January 18, 2001
volume 12, no. 18
Liberal Cardinal Martini Wants More Collegiality

    VATICAN, Jan. 17, 01 ( -- In a long and provocative interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini has called for "more concrete forms of collegiality" within the Church. The Milan prelate stopped just short of calling for a Third Vatican Council.

    Responding to the Pope's apostolic letter Novo Millenio Ineunte, Cardinal Martini stressed John Paul's call for greater "communion" within the Church. This, the cardinal said, would require a greater sharing of power among the bishops of the Church.

    In October 1999, during the Synod of Bishops for Europe, Cardinal Martini had spoken of "a more universal instrument" to express collegiality within the Church. Many observers had seen his remarks as a call for a Third Vatican Council. While he said there had been some "confusion" about those remarks, the cardinal told Corriere della Sera, "I have never excluded the possibility of a new council."

    The Milan prelate went on to say that the "emerging problems" that face the Church might be reason for a new worldwide council. Because of the practical problems involved in convening an ecumenical council, Cardinal Martini suggested that it might be easier to bring together "regional convocations" prior to the "plenary convocation" of the world's bishops. And he said that Orthodox and Protestant representatives should participate in such a council "in one way or another."

    Cardinal Martini, who is frequently identified as the most identifiable "liberal" leader within the College of Cardinals, said nothing during his interview with Corriere della Sera to combat that reputation. He said that all forms of "triumphalism" should be excluded from the Jubilee. He expressed regret that the publication of the Vatican document Dominus Jesus had "not been well received, and created some distress." And he argued that the Church must engage in "dialogue" with scientists involved in genetic manipulation, using "rational and convincing arguments" rather than issuing condemnations which "are not sufficient, and even produce the opposite effect."

For other news stories, see

January 18, 2001
volume 12, no. 18
News from Rome

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