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Cardinal Martini's last interview

In what is described as his last interview, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said that the Catholic Church is 200 years behind the times and called for it to recognize its mistakes and embark on a radical journey of change.Cardinal Martini, who died Friday at the age of 85, had been interviewed Aug. 8. Corriere della Sera published the interview on Sept. 1 [here in PDF: L'ultima intervista]. Cardinal Martini called the church in Europe and America "tired" and, as Reuters reported, continued: "Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous." He later added, as CNN reported, "The Church has remained 200 years behind the times. Why has it not been shaken up? Are we scared? Fear instead of courage?" [Update: Here is a full translation by Father Joseph Komonchak, revised: Martini interview [PDF]. (You can read the full text after the jump.) It differs in some ways from the passages in the news coverage. And there is also the translation John Page linked to below. Grazie mille!] To overcome its fatigue, the Church must admit its mistakes and make radical changes, the cardinal said, adding that the sex abuse scandals require a journey of conversion and transformation. Sacraments should be a healing tool, and "not a tool for discipline." In the end, he said, only love can overcome the distrust of the church that he has seen in Europe. And only love will conquer the fatigue that besets the church. He is missed.

How do you see the situation of the Church?The Church is tired, in prosperous Europe and in America. Our culture is out of date; our Churches are big; our religious houses are empty, and the Churchs bureaucratic apparatus is growing, and our rites and our vestments are pompous. Do such things really express what we are today? ... Prosperity weighs us down. We find ourselves like the rich young man who went away sad when Jesus called him to become his disciple. I know that its not easy to leave everything behind. At least could we seek people who are free and closer to their neighbors, as Bishop Romero was and the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador? Where among us are heroes to inspire us? We must never limit them by institutional bonds.Who can help the Church today?Fr. Karl Rahner liked to use the image of embers hidden under ashes. I see in the Church today so many ashes above the enbers that Im often assailed by a sense of powerlessness. How can the embers be freed from the ashes in order to rekindle the flame of love? First of all, we have to look for those embers. Where are the individuals full of generosity, like the Good Samaritan? Who have faith like that of the Roman centurion? Who are as enthusiastic as John the Baptist? Who dare new things, as Paul did? Who are faithful as Mary Magdalene was? I advise the Pope and the bishops to look for twelve people outside the lines for administrative posts [posti direzionali]people who are close to the poorest and who are surrounded by young people and are trying out new things. We need that comparison with people who are on fire so that the spirit can spread everywhere.What means do you advise against the Churchs weariness?I have three important ones to mention. The first is conversion: the Church has to recognize its own errors and has to travel a radical journey of change, beginning with the Pope and the bishops. The scandals of pedophilia are driving us to undertake a journey of conversion. Questions about sexuality and all the themes involving the body are an example of this. They are important for everyone, at times theyre even too important. In this area is the Church still a point of reference or only a caricature in the media?The second is the Word of God. Vatican II restored the Bible to Catholics. ... Only someone who receives this Word in his heart can be among those who will help the renewal of the Church and will know how to respond to personal questions wisely. The Word of God is simple and seeks as its companion a heart that is listening. ... Neither the clergy nor Church law can substitute for a persons inwardness. All the external rules, the laws, the dogmas were given to us in order to clarify the inner voice and to discern spirits.For whom are the sacraments? They are the third means of healing. The sacraments are not a disciplinary instrument, but a help for people at moments on their journey and when life makes them weak. Are we bringing the sacraments to the people who need a new strength? Im thinking of all the divorced people and couples who have remarried and extended families. They need a special protection. The Church maintains the indissolubility of marriage. It is a grace when a marriage and a family succeed. ... The attitude we take toward extended families will determine whether their children come near to the Church. A woman is abandoned by her husband and finds a new companion who is concerned for her and her three children. The second love succeeds. If this family is discriminated against, not only the woman, but her children, too, will be cut off. If the parents feel external to the Church and do not experience its support, the Church will lose the future generation. Before Communion we pray: Lord, I am not worthy... We know we are unworthy. ... Love is grace. Love is a gift. The question whether the divorced can receive Communion would have to be turned upside down. How can the Church come to the aid of complex family situations with the power of the sacraments?What do you do personally?The Church is two hundred years behind. Why is it not being stirred? Are we afraid? Afraid instead of courageous? Faith is the Churchs foundationfaith, confidence, courage. Im old and ill and depend on the help of others. The good people around me enable me to experience love. This love is stronger than the feeling of discouragement that I sometimes feel in looking at the Church in Europe. Only love conquers weariness. God is Love.I have a question for you: What can you do for the Church?

