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 In it he described the church as “200 years out of date” and said the pedophilia scandals “oblige” the church to begin “a journey of transformation.”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

“I ask forgiveness,” the pope said on his flight from Lima to Rome. “It’s a hurt [caused] without wishing it.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 22, 2018
Jesus “is here in Lima, or wherever you are living, in the routine of your daily life and work.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 21, 2018
People and cheered Pope Francis everywhere he went on this last day of his visit.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 21, 2018
A boy presents a hat to Pope Francis upon his arrival at the international airport in Trujillo, Peru, Jan. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Just as the apostles faced the storm on the sea, you had to face the brunt of ‘El Niño costero.’”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018