Pope Francis, Cardinal Marini and Clerical Careerism

Considering Pope Francis’ recent comments on clerical careerism, it’s too bad his Jesuit brother Cardinal Carlo Maria Marini isn’t around to consult with him. It seems they would be of the same mind. Here is a quote from Cardinal Marini from an article in The TABLET in 2008:

“Unfortunately there are priests that aim at becoming bishops, and they succeed. There are bishops who don’t speak out because they know they will not be promoted to a higher see, or that it will block their candidacy to the cardinalate.

This type of careerism is one of the greatest ills in the church today. It stops priests and bishops from speaking the truth and induces them into doing and saying only what pleases their superiors—something that is a great disservice to the Pope.

I could add that there is great vanity in the Church. Great vanity! One sees it in the dress. Cardinals used to have a six-yard-long silk train. But continuously the Church strips and redresses with useless ornaments. There is a tendency to show off.

I need to speak out about certain things. It’s part of the choice an elderly person makes. There are certain things I must say to the Church. We are called to be transparent, to speak the truth. We need a great grace to do this, but those that can are free.”

From The TABLET, 14 June 2008, as quoted on Richard Sipe’s website.

You may recall that shortly before is death in August 2012, Cardinal Marini stirred up quite a bit of controversy with an interview in The Independent where he said that the Church was “200 years out of date” and argued that, “Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous.” We don’t know for sure, yet, but we think and hope that Pope Francis would agree with this sentiment, too.


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  1. #1 by Sarah M. Doganieri on May 11, 2013 - 6:14 PM

    One needs to study church history to find out where this concept of royalty began…….emperor like robes and jewels. I invite a true church historian to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I know where it came from but I want the rest of the church to hear from the experts. Time for the church to teach us all where so much of their tradition comes from. Certainly it is not from Jesus.


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