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Martini, Cardinal Carlo Maria

Cardinal archbishop Jesuit scholar and Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, Carlo Maria Martini is effectively the leader of the liberal opposition to Pope John Paul II in the Italian church. Martini entered the Jesuit order 1944 and was ordained at twenty-five, an unusually early age for a Jesuit. His doctoral theses in theology at the Gregorian University and scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute were so brilliant that they were immediately published. He was first dean of the Faculty of Scripture at the Biblical Institute, rector from 1969 to 1978, and then rector of the Gregorian University. He was appointed Archbishop of Milan in December 1979 and was made a cardinal in February 1983. He has published over fifty books since 1980, mostly pastoral letters, with annual sales of over a million copies worldwide. In contrast to John Paul II, he is ‘soft’ on sexuality and strong on ecumenism. He is widely regarded as a possible successor to the papal throne, though perhaps too liberal to ultimately succeed.