Skip to comments.Was Cardinal Carlo Martini the Last Liberal Catholic Bishop?
Posted on 09/08/2012 6:07:24 AM PDT by marshmallow
VATICAN CITY With the recent death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, Catholics who call for church reform on issues such as homosexuality and priestly celibacy have lost one of their last leading lights in the top echelons of the churchs hierarchy.
Martini, who died Aug. 31, was a Jesuit and an archbishop of Milan from 1980-2002. More importantly, he was considered for decades the informal leader of liberals inside the church. But he has no clear successor in the current crop of cardinals.
He had a rare combination of skills as a scholar, pastor, communicator and holy man, said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a church expert and fellow at Georgetown Universitys Woodstock Theological Center. This allowed him to be an independent voice in the church that prizes conformity to tradition.
If there was a young Martini in the church today, Reese said, he would not be made a bishop or cardinal.
Since the late Pope John Paul II assumed the papacy, there has been an effort to remake the hierarchy by appointing bishops who would unquestioningly follow Vatican thinking started under John Paul. Ironically, it was John Paul who elevated Martini to the episcopacy in his first year as pope. After that, John Paul mainly appointed conservative bishops.
With Martinis death, the church risks losing liberal Catholics who push for changes in church structure and discipline. The progressive wing of the church will simply give up on the hierarchy and the hierarchy will try to push the progressives out of the church, Reese said.
But the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, editor of a Jesuit-run official Vatican magazine, Civilta Cattolica, said the division between liberals and conservatives in the church is forced and simplistic.
Labeling Martini as a liberal, he said, has the effect of silencing his prophetic legacy for the....
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Is he the last?
We can hope.
There are plenty of liberal bishops. Not so many completely reckless ones. But I belieeve Bishop Hubbard (Albany) is still around, and he is as left as Martini.
[Obama] often distanced himself from those who portrayed him as an anti-[American], and always praised the more conservative [Ronald Reagan]. But his willingness to discuss ideas at odds with [the Constitution] made him a respected figure among [foreigners] and [liberals].
Same sh*t, different day...
No remaining leftist has his stature and few leftists ever had his intellect.
Schillebeeckx's death, Kung's demotion and Danneels' disgrace left Martini as the last "giant", the last great advocate of "the spirit of the Council."
One unpleasant chapter of the Church's history has closed. Much more needs to be done.
Social Justice, Liberation Theology, whatever: the whole edifice is based on covetness and envy of what others have, combined with Sloth.
Two of the Seven Deadly Sins combined with violation of the eighth Commandment. What could be more un-holy than this and why would a prince of the Church support it?
Until several excommunications are announced in this country, I think we can safely presume that some American bishop will pick up the slack.
Wouldn’t surprise me at all.
There’s always Bp Stephen Blaire of Stockton. He’s 71, so there’s another 4 years years until he retires.
One can hope that Reese will be part of the exodus.
I gather that JPII was around long enough to almost completely reinvent the upper echelons through attrition, a lot of the appointments likely vetted by BXVI. So except for the few who elude the screening process, liberal bishops are pretty much an endangered species.
Nope, not the last, unfortunately.
The "progressive wing" will do what it will do--though large numbers of them seem most interested in the destruction of Christ's Church as a first priority and will continue to stay in from evil motives. Hopefully, the hierarchy will begin/continue to call its flock to the faith once delivered. If that "forces" some out, that is of their will.
The Holy Spirit is preparing the Body of Christ for persecution, and we must welcome the trials that come.
Not the last, of course. Modernism still has many adherents in the Church. They are just subdued, as they were in the Years after Pius X. Notice how quickly the Americanists took over the process during Vatican II.
That was a very interesting, if disturbing, phenomenon, and it would be a good idea for the church to chart that out and figure out why it happened.
The strangest thing....
We have an associate pastor at our parish who is from Columbia. He is a wonderful priest, very reverent and has brought to our parish some of the more solemn and joyous celebrations of his country’s traditions.
I had never participated in a Corpus Christi procession and at Holy Thursday, he added an element to the washing of the feet that was so profound. Each of the twelve men who were chosen to have their feet washed held a sign with a sin on it and as he had his feet washed, he held up the sign and a reader spoke of the sin and asked Jesus’ pardon for that sin. It was just beautiful.
I have known him for a couple of years now and he has always seemed to be very orthodox and traditional.
The other day at morning Mass his sermon on the Gospel about the wine skins was about this bishop. He spoke of how the pharisees challenged Jesus and the disciples for not adhering to the ancient ways.
He spoke of how this Bishop Martini was not afraid to speak out about “new” things and he quoted someone saying the Church is about 200 years behind the times.
I was not sure what to think. If this had come from our pastor who is somewhat liberal, I wouldn’t have been surprised. But from this priest, I was a little taken aback and now am looking at him differently.
False, for someone who has no idea what he’s talking about, some posters just want to shoot their mouth’s off. Your knee-jerk false statements denigrates everything your posts say. They have zero value due to the knee-jerk stupidity in some posts
Your opinion and your opinion alone.
All Catholic bishops believe the first eleven chapters of Genesis is mythology. That may not be liberalism in your book, but it is in mine.
Oh FCOL, what did I say that offended you so badly that you felt compelled to border-line violate the forum rules with a personal attack???
The vast majority of Catholic bishops subscribe to higher criticism and believe the first eleven chapters of Genesis is mythology based on Babylonian and Canaanite sources. Surely you are as aware of that as I am.
Perhaps you can in the future prevent your blood pressure from zooming to dangerous heights by simply recalling that in my book anyone who rejects total Biblical inerrancy or who believes that Genesis 1-11 is a liberal.