Lifestyle & Belief

Late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said church is '200 years behind'


Catholics pay tribute to Italian cardinal Carlo Maria Martini at Milan's cathedral on September 1, 2012. Martini, 85-years old, a progressive cardinal who pushed for a rethink on modern issues and was once tipped as a possible pope, died on August 31, 2012. Martini, himself a former archbishop of Milan who advocated reform on issues such as contraception and the role of women in the Church, had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for years and his condition had degenerated this week.


Olivier Martin

Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who passed away at age 85 on Friday, said that the church was "200 years behind the times" in his final interview. 

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera did an interview with the liberal Cardinal in August, which they published Saturday.   

"The Church is tired... our prayer rooms are empty," Cardinal Martini told the paper, according to BBC News

"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," the Cardinal said. 

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Martini served as Milan's Archbishop for over 20 years, and cemented a reputation as one of the most open-minded, progressive senior members of the Roman Catholic church, the Huffington Post reported

Thousands made their way to Milan's Cathedral Saturday to pay their respected to the reform-minded Cardinal, who was once considered for the position of Pope and highly respected by both Pope John Paul II and his successor Pope Benedict XVI, BBC News reported.

"He was a man of dialog, a pastor who tried to knock down walls," a citizen who came to the Cathedral to pay their respects told Italy's ANSA news agency

The Archbishop's funeral Mass will be held on Monday, September 3. He will be buried in the Milan Cathedral's cemetery, the church where Pope Paul John II appointed him as Archbishop on February 10th, 1980, AGI reported