Carlo Maria Martini

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Carlo Maria Martini (2010)
Cardinal coat of arms of Carlo Maria Martini
Cardinal Martini with Pope John Paul II , 1984

Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini SJ (born February 15, 1927 in Turin , Italy , † August 31, 2012 in Gallarate , Province of Varese ) was Archbishop of Milan .


Carlo Maria Martini, son of the marriage of the engineer Leonardo Martini and Olga Maggia, received on 27 February 1927, the baptism in the Turin parish Immaculate Conception . He attended the Jesuit Istituto Sociale in Turin and at the age of 17, on September 25, 1944, he joined the religious order of the Jesuits and completed his novitiate in Cuneo . He studied philosophy at the Philosophical Faculty Aloisianum in Gallarate near Milan and Catholic theology at the Theological Faculty in Chieri . On July 13, 1952, he received the sacrament of ordination from the Archbishop of Turin, Maurilio Cardinal Fossati, and completed the Jesuit tertiary and further studies in Rome.

He then completed a postgraduate course in fundamental theology and in 1958 after defending his dissertation Il problema storico della risurrezione negli studi recenti ( "The historical problem of the resurrection in the present studies") at the Pontifical Gregorian University with the title summa cum laude for Dr. theol. PhD . After a few years as a lecturer at the Faculty in Chieri, he returned to Rome , made perpetual vows on February 2, 1962 and worked in pastoral care in Casal del Marmo, Nisidia and Poggioreale as well as for the community of Sant'Egidio . He was also involved with a research topic on the gospel according to Luke . In 1966 he received his doctorate at the Pontifical Biblical Institute , again summa cum laude , with the work Il problema della recensionalità del codice B all luce del papiro Bodmer XIV .

After a time as professor and dean at the Roman Biblical Institute, he was appointed rector there on September 2, 1969 . In 1978 he was appointed Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University to succeed Hervé Carrier . Pope Paul VI In 1978 made him head of the official fasting retreats of the Roman Curia. As a scientist, he has published various books and articles. He was the only Catholic member of the ecumenical committee that prepared the new Greek edition of the New Testament , the Novum Testamentum Graece . His books on spiritual practice are valued for their originality and style and shed new light on Ignatius' traditional spiritual path .

Pope . John Paul II appointed Martini on December 29, 1979 Archbishop of Milan and donated him on January 6, 1980 at St. Peter's Basilica , the episcopal ordination ; Co-consecrators were Archbishop Eduardo Martínez Somalo and the Milanese Auxiliary Bishop Ferdinando Maggioni . His episcopal motto was Pro veritate adversa diligere . From 1980 to 1983 he was also a permanent member of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops at the instigation of Pope John Paul II .

In the consistory of February 2, 1983, John Paul II accepted Martini as a cardinal priest with the titular church of Santa Cecilia in the college of cardinals . He was responsible for the 6th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1983) and the 7th Ordinary General Assembly (1987), the First Extraordinary General Assembly (1991), the 9th Ordinary General Assembly (1994), the Second Extraordinary General Assembly (1999) and the 10th Ordinary General Assembly (2001). From 1986 to April 15, 1993 he was President of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences . On 11 July 2002, he was reaching the age limit as archbishop of Milan emeritus . He was succeeded by Dionigi Tettamanzi . From 2002 to 2008 Martini lived alternately in Milan and in Jerusalem , where he devoted himself to prayer and Bible study. From 2008 he lived in his Jesuit community in Gallarate.

He was a participant in the 2005 conclave , from which Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was named Pope Benedict XVI. emerged, although here - after he was considered papabile for years - due to the progression of his form of Parkinson's disease diagnosed in 1996 , he was no longer counted among the narrower circle of possible successors to Pope John Paul II. Before the conclave, Cardinal Martini spoke out in favor of a possible resignation of future popes.

Positions and attitudes

Martini was considered one of the progressive masterminds of the Roman Catholic Church .

