Milan mourns cardinal who dared to challenge Rome
The great and the good filed into Milan's famous gothic cathedral yesterday afternoon for the funeral mass of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, one of the church's best-loved figures. Pope Benedict XVI wasn't one of them, however. Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the head priest of St Peter's Basilica, represented the pontiff.
The deeply conservative Benedict would have read, like everyone else, the liberal Cardinal Martini's scathing verdict on the church and its current leadership, which he described as "200 years out of date". In his message relayed by Cardinal Comastri, the Pope nonetheless expressed his "closeness in affection and prayer to the entire diocese of Milan, the Jesuits and the relatives and all those who had loved and admired Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini".
In terms of like-minded theologians, Cardinal Martini was thought to have had few friends inside the Vatican. But among ordinary people – thousands of whom stood outside under grey skies to watch the ceremony on two giant TV screens – his standing was enormous.
These people were quick to praise of the former Archbishop of Milan, who died on Friday, aged 85.
"He was always ahead of the rest of the church," said Michele Novaga, an aid worker.
"I think he probably understood that the people wanted another sort of church."
Elisabetta Grassi, a secretary, said: "I'm not really very religious, but I think he was a great man – and he commanded respect and admiration from people who were not church-goers. That's because he sought to include people and care about them, regardless of their background."
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...