About the Author

Paul Moses, a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College/CUNY, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015).



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Amazing that the ever became a Cardinal. Did he just start speaking out after being a Cardinal? He summed up this sad leadership so well. People are still leaving and some of those who stay criticize while most of the time legitimizing the emptiness of Rome. Others fight to retain the corruption while calling it loyalty. Many like the Knights of Columbus need the hierarchy for its power base while too many of the one percent contribute to the building fund to mitigate purgatory. The Cardinal is missed because there are two few like him.

Hope somebody can supply an English translation. Martini had a prophetic message, only wished he had the courage to say these things in St. Peter's square at the top of his voice. Grant him eternal peace!

Some are in a hurry to change and some are not. Both are needed if societies are to keep from stagnating, on the one hand, and tearing themselves apart, on the other. Generally, it's good if institutions - like the Church - are conservative, resistant to change, but it's also good that an occasional cardinal goes against that grain.

For people of my generation Martini also was a very good teacher. In particular I recall listening in these US on shortwave in 1999 to his Lenten meditations on the Lord's Prayer which were very instructional. Also his discourse with Eco in the newspaper in I believe it was 1995 was for people who like the continental style of learning one of the great educational experiences. I believe they wrote 4 or 5 letters each. Very informative.

In the conclave of 2005, Cardinal Martini was the principal contender along with Cardinal Ratzinger. I visited Rome in 1998, and already there was a slogan among Italian Catholics --Martini Rosso no; Martini Biancho si -- making a play on the Martini red and white wines: many Italian Catholics were hoping he would be the next pope! What happened in the Conclave is a closely guarded secret; rumor has it that Martini, in an effort to avoid division among the Cardinals and a division in the Church, withdrew his name from consideration early in the conclave. One can only wonder what the Church would look like today had he been elected, what kind of leadership he would have provided. He was a great bishop, priest, religious, and biblical scholar. We were fortunate to have him.

Here, I hope, is an English translation of Cardinal Martini's 8 August interview. (My computer skills are close to non-existent.)

An interesting view of the contradictions in the church is the mausoleum in the cathedral in Los Angeles where the web site states "The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Mausoleum is the only structure in the world where the opportunity for interment in a site of such religious significance is available to all - not just a "privileged few". Of course those privileged few can start at $2000 a square foot and by invitation only. is quite notable is Gregory Peck is buried there who not only divorced and remarried but was pro-choice and for women's ordination. greatest mystery might be how June Marlowe got a crypt in the mausoleum. is just no end to these Catholic wonders.

Unfortunately, the translation above is is very patchy. Given the Cardinal's illness and, particularly in his last months, his great difficulty in speaking, the Italian itself is somewhat rough. I rather doubt that he would want this to be seen as his last word or testament, as some are terming it. The effort must have been greatly fatiguing. But he was still able to convey, however haltingly, some evidences of his vision for the future of the Church as well as the compassion of a gentle, caring priest and pastor.

A brief review of Cardinal Martini's final book, Il Vescovo (The Bishop), is striking for the strength and clarity of his views on authority in the Church and two kinds of bishop. Who else would have the the combination of experience, insight, and courage to speak out as he did in the current era? It sounds as if it would serve as an essential primer for those obliged to serve in the office.

I had hoped he would be made pope last conclave.Is there anyone of comparable stature coming up? Cardinal Schoenbrorn sees to be somewhat forward-loOkong, but he's not the scholar Martini was. I guess what we need most now is a fine pastor.

Martini was a genuinely great and gentle figure. He was so scholarly, and yet his regular meetings with young people in the Duomo in Milan were packed. He was able to connect. He was doing evangelization long before it was called "new." He engaged Eco, wrote regular pieces in the newspapers. I don't think he ever really had a shot in the last conclave, much as some would wish. He is like Ratzinger in many respects, in that he wanted to retire (to Jerusalem, in his case) to write and ponder the life of Jesus. In that sense Martini got the better end of the deal.

By all means, rely on Father Komonchak's translation rather than the rather quirky one I found on the site, Il Sismografo. For the most part, Il Sismografo is a very helpful, complete site that is renewed daily with articles on Church issues, taken directly from Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and English sources. Usually only the original language is provided, but translations are sometimes offered.

