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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

What might have been

There's an article at CIF Belief by The Tablet's Catherine Pepinster on the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini - 'Out-of-date' Catholic church must listen to its late cardinal. Also, you can read the translated last interview with the Cardinal at NCR. Here's just the beginning of it ...

How do you see the situation of the church?

The church is tired, in the Europe of well-being and in America. Our culture has become old, our churches and our religious houses are big and empty, the bureaucratic apparatus of the church grows, our rites and our dress are pompous. Do these things, however, express what we are today? ... Well-being weighs on us. We find ourselves like the rich young man who went away sad when Jesus called him to be his disciple. I know that we can't let everything go easily. At least, however, we can seek people who are free and closest to their neighbor, like Archbishop Romero and the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador. Where are the heroes among us who can inspire us? By no means do we have to limit them by the boundaries of the institution.

Who can help the church today?

Father Karl Rahner often used the image of the embers hidden under the ash. I see in the church today so much ash under the embers that often I'm hit with a sense of impotence. How can we liberate the embers from the ash, to reinvigorate the fires of love? For the first thing, we have to seek out these embers. Where are the individuals full of generosity, like the Good Samaritan? Who have faith like the Roman centurion? Who are enthusiastic like John the Baptist? Who dare the new, like Paul? Who are faithful like Mary Magdalene? I advise the Pope and the bishops to seek out twelve people outside the lines for administrative positions, people who are close to the poorest, who are surrounded by young people, and who try new things. We need to be with people who burn in such a way that the Spirit can spread itself everywhere.

I had so wished he would have been chosen pope instead of Benedict - how different the church might now now be.


Blogger Dina said...

Yes, what a shame that the disease got in the way of his becoming Pope.

I read that in the years Cardinal Martini lived in Jerusalem he bought himself a burial plot. Too bad that Milan claimed him instead.
There is welcome information about his Jewish involvement here:

May his legacy live on.

12:51 AM  
Blogger crystal said...


Thanks for the link to the blog post - I hadn't realized the Cardinal was so interested in Jewish-Christian relations or about his 2004 speech or about his book. Now I have some interesting stuff to read :) Kind of sad that I'm learning more about him after he's dead than I did when he was alive.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Dina said...

Crystal, me too.
Well, better late than never, I guess.
VIPs at the funeral said that now we must study his legacy.

11:10 PM  

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