Monday, September 03, 2012
Martini and the Left
Pray for the soul of Cardinal Martini.
There has been a bit of media hype about the late Cardinal.
All that stuff about being a contender for the Papacy, but for his poor health, is quite true, I am sure, as I understand it that there were few other prominent contenders from the left who could garner the necessary support. There is a story about a pre-conclave soiree held by a certain English speaking Cardinal in a certain Roman seminary, prominently in the window of a restaurant opposite was another English speaking Cardinal making a list of those entering. Subsequent fraternal visits from this Cardinal really showed that there was no one name other than Martini that stood out as leader of the liberal faction and probably even Martini's support was somewhat limited.
The problem for Martini, as for the left in general, is that he was well able to present a critique of the Church's problems but not to offer any realistic solutions, unless criticism itself can be deemed a solution. The posthumously published interview is hyperbolic, in the "something must be done" style but there actually no answers or solutions. In areas of the admission of the "some" divorced people to Holy Communion, of the perception of those outside the Church to its teaching on sex and sexuality, practically everyone with a heart would agree that there is problem, Pope Benedict himself has often spoken on such issues. The problem is dealing with these particular and personal problems through the general and universal law of the Church; difficult cases do not make for good law. On evangelisation, on the involvement of the laity in diocesan government or diocesan bishops in the universal Church are issues that Pope Benedict has addressed. Solving the problems are a little more difficult than merely identifying that there is a problem.
There are many contradictions in Martini's thought, on the one hand he speaks about the "loss of future generations of Catholics", he seems to mean cultural Catholics and yet he demands a radical following of the Gospel. He seems unable to understand that the radical break with traditional Catholicism also breaks the connection of cultural Catholics.
There is a Marxist sense of cultural struggle, or even low level war, in Martini's writings, which marks out the left (left in bot the theological and political sense). There is need to attack, an attempt to destroy "the institution" of presenting the "institutional" Church in opposition to the Church of the masses. Once those things which are attacked are destroyed, they are replaced by another left leaning institution that is far tyrannical than that which went before. In classic Marxist terms there is a continuous process of purification that goes on until such time as perfection is achieved. In the case of the Church of course, until such time as the institutional Church is destroyed and replaced by a perfect human society, which of course will be something quite contrary to Church of the Gospel or Revelation.
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