The opinion of Cardinal Martini

Source: FSSPX News


“It is certain that Benedict XVI has some surprises in store with regard to the stereotypes with which he has been labeled, a little too hastily.” This is what Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, archbishop emeritus of Milan – progressive candidate in the conclave – had to say, in an interview given to La Repubblica on April 26, 2005.

 According to the Italian prelate, the new pope has some surprises for us, “to start with, he has always been a man of great humanity, courtesy and kindness, ready to listen, even to opinions different from his own.” “I am certain that the new pope will not be inflexible, but will reflect with liberty of heart and an open mind,” he added.

 Asked about the discernable indications in the first speeches of Benedict XVI, Cardinal Martini replied that he had not seen any innovations in his first message, which had probably been prepared, in principal, by relevant departments in view of the short time the new pope would have had.” He saw in it “more of a reconfiguration of the principles of openness of the pontificate of John Paul II.” “And this is certainly a positive sign,” he said.

The archbishop emeritus referred to the dialogue with the Jews, certain that “Cardinal Ratzinger has paid a lot of attention, and ever more in recent years, to a dialogue which he considers essential for the Church.” “I am therefore, not at all surprised at the rapidity with which he wrote to rabbi De Segni, informing him of this wish.”

 Cardinal Martini also said that “the name Benedict is a good sign for the new pope,” especially concerning peace. “The challenge of the Church for peace will last as long as the latter is threatened by human egoism and the complexities of history.”

 The former archbishop of Milan spoke of his experience during the ten years when he was a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, presided over by Cardinal Ratzinger. He quoted the words of the latter addressed to him on the 15th anniversary of his episcopate: “No-one would be surprised if I said that we have never been of the same opinion. In temperament and formation, we are without any doubt very different from each other. Every time, these two standpoints do not exclude each other, but on the contrary fit together and complement each other. Thus allowing us, starting out from different points of view, to move closer to the complex duties of the Church at this time and to try and accomplish them.”

 Cardinal Martini went on: “The second reason why we can expect some surprises is due precisely to the fact that a pastor is always formed and educated by his people,” saying he had personally experimented this during his passage from teaching to pastoral responsibility. “I am sure, therefore, that the great responsibility which will weigh on the shoulders of the new pope will simply make him more sensitive to all the problems which trouble the hearts of believers and non-believers, and will certainly open up new roads for him and for us.”