999     vol. 10, no. 172


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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.

96.   Cardinal Laszlo Paskai, O.F.M.

        Hungary's only cardinal is a Franciscan, 72 year-old Cardinal Laszlo Paskai, O.F.M. He was born in Szeged just north of the Yugoslavian border on May 8, 1927. As a young man he was accepted by the Order of Friars Minor seminary in Szeged and ordained a Franciscan priest on March 3, 1951. After more studies and some pastoral work the Provincial General of the Order assigned him to the minor seminary in Szeged where he taught philosophy from 1955 to 1962. It was during this time that he treaded very carefully when Soviet tanks invaded Budapest and took over Hungary. After three years of other assorted assignments by the Order under U.S.S.R. control, he was appointed Spiritual Director of the Major Seminary in Budapest and headed the Philosophy Department at the Budapest Theological Academy from 1965 to 1973 when he was made Rector of the seminary.

        On March 2, 1978 Pope Paul VI named him Titular Bishop of Baragaliana. He was installed on April 5, 1978 and appointed Apostolic Administrator of Vezprem southwest of Budapest. On March 31, 1979 Pope John Paul II promoted him to Bishop of Vezprem. On April 5, 1982 the Holy Father named him Coadjutor Archbishop of Kalocsa and five years later, after being named President of the Hungarian Bishops Conference, he was elevated to Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest on March 3, 1987. He was honored by the Holy Father in the Consistory of June 28, 1988 with the cardinalate receiving the titular church of St. Theresa from Corso of Italy. He has served Curial membership in the Congregation of Oriental Churches, the Congregation of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life as well as the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts. He is currently enjoying his twelfth year as Archbishop of Budapest and has seen his country shed communism during his time as head of Hungary's largest See.

September 10-12, 1999       volume 10, no. 172


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