Funeral of Cardinal Carlo Martini on S+L
September 2, 2012 By Salt + Light
By special arrangement with Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., Director of the Holy See Press Office, the Vatican Television Centre, RAI Italian Television Network and Telepace in Italy, Salt and Light Television Network will carry live the funeral mass of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J., Archbishop emeritus of Milan, onMonday morning, September 3, 2012 beginning at 9:55 a.m. (ET). The mass will be celebrated in the Duomo (Cathedral) of Milan. Please join us to pray in thanksgiving for the life and rich ministry of this great shepherd and teacher, who is now in the presence of his Lord and Master of the Church whom he served with love and dedication. For those who cannot access Salt and Light Television on your cable carrier, please view the ceremony through our live streaming feature found on the Salt + Light website:
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.,
CEO, Salt and Light Catholic Television Network
Remembering Cardinal Martini
Cardinal Martini was for me a mentor, teacher, model Scripture scholar and friend. He has influenced my life, teaching, pastoral ministry in a very significant way over the past 30 years. When many colleagues, students and friends have asked me these past years how I maintained my faith and hope in the world of scripture scholarship and teaching, I often told them: “I had three Martinis a day.” I think I have read everything that Cardinal Martini wrote, or that appeared under his name. I first met Cardinal Martini in Milan in 1981. He had already begun the Lectio Divina sessions with young people in Milan’s Duomo. I was amazed then and continued to be captivated by his method of preaching, teaching and praying the Scriptures.
When my Superiors assigned me to Scripture studies in Rome, and then Jerusalem, I began to appreciate Martini’s immense contribution to the biblical world. It was always a thrill when he would come to visit us at the Biblicum, celebrate mass with the students and then give an afternoon lecture in the Aula Magna. He walked in wearing a simple black cassock and small pectoral cross. With no notes in hand and only a Greek New Testament, he taught us one year how to lead Lectio Divina sessions with young people, and the next year he lectured us on the importance of Textual Criticism, one of the deadliest topics in Scripture Studies. From that point on he made the topic not only interesting but necessary.
We exchanged numerous letters over the years, and I remember asking Cardinal Martini for some advice as I prepared World Youth Day 2002 in Canada. Two moments, however, remain engraved in my memory and heart. Following the adventure of World Youth Day 2002, I asked permission to spend a month in the Holy Land to pray and rest. I wanted to spend some days at the Franciscan Retreat House on Mount Tabor. When I arrived, the lovely Italian sister greeted me and said: “You’ll be very happy to know that there is hardly anyone here these days. There is only one other guest. You will meet him this afternoon at tea.” After prayers, I walked into the dining room only to find Cardinal Martini sitting at the table. I blurted out: “Eminenza, how good it is to be here!” He said: “Should we not build three tents?” We had a good laugh and a wonderful visit.
A year later, as I presented the documentary of St. Gianna Beretta Molla on the eve of her canonization in Rome, the Cardinal thanked me for telling the true story of that great laywoman saint of his diocese. Martini loved St. Gianna Beretta Molla, calling her at her beatification ten years earlier: “Marvelous woman, lover of life, wife, mother, exemplary doctor, she offered her life so that she would not violate the mystery of the dignity of life.”
I sincerely hope and pray that the life and teaching of Cardinal Martini will penetrate deeply the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization in Rome. Martini clearly showed us how to evangelize. He lived out his episcopal ministry as a bishop of the Second Vatican Council, one who was honest, just, fair and unafraid. He constantly called forth goodness in other people. This great man was able to communicate not just with the faithful but also with people who were far from the faith, bringing the message of the Gospel to everyone. He taught us not to be afraid to dialogue and to reach out. He reminded us that under the smoldering ashes of a Church that is at times tired and discouraged, burdened with history and traditions, there are still embers waiting to be fanned into flame.
Fr Thomas Rosica
Rosica, a tireless Basilian priest who was appointed a consultor to the Vatican’s communications council in 2009, stressed that Salt + Light is not the Vatican’s PR arm and has not shied from thorny issues that continue to rankle Catholics. Programs have also focused on the sex-abuse scandal, euthanasia, abortion and the role of Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust.
The May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul is expected to draw the network’s largest audience to date. Also in the works is a three-part documentary on Pope Benedict’s stand on ecology and the environment.
“There’s no involvement from the institutional church and we’re not a good news agency,” Rosica said. “The Church doesn’t have the means, access or capability of doing that kind of stuff. We’re taking stories and going in-depth with them. We never set ourselves up in opposition to something or someone. We’re an alternative to what’s out there on television.
“But the unique thing is, we have the full support of the Church.”
Do some Catholics complain of their proverbial dirty linen being aired in public?
“Oh, yeah, all the time,” Rosica said. “There’s a certain form of Taliban Catholicism out there right now that would like to dictate everything and, really, it doesn’t speak to the future.
Without really trying, I’ve generated controversy in some quarters by coining the phrase “Taliban Catholicism” to describe a psychological tendency (as opposed, let the record be clear, to any actual person or group) in today’s church. I understand it as the equal-and-opposite extreme from what George Weigel has usefully described as “Catholicism Lite,” meaning a kind of supine assimilation to secularism.
“Taliban Catholicism,” then, is an exaggerated allergy to anything that smacks of secularism, liberalization, or corruption by modernity – an angry form of the faith that knows only how to excoriate and condemn.
Of course, Catholicism hardly enjoys a monopoly on the “Taliban” instinct, which is more akin to a potential distortion within any religious system. In some ways it may be especially virulent within ultra-traditional and nationalist strains of Orthodoxy, as a recent “Patriarchal and Synodal Encyclical” from Archbishop Bartholomew of Constantinople makes clear.