Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera has published his last interview, recorded in August, in which he said: “The Church is tired… our prayer rooms are empty.”
Thousands of people have been filing past his coffin at Milan’s cathedral, where he was archbishop for more than 20 years. The cardinal, who had retired from the post in 2002, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, is to be buried on Monday.
Cardinal Martini gave his last interview to a fellow Jesuit priest, Georg Sporschill, and to a journalist at the beginning of August when he knew his death was approaching. Catholics lacked confidence in the Church, he said in the interview. “Our culture has grown old, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our religious rites and the vestments we wear are pompous.”
Unless the Church adopted a more generous attitude towards divorced persons, it will lose the allegiance of future generations, the cardinal added. The question, he said, is not whether divorced couples can receive holy communion, but how the Church can help complex family situations. And the advice he leaves behind to conquer the tiredness of the Church was a “radical transformation, beginning with the Pope and his bishops”.
“The child sex scandals oblige us to undertake a journey of transformation,” Cardinal Martini says, referring to the child sex abuse that has rocked the Catholic Church in the past few years. He was not afraid, our correspondent adds, to speak his mind on matters that the Vatican sometimes considered taboo, including the use of condoms to fight AIDS and the role of women in the Church.
Do you agree with Cardinal Carlo Martini’s opinion about the Roman Catholic church being outdated already? Tell us if you disagree with his views!
Source: BBC News
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