Liberal Catholicism: It’s as if God doesn’t exist – or if he does, he has no real standards!

“Italy Hails Liberal Cardinal Martini, who wanted Catholic Church to Change.”
That was the headline from the Boston Globe, September 4, 2012, on the death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. The world’s press was of one voice eulogizing the former Archbishop of Milan, once seen as Papal contender.
As is usually the case, the press loved Martini not for his attachment to the Catholic Faith of all time, but for his zest to challenge it.

The media praised Martini as an “open-minded thinker,” one who “struck an original note in Church affairs.”[1]

What were some of Martini’s radical ideas? In his last interview, which Martini asked to be published after his death, Martini said the Catholic Church is “200 years behind the times”. Martini further said, ”Our culture has grown 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.”

Martini encouraged opening up reception of the Eucharist for the divorced and remarried Catholics, counseling against what he called “discrimination.”[2] In the book Night Conversation with Cardinal Martini published in 2010, Martini insisted, “You can’t make God a Catholic God. God is beyond all the barriers and borders we create.”[3]

In the same book, speaking of dialogue with non-Catholics, Cardinal Martini said that once you talk frankly with members of various other religions, “You will even be glad that the other person is a Protestant or Muslim”.[4]
Martini acknowledged the German and Austrian Bishops’ dissent from Humanae Vitae, as “pointing to a direction that we could promote today.”[5] Martini called for a more collegial and synodal approach to Church governance.[6] In 2007, “when the 16th Century Tridentine Mass was introduced as an option for Roman Catholic churches, Martini said he would refuse to celebrate it.”[7] Yet Pope Francis, on the first anniversary of the Cardinal’s death, publicly praised Martini as “a father for the whole Church”.

Francis went on to call Martini a “prophetic” figure, and “a man of discernment and peace”[8] Likewise in his infamous interview with La Repubblica’s atheist Editor Eugenio Scalfari, Francis spoke of Cardinal Martini as “someone who is very dear to me and also to you.”[9]

Optimistic commentators claim we must “read Francis through Benedict”. That may be true in part. It seems more accurate, however, to “read Francis through Martini,” since Francis seems to be following the progressive program outlined by the radical Italian Cardinal.

Read more at Catholic Family News

Submitted by Mark H.

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