Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini

I mentioned a cardinal in the last post who said, in an interview published immediately after his death, that the Church is “200 years out of date” (link). He said further: “Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up. The Church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the Pope and the bishops. The pedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation.” This gentleman, a Jesuit, was Archbishop of Milan (1979-2002) before his appointment as a cardinal—and was viewed as a quite liberal spokesman within the Church. He was born in 1927 and died in 2012.

I came across this statement by looking back to see what happened Out There a year ago September—not then fully aware that today’s theme would be “the times.” I found it fascinating that the Cardinal’s view is, in a way, a match for his liberal tendencies, which are progressive. Not surprisingly, therefore, the headline in The Independent, which I reference above, speaks of a “damning critique” and how it has “rocked the Catholic Church.” Grist for the media mills. Martini contrasts two cultures, one within and one outside the Church. The transformation he advocated, to be sure, was already underway under Benedict XVI (in my opinion); Benedict strove to renew the inner spirit of Catholicism—which is not the sort of thing the media notice. Then came Francis who is much more ebulliently extroverted… In both approaches there is, curiously, an element that does not quite resonate with the secular notion of progress.

On that subject yet a third posting today, the one that follows this one.

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