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31 August 2012

Bethlehem University Mourns the Death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini

Friend and namesake of The Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute at Bethlehem University

Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor, and the entire Bethlehem University community express their deep sadness upon learning of the passing of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. The Catholic News Service reported that Cardinal Martini died today, 31 August 2012, at the age of 85.

"Cardinal Martini was a friend and tireless advocate for Bethlehem University," said Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University. "He recognized the daily realities and challenges of life in Bethlehem and throughout Palestine, and was strongly invested in the success of our faculty, staff, and students."

During a ceremony on the campus of Bethlehem University on 26 June 2005, in recognition of his significant leadership in the Church and his international statue as a renowned biblical scholar, and in recognition of his practical spiritual guidance and concern for all believers and unbelievers, Bethlehem University bestowed on Cardinal Martini, honoris causa, the degree of Doctor of Humanities.

Also, in his name and with significant funding support from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), The Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute was established at Bethlehem University in 2006. The Institute provides to individuals, groups, and communities the information, human resources, and programs that contribute to the development of the leadership capacity of Palestinians. The Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute fosters models of inclusive, democratic, and participatory leadership developed by and appropriate to the people and institutions of Palestine.

Cardinal Martini honorary doctorateBorn near Turin, Italy, on 15 February 1927, Carlo Maria Martini entered the Society of Jesus in 1944, was ordained a priest in 1952, and took his final vows as a Jesuit in 1962. Cardinal Martini distinguished himself as an outstanding leader in the Church: for 15 years in various roles at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome where he guided students in the complex field of biblical research; as the Rector Magnificus of the Gregorian University in Rome; as Cardinal Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milan; and as President of the European Conference of Bishops. Through his prolific writing of more than 1,000 books and articles, in which he continually deepened and expanded his thought, Cardinal Martini’s impact reached far beyond the boundaries of the Catholic Church, to many other Christians, to people of other religions, and to people with no religion at all. Cardinal Martini’s faith, integrity, compassion, sense of justice, and humility earned him the trust and love of those entrusted to his pastoral care.

Soon after retirement in 2002, Cardinal Martini moved to the Jesuit community in Jerusalem, at which point he became aware of Bethlehem University and the challenges it faces in Palestine. Unsolicited, he learned of particular needs of the University and generously sought support for its mission and its work.


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine