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liberal Cardinal Martini's scathing verdict on the church and its current leadership, which he described as "200 years out of date".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."
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
Nelson Mandela memorial sign language interpreter was a 'fake'
The ten coldest places on Earth
Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
Krokodil in Mexico? Teenager hospitalised after 'injecting drug into her genitals'
Nelson Mandela memorial: Cheers, jeers and a masterclass from Barack Obama that stole the show
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial sign language interpreter was a 'fake'
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Exeter to Edinburgh and back in a day: How one fresher's lost bet left him facing a 900-mile round trip
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: NOC Engineer (Desktop Support, Exchange Se...
£320 - £350 per day + extension beyond: PCR Recruitment Limited: Systems Engin...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: This company delivers display ad...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: 1st/2nd Line Suppo...