In my translation, the sentence with regard to the sacraments should read: "Are we bringing the sacraments to people who need a new strength?" Sorry for the omission.It might be a useful exercise to parse to whom the word "Church" refers in the many instances where he uses it. For example, in the first paragraph, who is it that are tired?And his last sentence is directed at each of us...

Now re-read todays Gospel about what Jesus said about the hypocrites who insist on rules with lips and without an interior pastoral heart.

It's interesting to contrast Cardinal Martini's brief thoughts (Many thanks, Fr. K.) with recent words from the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura Cardinal Burke in Kenya on the essential role of canon law and canonical discipline in new evangelization of the Church and the world. News -- Speech -- Even after allowing that the law is Burke's area and was the subject of the convention at which he spoke, the weight of the emphasis he puts on the primacy and adequacy of the rules previously and in new evangelization is noteworthy. Many current Church problems are attributed to widespread ignorance of the law rather than any limitations of the law itself. Further, he seems to make no distinction between people who have lived for many centuries under formal legal systems as in Europe and those who have never done so, as near where he spoke. Individuals are expected to conform. I wonder if it might have been one of Cardinal Martini's embers glowing under the ashes this week, half a world away from Milan and Kenya, at "A Te Deum for William Morris".

Morris farewell was a year ago this week, not this week..

Cardinal Martini may have been old and very very ill, but he hit the nail exactly on the head.

On The Tablets website: Martinis My Life with Christ, a wonderful talk he gave in preparation for the millennium. From The Tablets introduction: The Cardinal Archbishop of Milan testifies to the excitement of his personal discovery of Jesus Christ and recounts the stages by which he passed through the test of doubt to a secure faith in him. Cardinal Martini gives thanks for the rationalists and skeptics who forced him to search out the deepest truth.The opening words of the talk:

At the age of 70, I have been asked to talk about the figure of Jesus Christ. This I look upon as a challenge, a way of making me think back to what it has meant to me from the beginning, how the adventure of my journey with him has developed, in what stages and in what places, dark or light. . . . The way I met him seems better served if I deal with it in a personal way, describing a definite progress during which I came to know him in certain stages at certain times. I will do this by writing a kind of autobiography, as if I were describing a journey, using subjective and objective elements, but without muddling them. The objective elements are historical facts about the life of Jesus; the subjective are part of my own often wearisome progress, through which I have come to know and appraise these facts, to clash with them, to make them a part of my own understanding and the choices of my own life.

The closing words of the talk:

Many new, even harder, questions then arise: why did someone whom we think so near to God, beloved by God, suffer such a cruel fate in his own life? Why did he seem defeated, humanly speaking? Why did he appear so weak and helpless?There is, then, a final step in our understanding of Jesus for which the name of Jesus alone is not enough. That is the time of the understanding of faith, which means further questions and an unending search to link the human defeat of Jesus of Nazareth with his intimate closeness to God; the Cross and his death with his divinity.The scope of these questions widens to include all human experience of pain and death, the meaning of what seems to have no meaning, why God revealed himself not in power and glory but, as Luther incisively put it, sub contraria specie, in the very opposite of what one might think of as God.And there is yet another new fact, another surprise. When we consider the mystery of God crucified and Gods weakness, seeing these in Jesus crucified and risen, then the words and actions of Jesus, the parables, the beatitudes, the miracles and cures, the teaching of forgiveness, and his being tortured to death take on a new meaning. Reading the gospels again, one finds in them (and between them and the rest of Scripture) a profound coherence, an unexpected richness of meaning. Everything is linked again in a new understanding of Jesus, which makes it enter the depths of our living experience as weak creatures seeking a hope that will not disappoint us.It is this mysterious, enticing journey which I should wish for everyone.

HT: Ken Lovasik

In this last interview there are such riches that each of us should highlight what was not written about it yet. Look at this one. "I advise the Pope and the bishops to look for twelve people outside the lines for administrative posts [posti direzionali]people who are close to the poorest and who are surrounded by young people and are trying out new things. We need that comparison with people who are burning so that the spirit can spread everywhere."Fat chance, sadly. for this to happen. Martini also refers to the great Romero and the Jesuit martyrs of el salvador, none of whom were declared saints. How much does that say!!

