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Catholic Church '200 years behind,' Cardinal says before death
Italian cardinal Carlo Maria Martini's body was lying in state at the cathedral in Milan, Italy, on September 1, 2012.
September 1st, 2012
02:56 PM ET

Catholic Church '200 years behind,' Cardinal says before death

From Livia Borghese, for CNN

ROME (CNN) - In an interview published a day after his death, a prominent progressive Catholic cardinal left the best summary of his contribution to debates within the Church.

"The Church has remained 200 years behind the times. Why has it not been shaken up?" Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said in an interview published in Saturday's Corriere dell Sera newspaper. "Are we scared? Fear instead of courage? However, faith is the fundamental to the church."

He died Friday at age 85, the Archdiocese of Milan announced.

Martini suffered from Parkinson's disease and died at his residence in Milan, where he had lived since 2008, when the disease forced him to leave Jerusalem, the archdiocese said.

A public viewing was scheduled for Saturday at Milan Cathedral and the funeral for Monday.

Pope Benedict XVI sent his condolences to the archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, remembering his "beloved brother that served with generosity the Gospels and the Church."

The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, called Martini "an expert and passionate in the Holy Scripture."

Martini was born in 1927 and entered the Society of Jesus at age 17.

Pope John Paul II appointed him archbishop of Milan in 1979 and proclaimed him cardinal in 1983. In 2002, at the retirement age of 75, Martini moved to Jerusalem to dedicate himself to Biblical studies, according to his official Vatican biography.

Martini was known for his progressive position on some of the Church's most controversial issues, including priestly celibacy, the use of condoms, euthanasia and homosexuality.

Even after his retirement, Martini raised "subtle though crucial objections" to the Church's opposition to all cases of assisted fertility, distribution of condoms to AIDS victims, and so-called right-to-die cases, Time magazine reported in 2007.

He "politely challenged" the pope's strong condemnation of an Italian government proposal to legalize civil unions for homosexual partners and voiced support for the ordination of women as deacons, Time reported.

Italy's ANSA news agency said Martini was considered one of the more liberal high-ranking representatives of the Catholic Church.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano remembered Martini's "innovative paths in the inter-religious dialogue," as well as the "enlightening and concrete suggestions" he received from the prelate in each of their many encounters, especially on social themes like immigration.

Martini was one of the "papabili," or papal contenders, at the 2005 Conclave that elected the current pope.

- shirleyhenrycnn

Filed under: Catholic Church • Uncategorized • Vatican

soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. Sheila

    Usually guys have to do me in the butthole because my taco is so disgusting and unkempt.

    September 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  2. Answer

    –quote–
    Sheila

    In the meantime Ponce, you sinners make our lives miserable on earth.
    –end–

    It is great to hear such fact. We are glad that the religious morons are miserable in this lifetime. XD
    We atheists will keep on being happy while you freaks keep on being miserable. Oh yah baby!!

    September 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things

    September 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements frequently. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to... by the Alzheimer's Disease Society
      .

      September 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  4. Ramon F. Herrera

    The Tea Party believers:

    Let's hear it from the horse's mouth, as it were:

    Interviewer: "Why do you hate Mexicans?"
    Tea Party Member: "Because they are filthy, stinky ANIMALS!!!"

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXaILy3GE7U&w=640&h=360]

    September 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  5. Ramon F. Herrera

    These folks are very Christians:

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsHi6_l1XzA&w=640&h=360]

    September 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  6. Ramon F. Herrera

    Hola?

    September 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  7. The Prayer Delusion Revealed

    Prayer is the toady kissing-up to a being you feel needs a good butt-kiss, so that you can get what you want, including getting into heaven.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  8. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat, pale, weak, and sedentary.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  9. The Prayer Delusion Revealed

    Prayer is the arrogance of trying to improve the plan of a being you consider perfect and superintelligent.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  10. lamb of dog

    I'm glad that the church ignored this mans intelligence. It only helps with the churches inevitable collapse.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  11. The Prayer Delusion Revealed

    Prayer is the delusion that you can supernaturally alter the world by a magic chant, even though your own theology same the whole thing was decided right at the beginning.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Jessica

      People that were in the hospital were prayed for in a study. More of them died than those that were not prayed for.

