We've already had much discussion on the Catholica Forum about the significance of the passing of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini SJ. He was a hero also to Tom McMahon and rather than writing too much himself today he draws our attention to three commentaries that have not been previously mentioned on Catholica.
An accolade to Cardinal Martini from outside the church...
The statement of Cardinal Martini two weeks before his death is an atom bomb blast dropped right on the dome of St. Peter's. Here is a time tested leader and cardinal, a learned Jesuit, a human being involved in the real world and a Vatican Two proponent who lives and speaks his faith. The former archbishop of Milan and papal candidate Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said the Catholic Church as "200 years out of date" in his final interview before his death. Here is an accolade given to him from outside the church...
Sean O'Conaill's view...
My activist friend and expert church watcher Sean O'Conaill has provided a translation of Cardinal Martini's last interview on the Association of Catholic Priest's website in Ireland. I also draw attention to this further comment by Sean O'Conaill made in the string of worthwhile comments that are worth perusing on the ACP website at the link below...
I was especially struck by two references in the interview.
First, the cardinal's comparison of the church today with 'the rich young man who went away sad'.
This is a very serious indictment of the current magisterium. We see its keenest point in the failure of the papacy to investigate honestly the universal failure of Catholic bishops to prioritise the safety of children in the church until the whole world became aware that they were not doing so. It is surely fear of further litigation (which could oblige the universal church to auction the Vatican) that prevents the papacy from launching an honest investigation of its greatest moral failure since the Inquisition. Fear of financial bankruptcy was precisely what inhibited the sad young man.
Second, the reference to Karl Rahner's image of 'embers hidden under ashes'. Ashes are also a strong Catholic symbol of repentance. If the magisterium would lift the ashes from the fire and wear them, it would reveal also the embers waiting to become the fervent fire of a church in renewal. Repentance in its literal sense of 'rethinking' is precisely how the magisterium needs to approach the synod on the 'New Evangelisation' and the 'Year of Faith' — especially in relation to critical issues of justice, governance and sexuality within the church.
If that does not happen, Cardinal Martini's warning will become a prophetic underlining of another opportunity lost, and the embers will be covered by another load of ash.
That doesn't mean those embers will die, however. It has always been inspired individuals like Francis Of Assisi who were best at fanning embers – and we often forget that Francis refused even the honour of ordination within the church.
Please also see The Los Angeles Times report from Monday, September 03, 2012 on the legacy of Cardinal Martini...
POST SCRIPT: What Tom meant last week by 'The Empire'...
The EMPIRE (laity) Tom employs is marshalling its troops (the laity) daily as the Vatican hunkers down in defense position, virtually losing battle after battle in the pastoral war where ordinary people are involved. The focus is on the academic world which Tom sees as a cumbersome diversion from where the real action is taking place. The laity's aroused membership is becoming informed; the informed are leaving the institution. more than likely active in small community from which the genuine work of Jesus evolves.
Tom McMahon, San Jose, Ca.. Not much of Tom in San Jose today, a willing humble servant of truth who enjoys giving way to such a fine churchman. What a sign of Jesus being alive! 06Sep2012
What are your thoughts on this commentary?