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Why is this Man a Cardinal?

by Christopher A. Ferrara

The ever-loquacious Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini has offered yet another proposal for the further demolition of the Church. This blatantly ultra-liberal prelate, who should have been sent packing decades ago, now informs the world that what the Church needs is “greater sharing of power among the bishops of the Church.” [, Jan. 17, 2001]

What does Martini mean? He means ‘a more universal instrument’ to express collegiality within the Church.” Does he mean, then, a Third Vatican Council? Martini is playing it coy: “I have never excluded the possibility of a new council.” But then again, he seems to be suggesting something entirely different: “Cardinal Martini suggested that it might be easier to bring together ‘regional convocations’ prior to the ‘plenary convocation’ of the world's bishops.” In other words, a kind of super-synod of national synods, but not a council as such. One can just imagine all of the wonderful benefits to the Church that would flow from such a gathering. Just think of all the great liturgical and theological accomplishments of the national synods created during the “springtime” of Vatican II!

But it is worse than this. Martini dares to suggest publicly that “Orthodox and Protestant representatives should participate in such a council ‘in one way or another.’” So, according to Martini, what the Church needs is to stage a super-gathering of bishops with contingents of heretics and schismatics. To do what, exactly? Perhaps to reopen and discuss the question of women “priests,” which Martini continues to gnaw at like a dog with a bone.

Maundering on in the usual post-conciliar fashion, Martini declared that “the Church must engage in ‘dialogue’ with scientists involved in genetic manipulation, using ‘rational and convincing arguments’ rather than issuing condemnations . . .” Let’s see, now. By what “rational and convincing argument” can a scientist without faith in God be “convinced” that his genetic manipulation of human beings is immoral because they have souls and are made in God’s image? And if the scientist does not believe in the soul, or the God who made it, then why would he see genetic manipulation as anything other than a scientific experiment worth attempting under the proper conditions and ‘controls’?

In all seriousness, why is this man still a Cardinal? How did he manage to acquire the title of Prince of the Church in the first place? And how much longer will we have to suffer the spectacle of absurd public pronouncements by prelates like these, while Father Gruner has to fight a threat of “excommunication”? Only God knows. But we can pray that it will not be much longer.