DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     September 22, 1999     vol. 10, no. 180


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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.

101.   Cardinal Luigi Poggi

        Cardinal Luigi Poggi was born in Piacenza, Italy on November 25, 1917. After ordination on July 28, 1940 he was assigned immediately to the Vatican Diplomatic Corps, first studying at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome until 1946 where he was assigned to the work in the Office of the First Section of the Secretariat of State. He remained there until May 9, 1965 when Pope Paul VI named him Titular Bishop of Forontoniana with the personal title of Archbishop. Because of his excellent mediation prowess he was sent to Central Africa as Apostolic Delegate shortly after being named an archbishop, then dispatched to Peru as Papal Nuncio there before being placed in charge of negotiating with communist bloc governments in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungaray, Poland and Romania in 1973. Giving him input was a certain prelate from Krakow, then Cardinal Karol Wojtoyla which might have had impact on Poggi being appointed head of the Holy See's delegation for permanent contact with the government of Poland in 1974. In 1986 that cardinal, now Pope John Paul II, made him Apostolic Nuncio to Italy where he remained until 1992 when the Holy Father appointed him Pro-Librarian and Pro-Archivist of the Holy Roman Church.

        He was honored with the rank of cardinal during the Pope's Consistory of November 26, 1994 receiving the titular church of St. Mary in Dominica. Two days prior to receiving the red-hat, he was elevated to permanent Librarian and Archivist of the Holy Roman Church where he still remains today. Presently nearing his 82nd birthday, he is close to retiring but, like the Pope who appointed him, shows little signs of slowing down, thoroughly enjoying his work in the dusky but fascinating rooms that house so much of the Church's history and documents.

September 22, 1999       volume 10, no. 180


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