Cardinal Martini: From Jerusalem to the Heavenly Jerusalem | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Cardinal Martini: From Jerusalem to the Heavenly Jerusalem


With deep sorrow, the Church heard learned of the death of Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini, who died the evening of Friday, August 31, 2012.
The Archbishop emeritus of Milan died at the age of 85, after a long battle against Parkinson’s disease.
With the parting of Cardinal Martini, also goes one of the most important figures of the Catholic Church in recent decades.
The Shepherd, head of the largest Italian diocese for 25 years, was called the “great man”, the “man of God”, both in the Catholic and the secular world.

Pope Benedict XVI expressed his feelings of sadness to Angelo Cardinal Scola, the successor of Cardinal Martini in the Archdiocese of Milan, at the death of the Jesuit Cardinal, describing him as “the brother who served the Gospel and the Church with generosity.”

Professor of Sacred Scripture, Father of the contemporary Church of the East and the West, a person of great moral frankness, the Cardinal of dialog and of the protection of the human rights of different races, religions and ethnicity. He will be remembered as a man of great social sensitivity, for all his initiatives regarding the marginalized, prisoners, and the poor and needy.

Cardinal Martini leaves the Church a great cultural legacy with 150 published books and thousands of scientific articles.

In his long life, Cardinal Martini has received countless awards; recall that he was the first Christian to be awarded an Honorary Degree in Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Custos of the Holy Land, Fra Pierbattista Pizzaballa, recalled in an interview with “Cardinal Martini had made a clear choice: to be withdrawn. He did not participate in public meetings of any kind, with rare exception. He did not even take part in liturgical events, with the exception of Holy Week. We knew, for example, that he loved to spend days or extended periods in some of the Holy Places (such as Mount Tabor), but no one really noticed his presence. It was a deliberate choice, primarily due to internal reasons, but I think so that he would not be a hindrance to anyone. He knew that his presence could, in spite of himself, in some circumstances be cumbersome.

He had amicable relations with the heads of Churches. We would meet mainly on formal and institutional occasions.”

Cardinal Martini’s love for the Holy Land was so exclusive that in 2002, he went to Jerusalem, where he lived and cultivated his beloved biblical studies, until his return to Italy in 2008.

In the summer of 2005, Cardinal Martini received an Honorary Degree from the University of Bethlehem. From this grew the desire to create the “Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute”.

At the meeting in Bethlehem this morning, Dr. JosephZaknoun, Director of the Institute said, “The University of Bethlehem has lost a great friend, an excellent friend! One of the most important ecclesiastical figures, who inspired the founding of the Institute on the Campus at Bethlehem University nearly four years ago. The aim of the Institute is to develop the leadership skills of the Palestinian people, in particular the young people, women and Palestinian mothers. To date, the Institute has achieved much success, both in the concept of leadership in the Church and in methods of communication. Five hundred women have enrolled in the courses in communication, both Muslim and Christian, and a considerable number of young people are currently attending these courses.”