On several occasions Cardinal Martini expressed a desire to hold councils every twenty or thirty years. He advocated this because the Council of Constance had already called for regular councils in its Edict Frequens at the beginning of modern times , with only one or two topics to be dealt with at a time. Martini currently considered the church's dealings with divorced people and a revival of the sacrament of penance to be the most pressing issues .

In a column in the Milan daily Corriere della Sera the letters to Cardinal Martini appeared regularly , in which he asked biblical, dogmatic and existential questions (including the topics of sexuality, women in the Church and the decline in the number of priests as well as the ban on contraception, the he publicly refused in 2008). For the column he received the prestigious Italian journalism prize Premiolino 2010 .

The book Jerusalem Night Talks published by Verlag Herder in 2008 and received worldwide attention . The two Jesuits Georg Sporschill and Carlo Maria Martini answered critical questions of young people about the risk of faith in a discourse . He became known to a broader public with the book "What does he believe in, who does not believe?", Which he wrote together with the agnostic and writer Umberto Eco .

In his book Credere e conoscere (“Believe and Recognize”), published in 2012, Martini defended the traditional family , but also advocated a “certain recognition of homosexual partnerships”. As a supplement to a divine difference between men and women according to the moral doctrine of the Catholic Church, he considered a homosexual cohabitation based on a contractual expression of will.

In a last interview with the Austrian Jesuit Georg Sporschill, which the Milan daily newspaper "Corriere della Sera" published on September 1, 2012, he called for a rethink in the church and "to follow a radical path of change." He emphasized an indissolubility of the Marriage, however, required new ways of dealing with remarried divorced people and with blended families.


Pope Benedict XVI mourned Martini and praised him as a "dutiful and wise" archbishop and important biblical scholar. He thanked him for his “intensive apostolic activity” and for the “competent and passionate sermons and addresses”. The Archbishop of Milan, Angelo , thanked Cardinal Scola for the “gift of the person”. Italian President Giorgio Napolitano praised Cardinal Martini as a “great master of intellectual and moral life” and sees his death as a “painful and great loss not only for the Catholic Church, but for Italy”. Prime Minister Mario Monti described him as a “great Italian and European who shaped the religious thought and social life of our epoch” and said: “Few people have influenced my orientation and my decisions as much as Carlo Maria Martini”.

In an obituary of the Lodge Grande Oriente Democratico he is listed as a Freemason .

Publications (selection)

  • Gli esercizi ignaziani alla luce di San Giovanni , Apostolato Della Preghiera, 2010, ISBN 978-8873575191 .
  • L'itinerario spirituale dei Dodici nel Vangelo di San Marco (= Spiritualità ignaziana), ISBN 978-8885299085 .
  • Gli esercizi ignaziani alla luce di San Matteo , Apostolato Della Preghiera, 2007, ISBN 978-8873573883 .
  • Gli esercizi spirituali alla luce di San Luca
  • Vita di Mosé, vita di Gesù, esistenza pasquale .
  • Discorso alla Chiesa
  • Il riposo della columba
  • Che cosa è l'uomo perché te ne curi
  • Davide peccatore e credente
  • È il Signore
  • I sacramenti
  • La bellezza che salva
  • La Chiesa
  • Le beatitudini
  • Le virtù
  • Notti e giorni del cuore
  • Padre nostro
  • Testimoni del risorto con Pietro
  • La Cattedra dei non credenti
  • La Preghiera e la Vita
  • La Parola di Dio alle origini della Chiesa
  • Due pellegrini per la giustizia , ISBN 978-8838416507 .
  • My spiritual dictionary , Pattloch, Augsburg 1998, ISBN 3-629-00823-2 .
  • with Umberto Eco : What does who believe in who does not believe? Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-423-36160-3 .
  • My life . Neue Stadt-Verlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-87996-693-6 .
  • with Georg Sporschill : Jerusalem Night Talks. About the risk of belief (= Herder Spectrum 5979), Freiburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-451-05979-7
  • It doesn't work without virtue. What our society needs. , Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-87996-770-4
  • The soul also knows day and night. Encouragement. , Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-87996-908-1
  • Traces of God , Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-87996-978-4 .
  • (Hrsg.), With Barbara Aland (Hrsg.), Kurt Aland (Hrsg.), Johannes Karavidopoulos (Hrsg.), Bruce Metzger (Hrsg.), Institut für New Testamentliche Textforschung (Hrsg.) Nuevo Testamento griego: con introducción en español y diccionario griego-español /, Stuttgart ( German Bible Society ), New York (American Bible Society), London (United Bible Societies) 2015, ISBN 978-3-438-05146-2 .
  • On the trail of the life of Jesus. Meditations , Freiburg, Basel, Vienna 2017, ISBN 978-3-451-37671-9 .
  • The Message of Christmas , Munich, Zurich, Vienna 2014, ISBN 978-3-7346-1021-9 .
  • when the word falls silent , Damiano Modena, Munich, Zurich, Vienna 2014, ISBN 978-3-7346-1001-1 .