Let's hear it for Joe Komonchak for taking the trouble to do the translation for those of us who don't read Italian.

Thanks for the translation, JAK.If Cardinal Martini thought there might be some solution to the remarriage problems, then there must be some hope. Benedict is also sympathetic at times. (I suspect the problem has something to do with our typically highly restrictive, either-or, black-white moral theology, e.g., of venial-mortal sin. It's too simplistic. ISTM the topic needs great attention.)

How can the embers be freed from the ashes in order to rekindle the flame of love? First of all, we have to look for those embers. Good plan. For example, contemporary spiritual writers who inspire readers. Occasionally one or another is mentioned in some comments, scattered on the website. Does Commonweal have a list of such books somewhere?

Thanks Fr. K for the translation. What a wonderful start to the day. And Gene, thanks for the link to the Tablet piece. I hope everyone will take the link to read the wholeessay as reading it makes the last paragraph even more powerful...

Rorate Caeli's comment is "the Militant Church is better off without those who think and act against the whole purpose of the hierarchy - handing down unaltered that which they received." say it is a general comment not directed against anyone in particular, but it is painful to read the scorn in their post on Cardinal Martini, ironically entitled "De Mortuis Nihil Nisi Bonum" and the comments to it.

Rorate Caeli--some dewfall. More like acid rain.

In response to John Hayes' comment:Having just read the warm words of praise from Benedict XVI for Cardinal Martini: can only pray, "Lord, spare us the views of those more "Catholic" (?) than the Pope..."

Here is the Pope's beautiful tribute to Cardinal Martini:Dear Brothers and Sisters,At this time I would like to express my closeness in prayer and affection, to the entire Archdiocese of Milan, the Society of Jesus, relatives and all those who loved and esteemed Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini and have wanted to accompany him on this last journey."Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path" (Ps 119: 105): the Psalmist's words can sum up the entire existence of this generous and faithful pastor of the Church. He was a man of God, who not only studied the Bible, but loved it intensely, he made it the light of his life, so that everything was "ad maiorem Dei gloriam," for the greater glory of God . And for this reason he was able to teach believers and those who were seeking the truth that the only word worthy of being listened to, accepted and followed is that of God, because it shows all the path of truth and love. He did so with a great openness of heart, never refusing to encounter and dialogue with anyone, responding concretely to the Apostles invitation to "always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope " (1 Peter 3:15). He was, with a spirit of profound pastoral charity, according to his Episcopal motto, Pro veritate adversa diligere, attentive to all situations, especially the most difficult, lovingly close to those who were lost, the poor, the suffering.In one of the homilies of his long ministry at the service of this Ambrosian Archdiocese he thus prayed: "We ask you, Lord, make us spring water for others, bread broken for others, light to those who walk in darkness, life for those who grope in the shadows of death. Lord, be the life of the world, Lord, guide us towards your Easter, and together we will walk towards you, carrying your cross, we will taste communion with your resurrection. Together with you we will walk towards the Heavenly Jerusalem, towards the Father "(Homily of March 29, 1980).May the Lord, who guided Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini his whole life, receive this tireless servant of the Gospel and of the Church in the Heavenly Jerusalem. May my blessing comfort all those present and those who mourn his loss.From Castel Gandolfo, September 3, 2012BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

B16 has well oiled words on the death his brother Carlo Martini. I see no regret, no lessons learned that Joseph Ratzinger is willing to acknowledge. While Carlo Martini may be a "brother of fond memory" for Ratzinger, and it is obvious that Martini really does have Ratzinger's respect, yet it's hard to believe that Ratzinger is not somewhat embarrassed by comparisons with Martini. The whole world looks at Martini and realizes what could have been. It must pain Ratzinger and the ruling clique in the curia to realize this.It must be very personally painful for someone like Ratzinger to see Martini receive the genuine pastoral regard and reverence from the faithful that he, Ratzinger, craves, needs very deeply, but will never be his.Martini in his last interview was most eloquent when he spoke of looking for the "embers" among the heap of ashes where Ratzinger and Wojtyla have lead the church. The laundry list of possible "embers" looks nothing like the hierarchy that now exercises a political hegemony over the rest of the church.Martini was truly prophetic in urging that the church be lead [i.e, for posti direzionale] by "young people"..."who are on fire so the [S]pirit can spread everywhere." Sounds like Martini, like so many of us here in the pews, lost faith in his brother hierarchs, but not the Christ.[It also sounds like Martini took to heart the philosophies of his brother Jesuit Teilhard: Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.] Could it be that Martini did not purposefully seek the papacy, as Ratzinger obviously did, but despite his increasing infirmities spent his waning years looking for and encouraging those "embers" of new faith? Did Martini intuitively understand that the next "Good Samaritan," the next "Roman centurian," the next "John the Baptist," the next "Paul," the next "Mary Magdalene" would come from among the People, and not from among the cardinals?

