Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cardinal Martini - Humble and Honest

I am sure most of you have already become familiar with the short interview the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini gave to his Jesuit confrere Fr. Georg Sporschill shortly before his death (August 31, 2012). If you Google for the text of the interview, you will find hundreds if not thousands of links to it (for your convenience I post two links - in English and in Polish). Sadly, almost all of these numerous links share the common sensational tone, focusing on a challenging statement of the Cardinal that the Catholic Church is outdated 200 years, missing completely or most of other valid points the Cardinal stresses in his humble and honest conversation.

I like this attitude. He does not hide his head in the sand pretending there are no problems in the Church. He pinpoints them, offers solutions or opens up a forum for discussion, challenges the present situation and tries to find a cure in the Sacred Scripture. Obviously, not everyone in the Church is happy with his humility, honesty and openness to talk about our illnesses. So many are content with the present state and unwilling to resign from benefits and comfort it provides. On the other side, the Cardinal offers only his own personal view which is not always spot on, correct and infallible.

Still, to me throughout all these years of his life and work, Cardinal Martini has been and always remained as a voice crying in the wilderness, just like the voice of St. John the Baptist. You may agree with him or you may object. But you cannot pass indifferently.

And I am sure his legacy will remain with us for generations to come. I advise all of you to read the interview carefully and seed it in the landscape of all Cardinal's books, works, conversations - especially from his retirement period spent in Jerusalem. This will certainly help in understanding the whole message of the late prelate.

I am sure, especially from my point of view and from my personal 'sitz im leben' I will agree totally on the opinion of the Cardinal that the Church has become content with good life, bureaucratic and managerial. This I can testify to in my life and reality I am in. Unending meetings, papers, documents, demands that turn us, priests, more into managers than prophets and authentic teachers of faith. And so forth.

The Old Man has got a point in this and many other topics. This is my opinion. And this is a challenge I want to face myself, without pointing out fingers to anyone in or outside of the Church. Mea culpa. And from the repentant heart I want to rebuild my life starting anew with Christ.

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