Membership in the Roman Curia

Carlo Maria Martini was a member of the following institutions of the Roman Curia :


Web links

Commons : Carlo Maria Martini  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. E 'morto il cardinale Martini biblista che parlava alla gente , Il Messaggero from August 31, 2012 (Italian)
  2. a b c d Martini, Carlo Maria. In: Salvador Miranda : The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. ( Florida International University website ), accessed July 19, 2016. (English)
  3. Archive link ( Memento from September 7, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Archive link ( Memento from October 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  5. VATICAN: The orphans of Rome. Der Spiegel , April 18, 2005, accessed December 1, 2016 .
  6. Gaia Pianigiani: Cardinal Carlo Martini, Papal Contender, Dies at 85 , in: New York Times of August 31, 2012. (English)
  7. Cardinal Martini for regular councils ( memento of August 3, 2012 in the web archive ), in: of July 13, 2009.
  8. Overview of the letters
  9. Bozzi Ida: Il «Premiolino» 2010 al cardinale Martini, Gerevini e Travaglio , in: Corriere della Sera from February 18, 2010 (Italian)
  10. Katharina Wilczek: "Jerusalem Night Talks" (Cardinal Martini / P. Sposchill) lead to God , in: Zenit of April 7, 2008.
  11. Pedro Casaldáliga : We want to be the church of the poor ; Newsletter 2009, October 27, 2009
  12. ^ Jörg Bremer: Liberal Challenger , in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of August 31, 2012.
  13. ^ Wolfgang Bergmann: Gay partnership: cardinal against cardinal ; The March 26, 2012 standard .
  14. The 'Spring Message' by Cardinal Martini ; in: from March 24, 2012.
  15. L'ADDIO A MARTINI : "Chiesa indietro di 200 anni" L'ultima intervista: "Perché non si scuote, perché abbiamo paura?" , in: Corriere della Sera of September 1, 2012.
  16. Cardinal Martini: Greater attention to people necessary ; in: Vatican Radio from September 2, 2012.
  17. ^ A b Italy mourns Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini: “A great loss” ; in: of March 2, 2012.
  18. Condolences from Pope Benedict XVI. on the death of Cardinal Martini: A Generous Servant of the Gospel and the Church , in: L'Osservatore Romano, September 2, 2012.
  19. ^ Mourning in the Vatican for Cardinal Martini ( memento from May 19, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), in: from September 1, 2012.
  20. Grande Oriente Democratico saluta con il affetto Fratello Carlo Maria Martini, passato all'Oriente Eterno. Retrieved October 26, 2017 .
predecessor Office successor
Giovanni Cardinal Colombo Archbishop of Milan
Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi
Basil Cardinal Hume OSB President of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences
Miloslav Cardinal Vlk