      September 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  12. The Prayer Delusion Revealed

    Prayer is man pretending that he has supernatural powers in the form of an invisible superhero friend. It is the opposite of humble, the assumption that you are special to the supercreator dude, with the facade of humility.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  13. freedom lover

    why wasting time talking about a progressive clergy who just died and, when alive, could never change the bigotry and backward thinking of the power within the church. May he rest in peace and thank you for trying. In 2005 they miss the chance to elect a pope that could have gained the respect of the world.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements frequently. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to... by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • nope

      @hal
      nope

      September 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • snopes says

      nope to nope

      September 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • nope

      @snopes
      nope

      September 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • CRC

      Amen brother! We can't slap God in the face and then expect to be blessed in our wickedness.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
      Prayer makes you fat, pale, weak, and sedentary.
      Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
      Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
      Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
      Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
      Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
      Prayer dulls your senses.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      CRC – "Amen brother! We can't slap God in the face and then expect to be blessed in our wickedness."

      We are each a god, and I for one, know better than to slap myself.

      September 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  15. sqeptiq

    Prayer is man's way of telling his god that he thinks the god is not capable of running the universe without help.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • nope

      @sqeptiq
      nope

      September 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  16. JL

    Part of the problem with most religions is that they are not consistent with the nature of reality.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Absolutely. That's a big part of the problem. My goodness.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Daniel

      The only problem with the world is the atheists being stupid.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Daniel, when you get to fourth grade you will learn what "stereotyping" is and to avoid it.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • stupid followed to its logical conclusion

      Becomes atheism.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      daniel: get down on your knees and open your mouth, jesus is coming again

      September 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • stupid followed to its logical conclusion

      starts from a disgruntled EX EVANGELICAL FORTUNE COOKIE COMPANY WRITER
      (who also goes by Daniel / HeavenSent / truth be told / just sayin / and many others)

      September 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • stupid followed to its logical conclusion

      Steals a name posts an accusation but never offers any proof. Glad its on the other side

      September 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Sheila

      Problem with you atheists is you can't fathom that the USA is sick of you sinners.

      September 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • rick

      sheila: and you are not a sinner? get back on your knees, b1tch

      September 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  17. jesusbus123

    There are a lot of catholics who support social justice, they are pro life, and are democrats(Senator Casey Democrats).

    They are pro life, not just pro birth.

    They love life at all stages, which means they love and serve everyone.

    Perfect Chairty is the basis of Catholic belief, the church is improving, and will only get better.

    Peace and Love to all

    September 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  18. CanadaONE

    A REAL Catholic who would have nver voted for Romney

    September 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Sheila

      A real Catholic is sick of you sinners in the democratic party. You lost the election for Obama and won't own up to it.

      September 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  19. Jimy

    There are 10 commandments and many more morality issues. Why do Catholics vote 1 issue, abortion, when the republicans and democrats violate the 9 other commandments and why do Catholics ignore child abuse for 30 years or more (and pinpoint abortion)? Why do Catholics ignore Newt's sins? all sins are sins and equally wrong, but Catholics vote one issue only. Focus on changing the hearts and behaviors of your members and youth and maybe they wont want or need abortions?! Now let's clear the hall, we have a beef and beer fund raiser for CONGRESSman Ryan on Friday night.

    September 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • George

      Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

      September 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • mama kindless

      "Focus on changing the hearts and behaviors of your members and youth and maybe they wont want or need abortions?!"

      That's unrealistic idiotic thinking that has kept the Catholic church and its followers in the dark ages.

      ----

      George – "Romans 13:3 For rulers . . ."

      Self-proclaimed "apostle" Paul political sales literature =
      Joseph Smith political sales literature =
      all religious political sales literature

      September 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Daniel

      Only Satanist want to destroy Paul's writings. Now we know that democrats are Satanists.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Sheila

      Jimy, it's sinners like you that lost this election.

      September 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  20. FredKelly

    CNN should just go ahead and change the name of this section to 'Belief: And Why We Don't Like It.'

    September 2, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • sam stone

      having a hissy fit there, fred?

      September 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Ponce de Leon

      Take solace in the fact that they will be tortured in a fiery pit for eternity when they die. Wow. You people have sick beliefs.

      September 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Fredtoo

      Hell would be a far, far better place if there wasn't so many catholic clergy in it!

      September 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Daniel

      CNN just came out as the Satanists they really are.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Sheila

      In the meantime Ponce, you sinners make our lives miserable on earth.

      September 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • rick

      sheila: feel free to exit any time you wish

      September 3, 2012 at 7:18 am |
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