Jim: some similar thoughts occurred to me. In Pope Benedict's words, there is great respect for Cdl Martini, but no sign of yielding on any of their points of disagreement. Indeed, why should he? I wouldn't call his words "well oiled". It is hardly the time to embark on criticism of their points of differences.If you look, not at what is missing for you (namely, Pope Benedict saying that, on some controversial question, Cdl Martini was right and that he himself was wrong), but at what is there, it really is warm. I would be thrilled to have any single one of those sentences said about me after I die!

What does "Pro veritate adversa diligere"? Wikipedia claims "For Truth---Respect Adversity". Respect "adversity"? What does that mean?

Cardinal Martini called the church in Europe and America tired and, as Reuters reported, continued: Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous. He later added, as CNN reported, The Church has remained 200 years behind the times. Why has it not been shaken up? Are we scared? Fear instead of courage?And now Cardinal Martini is dead, and the Church lives on.

Claire: "Pro veritate adversa diligere" means "for the love of truth, dare to choose adverse situations"

Massimo, I changed the wikipedia article according to your answer. Thanks!

Benedict in his official writing, often supports his own views by references to "the truth" they serve. So it is interesting that he chooses to quote Martini's motto here, yet carefully avoids addressing Martini's ideas, and the adverse positions he was willing to take so emphatically and directly in his last interview. Benedict focuses on Martini's priestly work and the love and appreciation of his friends and supporters. And this is all he can do, gracefully, on such an occasion, given their own history of disagreement. But the blunt truths pronounced in that last interview are a great last testament, perfectly in keeping with Martini's well-chosen motto.

I don't think there's any reason to think that the Pope's tribute to Card. Martini was anything but sincere. He could easily have sent a perfunctory note or fobbed it off on his representative. I think he meant it from the heart. Believe it or not (and I realize that blog-exchanges make it difficult to believe), it is possible to discern and to appreciate good and even great things in people with whom one disagrees.

Blessed man...we need his intercession! Fear is, indeed, the deepest root of the corruption and degradation of the institution and of its damaged witness. So ironic that some of this was planted by JPII, whose motto to all was, "Be not afraid...".

I'm not sure to what extent Pope Benedict is avoiding Martini's ideas. When Martini states that "the church is tired" in Europe, doesn't that dovetail with one of the key themes of Benedict's papacy - how to reinvigorate the church in Europe?

Jim Pauwels, Martini states that "The Church is tired, in prosperous Europe and in America."He didn't see it as a European problem as Benedict do.

@ Joseph Komonchak:I believe B16's words are "sincere." When popes and cardinals speak they are always, if nothing else, sincere.The point is JK is that politics played on this level in the church is always for keeps and usually employs the use of sharp pointed objects.I'm reminded that I was once part of a group conversation with Hans Kung. Kung related his being invited to dinner to Castel Gandolfo by his former protege, then newly elected pope, Joseph Ratzinger: Nice tea, but no kiss. Surely, a "sincere" gesture of remembered friendship from someone who has spent most of his clerical career trying to destroy Kung's career.

More than 200000 people came to see Cdl Martini's casket during the weekend. How did he become so popular in his diocese, beyond the Catholic community? Reuters says: "Martini became the head of Italy's largest diocese in 1979 at the height of the "years of lead" when Italy, particularly the industrial north, was under siege from leftwing Red Brigades urban guerrillas. He immediately established respect among trade unionists and leftwingers by celebrating mass among workers at large factories and also frequently visited the city's jail where he built relations with prisoners including incarcerated guerrillas. He negotiated the handover of a cache of Red Brigades weapons to police due to his contacts with prisoners."

