Cardinal Carlo Martini says Church ‘200 years behind’

Cardinal Martini’s body is lying in state in Milan Cathedral

1 September 2012 Last updated at 19:12

Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini has described the Roman Catholic Church as being “200 years behind” the times.

The cardinal died on Friday, aged 85.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera has published his last interview, recorded in August, in which he said: “The Church is tired… our prayer rooms are empty.”

Martini, once tipped as a future pope, urged the Church to recognise its errors and to embark on a radical path of change, beginning with the Pope.

Thousands of people have been filing past his coffin at Milan’s cathedral, where he was archbishop for more than 20 years.

The cardinal, who had retired from the post in 2002, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, is to be buried on Monday.

‘Old culture’

Martini, a popular figure with liberal stances on many issues, commanded great respect from both Pope John Paul II and his successor Pope Benedict XVI.

The cardinal – a member of the Jesuit religious order – was often critical in his writings and comments on Church teaching, says the BBC’s David Willey in Rome.

He was a courageous and outspoken figure during the years he headed Europe’s largest Catholic diocese, our correspondent says.

Cardinal Martini gave his last interview to a fellow Jesuit priest, Georg Sporschill, and to a journalist at the beginning of August when he knew his death was approaching.

David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Cardinal Martini was a renowned academic and biblical scholar, as well as a prolific author of popular books on religion.

But it is highly unusual for a leading member of the Catholic hierarchy openly to challenge Church teaching – or rather to criticise the way in which the Church often expresses its teaching with negatives and prohibitions rather than encouragement to believers.

Pope Benedict is now faced with a difficult choice: whether or not to attend Cardinal Martini’s funeral in Milan on Monday – which many leading Catholics say would be a powerful affirmation of Church unity.

The Pope has rarely awarded red hats to Catholic leaders of any nation who dare to question traditional doctrine.

The cardinal had returned to Italy from Jerusalem, where he had settled on retirement in 2002 to continue his biblical studies.

Catholics lacked confidence in the Church, he said in the interview. “Our culture has grown old, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our religious rites and the vestments we wear are pompous.”

Unless the Church adopted a more generous attitude towards divorced persons, it will lose the allegiance of future generations, the cardinal added. The question, he said, is not whether divorced couples can receive holy communion, but how the Church can help complex family situations.

And the advice he leaves behind to conquer the tiredness of the Church was a “radical transformation, beginning with the Pope and his bishops”.

“The child sex scandals oblige us to undertake a journey of transformation,” Cardinal Martini says, referring to the child sex abuse that has rocked the Catholic Church in the past few years.

He was not afraid, our correspondent adds, to speak his mind on matters that the Vatican sometimes considered taboo, including the use of condoms to fight Aids and the role of women in the Church.

In 2008, for example, he criticised the Church’s prohibition of birth control, saying the stance had likely driven many faithful away, and publicly stated in 2006 that condoms could “in some situations, be a lesser evil”.

Corriere Della Sera plans to give a copy of his last book entitled Speak From The Heart to all its readers.


  • Mitic

    How can we interpret this piece of news?

  • Unless you understand what the Jesuit Order is really about you just will not get whats happening today with the Catholic Church. You have to understand that the Jesuits are thee Knights Templar continuum that were allowed to survive in the Kingdom of Aragon. No other Templars had been allowed by the Pope to survive, most had just fled to Portugal, Switzerland and Scotland and started up Freemasonry (Templarism).

    In the beginning the Jesuits may have actually have been loyal to the Catholic Church completely with the original counter-Reformation. I believe the time that loyalty went away was most definitely from 1773 onwards when the Pope suppressed the Order and almost destroyed it. From 1773 the Jesuits were ready to annihilate the Catholic Church but they would do it very slowly over decades of their sneaky work. Their controls and alliances within the so-called Protestant lands were used as a counter to the Catholic Church. Their South American reductions wealth was placed in the hands of Protestant banking for safe keeping in order to stop Catholic banking houses stealing it.

    The Order formed the Bavarian Illuminati using sheep-dipped Jesuit priest Adam Weishaupt who was mastered by Giuseppe Balsamo. The goal of this order was to rot out the Catholic Church and to follow their protocols which the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is based up and which all stems back to 1482 in Rome. The Jesuits love people getting confused by people exposing the Vatican. Many people cannot understand how the Vatican can be the pinnacle power when it seems to be crumbling like the rest of them. Well once you understand the Templar background of the Jesuit Order things become far more clearer. May I remind you that the Jesuit Order took control of the Catholic Church between 1814-1870 but the control was fully by their hand in 1870 with the Doctrine of Infallibility being bought in.

    Now for a Jesuit soldier to be Liberal is a smokescreen because the Jesuits desire death to all Liberals as found in their Secret Oath which is held on U.S Congressional Record. These Jesuits took over all Freemasonry with the Scottish Rite. A rite created mostly by the Jesuit Order with twenty-five degrees created by the Jesuits in France. The later thirty-second degree is actually dedicated to the Jesuits if you delve into it hard enough. The Scottish Rite was used against Freemasonry in Scotland (Sinclair’s) and in France. Now today you see the York Rite is lagging and being destroyed whilst the power of the Scottish Rite increases. A Scottish Rite which is highly connected to the OTO and other forms of Red Templarism known as Illuminized Freemasonry with their esoteric Hermetic Luciferianism.

    CIA agent Everette Howard Hunt told you that the Jesuit Order is the greatest intelligence agency on Earth. May I also remind you that The Entity intelligence agency division of the Jesuits has been around since 1566 not the false more modern timings giving as a diversion. The Entity is far older than British Intelligence and if anyone tells you that the Vatican intelligence was trained by British Intelligence they are simply diverting attention away from the real master.

    What is the end goal? The destruction of all current religions including Catholicism. First you will see the slow destruction of the religions as we see today and as they come together as one as we see today through the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenism Movement run by the Vatican. The forming of a New-Age pagan/solar based religion upon the open worship of Lucifer known as the Luciferian Doctrine. A religion based very much around science which will be the new master of all. Welcome to the coming scientific dictatorship of the New World Order.

    -= The Unhived Mind

    • FreemanInChrist

      Well said.

      By ‘liberal’, in this context what is really meant is the Jesuits are Marxists with their Liberation Theology. The Scottish Rite has been one of if not their greatest tools in bringing about their true agenda. Remember that Ex-Jesuit Alberto Rivera said he discovered the Black Pope was a Mason and a member of the Communist Party in Spain.

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