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By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Jul 02, 2005

A friend sent me the above photo of a cardinal in St. Peter's Square, taken during a downpour immediately before the beginning of the conclave in April. We had the same spontaneous liking for the guy. No limo, no attendant lackeys, no leather attaché case. Instead: a fistful of pamphlets, a cheap, broken umbrella (which he's holding himself), and shoulders wider than his waist.

His name is Gabriel Zubeir Wako, Cardinal Archbishop of Khartoum, Sudan. A biographical profile in Australia's Catholic Weekly shows that he's no stranger to hardship and conflict. It also may explain Zubeir Wako's resemblance -- hard to justify by any physical similarity! -- to the late Bishop Austin Vaughan, the humble yet unflinchingly gutsy auxiliary of New York.

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  • Posted by: Coco - Jul. 05, 2005 8:07 AM ET USA

    Lately, after Holy Mass, I find myself crying out to God, "Peter, feed your flock!" Yes, yes, yes, I know that even some of the most ridiculous personal interpretations of the Mass are valid. Nourishing? Certainly. But there's a big difference between cold, leftover mac & cheese, and a Thanksgiving Feast. Then I see a photo like this, and I have hope. I only wish we had more like him in the USA. Please, Peter, feed the American flock!

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jul. 04, 2005 8:27 PM ET USA

    Being a prelate in Sudan likely means knowing that every day could very well be your last -- a nice incarnation of Diogenes' post on Waugh's dictum on capital punishment -- or the looming prospect of it -- focusing one's mind on the essentials. Wonderfully inspiring Dio.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 04, 2005 7:03 PM ET USA

    EWTN had a very good interview with Cardinal Zubeir Wako during their coverage of John Paul ll's funeral and the conclave.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Jul. 03, 2005 11:00 AM ET USA

    I remember meeting Card. Arinze as he was walking toward the Vatican. It was a sunny day so no umbrella. But also no entourage, fancy attache, etc. And, he even invited me to walk with across St. Peter's square with him. Refreshing.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jul. 02, 2005 11:01 PM ET USA

    Thanks, Diogenes, for this inspiring photo and the links to articles as well. Let's pray that the other successors to the the apostles take this to heart... and that they would truly have the Heart of the Shepherd, as He calls them to have.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 02, 2005 9:59 AM ET USA

    I remember reading his biography during the conclave and thinking how I want to be a priest like him. I love this guy. He is my favorite Cardinal.

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