Cardinal Cassidy, a diplomat and an ecumenical man of dialogue, has passed away

Cardinal Cassidy in an archive photo

Cardinal Cassidy in an archive photo – ANSA

Cardinal Edward Cassidy died today in his homelandHe is the first Australian to hold senior positions in the Roman Curia. A great friend of Oscar Arnolfo Romero, Apostolic Ambassador to Paul VI, with John Paul II was for a short time a substitute in the Secretariat of State and then led Department of Ecumenism. He would have turned 97 in July.

Born in Sydney in 1924, Cassidy began attending St. Dove School in Springwood in 1943. From the following year, he enrolled at St. Patrick’s College, Manley, where he finished his studies. He ordained a priest in 1949, and from 1950 to 1952 he worked as assistant in the parish of Linda, in the parish of Wagga Wagga.

Since 1952, he has studied canon law at the Lateran Pontifical University, obtaining his degree in 1955. Since 1953, he has also enrolled in the Pontifical Ecclesial Academy, the School of the Holy See’s Ambassadors.

From 1955 to 1962 he held his first acting diplomatic position in India. Then he spent five years, from 1962 to 1967, at the Apostolic Embassy in Dublin, then two years in El Salvador (where he met the young Romero) and one year in Argentina. In 1970, he received the Episcopalist with the assignment to go to Taiwan, where he was the last ambassador (since 1971, when the seat was recognized on the United Nations Permanent Council in the Republic of Beijing, it was administered by the Chargé d’Affairs.).

In 1972, Cassidy was granted the position of the first supporter of the oath in Bangladesh, a country that had recently gained independence. In 1979 he was appointed Apostolic Delegate to South Africa and a position in support of Ambassadors in Lesotho.

In March 1988 the call reached RomeAs an alternative to the State Secretariat for Public Affairs, a role that lasted for a year. In 1989 he was actually appointed president of the Pontifical Council to promote Christian unity. In 1991 John Paul II made him a cardinal. During his tenure at the head of the Vatican Monastery of the Ecumenical Movement, on October 31, 1999, he was there Joint declaration between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation Which was a consensus on the “basic facts related to the doctrine of justification.” After he completed his position as department head in 2001, Cassidy returned home.

The character of Cardinal Cassidy has been remembered with words of appreciation and affection by many Australian clergymen. To Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Bishops’ Conference, the late Cardinal “didn’t just show up.” Diplomatic skill and political savvy, but also human originality and common senseThe simplicity of a man invited to high positions in the church but his eyes fixed firmly on Jesus Christ“.

For Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher, “Cassidy left an exceptional legacy for our Church, especially in the ecumenical sphere. Few other Australians have had a profound influence on the international scene.” While the deceased Cardinal Peter A. Cominsole in Melbourne ”A wonderful man to God, a servant of the church and an extraordinary Australian“.

With Cassidy’s death, there are now 225 cardinals, 126 of whom are voters at a possible concave rally. During this year, 4 cardinals will reach their 80th birthday, including the only Australian left in the Holy College, George Bell (on June 8). The others are Maurice Beat from Mauritius (July 19), Italians Benjamino Stella (August 18) and Angelo Scola (November 7). In 2022, the cardinals who will become non-voters will be 11, among them 3 Italians (Gualtiero Passetti, Giuseppe Bertello, and Gianfranco Ravasi) and 6 Latin Americans (Ricardo Azzati Andrello, Norberto Rivera Carrera, Jorge Liberato Ursa Savino, Gregorio Rosa Chavez Robin Salazar Gomez, Oscar Andres Rodriguez (Maradiaga)).

Earl Warner

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