Claire --Thanks for the clip. What a remarkable man! I remember the troubles in the Italian North after the War. I didn't know he was part of the solutions even then. Sounds like a bona fide saint to me. I'm also surprised at how many people are commenting on this thread. I had no idea that he had impressed so many of us American lay people. Just goes to show, I think, that those of us who scream the loudest about bad bishops are quite willing, even anxious, to appreciate the good and great ones. I wonder if the Pope has been surprised by the size of the reactions. I hope so.

Claire -- oops, I misread the clip. He didn't start his work with the workers right after the War. (Or did he?)

Ann, I think that part of it is thinking with regret about the man who might have become pope. Unhappiness with Pope Benedict is worse when one realizes the difference with what might have been, the alternative, the path not taken.

As a follower of Jesus Christ I am a firm believer of the maxim that one should not speak ill of the dead. Having said that, I am also a loyal Catholic who truly believe the Gospel message as spoken by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when he told Peter that "The gates of hell will never prevail over his Church", Matt. 16. Over and over again, in the past, today, and no doubt in the future this message resonates with me. The very fact that the Benedict XVI sits on Peter's throne and not the late Card. Martini demonstrates that Christ loves his Church and will never abandon her to the netherworld. That Card. Martini was loved by all the anti-Christian, anti-Catholic press, by most dissenters, anti-Roman, anti-Papal, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-birth control (which by the way is probably the reason why Europe is "old and tired") no doubt proves another maxim: "by your fruits you will be known".Cardinal Martini and those who support him belong to a certain age-a bygone age- which began in the late 19th century with the modernist movement which spawn with the upheaval of the 1960's and which brought all the aforementioned disaster to the world. Europe is dying, but rest assure, it is not because of the evil Catholic religion. As a committed Christian, I pray that God have mercy on this poor soul who tried to so hard to love the world and who in turn was loved by the world and its minions. Alas, he has much to explain to Christ and to St. Ignatius of Loyola. Cordially,

First you say ond should not speak ill of the dead, and immediately you trash the dead Cardinal Martini.Hmph.

In response to John Hayes comment:Ralph Bremigan, i wish you had said "In response to Rorate Caeli's comment quoted by John Hayes", lest anyone think I agree with it. I quoted it to point out the extreme animosity expressed by some traditionalists.I'm posting this from Paris. I'll be away from the U.S. for six weeks and will probably not be posting as often as usual.

John, you're in Paris, France? I'm in Paris too!

Hi, Claire. It was just a quick stop here in Paris. I leave tomorrow morning on my way to England. emerged on Tuesday, the day after his funeral in Milans cathedral, that Cardinal Martini intended the interview conducted on 8 August to be included in his final testament. The idea was that the text would be part of his testamentary legacy, said Federica Radice Fossati Confalonieri, a close friend of the cardinal who helped facilitate the final interview. Fr Damiano [Modena SJ, the late cardinals assistant] had already given it to the executor, she said in an article in Corriere della Sera.. . . Vatican media, including LOsservatore Romano, downplayed or ignored the interview. [At the funeral Mass,] the assembly of some 6,000 people inside the cathedral (and more than 10,000 outside) enthusiastically applauded the retired Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Martinis immediate successor, when he spoke emotionally on behalf of all the people of the Milan archdiocese at the end of the Mass. We loved you! he said. For your smile and your words; for bowing to our fragility and for your ability to see afar; for your faith in days of joy and of sorrow; and for the artful way you listened and gave hope to everyone to everyone!

Richard Mondesir: a committed Christian does not commit calumny as you did.You should consider becoming a practicing Christian until you get it correct.

From American magazine, a 1990's article by Cdl Martini. Excerpt: How can we be of assistance to others in a local community, a local church, a diocese? In Milan, to cite a city where I have tried to implement my vision of Christianity, I have tried to address the needs of Christians and nonbelievers alike. For the last few years, I have invited people belonging to every religionor even to no religion at allto gather in our cathedral for sessions we organize periodically throughout the year. My only request is that those who attend be willing to think. Normally between 1,000 and 2,000 participate at each session. I said at the outset, "Let us ask some nonbelievers to tell us why they do not believe and let us listen to them." And I provided what might be called a "chair for nonbelievers," so they could speak to us about their experiences, since I believe that there is inside each one of us, whatever our religion, both a believer and a nonbeliever. (Even a bishop, I must confess, feels at times the interior tugs of belief and non-belief.) Thus, I have asked myself, "Why not give an open voice to this inner struggle by listening also to people who are in search of meaning? Cant I be helped by them to understand what is happening within me?"

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