Cardinal Martini's Final Thoughts

Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a Jesuit, renowned biblical scholar, former archbishop of Milan and one-time “progressive” candidate for the papacy, died on Aug. 31 at the age of 85 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was still making headlines after his death when his final interview was published in Italy. In it he described the church as “200 years out of date” and said the pedophilia scandals “oblige” the church to begin “a journey of transformation.” He said, “Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up; our rituals and our cassocks are pompous.... The church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the pope and the bishops.” Cardinal Martini was known as a strong pastor and as a thoughtful advocate of wider discussion and dialogue on controversial church positions. At various times, he expressed openness to allowing married Latin-rite priests, ordaining women as deacons and allowing Communion for some divorced Catholics.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Young protesters call for an immigration bill to address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at a rally in 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters)
Archbishop Gomez called the USA Act a “good-faith compromise.”
J.D. Long-GarcíaApril 25, 2018
(iStock/itsmejust)
A new Pew Research Center poll finds that 87 percent of U.S. Catholics believe God is "all-loving," but only 67 percent say God is "all-powerful."
In this photo dated Wednesday, April 11, 2018, Pope Francis arrives in St.Peter's Square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
All three were victims of the infamous Chilean priest predator, the Rev. Ferdinando Karadima, who was found guilty of abuse of minors by the Vatican.
Gerard O’ConnellApril 25, 2018
Of all the things I looked forward to while pregnant with my son, reading books to him was very close to the top of that list.
Kerry WeberApril 24, 2018