$31,352 to go to meet our Challenge Grant, by December 1st. Your gift now will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic World News News Feature

Italian cardinal breaks ranks on civil unions March 16, 2007

“The Church does not give orders,” Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini told a large congregation of Italian visitors to Bethlehem on March 15. The Italian cardinal’s remarks were generally perceived as a criticism of efforts by other Italian Church leaders to defeat a proposal for legal recognition of same-sex unions.

The former Archbishop of Milan was speaking at the basilica of the Nativity, where he celebrated Mass for about 1,300 pilgrims from Milan. The Italian visitors-- led by Cardinal Martini’s successor in Milan, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi-- were on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where Cardinal Martini now lives in retirement.

In his homily the retired cardinal said that the Church should engage in open dialogue with non-believers, and attempt to make Catholic teachings persuasive to a secular audience. “It is necessary to listen to others, and when speaking to use terms that they understand,” he said.

Cardinal Martini, who was recognized for years as the leading liberal prelate in Europe, has recently distanced himself from the positions taken by the Italian bishops’ conference on several public-policy issues, including condom use, embryonic stem-cell research, and most recently the plea by a noted euthanasia supporter to be disconnected from the respirator that sustained his life.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Putting Our Best Foot Forward 16 hours ago
Contentious Spirits, Beware! October 30
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6