(ANSA) - Vatican City, September 3 - In a message read at the funeral of cardinal Carlo Maria Martini on Monday Pope Benedict XVI said that the former archbishop of Milan was "truly a man of God, who not only studied the Bible, but loved it intensely". "Everything he did was for the greater glory of God," said the pontiff. The message from Pope Benedict was read at the funeral mass celebrated by Milan's Archbishop Angelo Scola in the city's cathedral. Large screens were also placed in the square outside the cathedral to broadcast the funeral mass for those who could not find seating inside. Over 200,000 visited Milan's cathedral over the weekend to pay their last respects to the much-loved cardinal who died on Friday at the age of 85 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. "As a pastor he was uniquely capable of bringing this light to others, even those distant from the Church. He was able to teach the faithful and those seeking the truth that the only word worthy of being listened to, accepted and followed is that of God. He moved with an enormous openness of heart, eagerness to meet and talk with all and followed the Apostles' example to always be ready for anyone who calls for help and hope". The pope, who quoted psalm 119: 105, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path," and said that Martini was a "generous and faithful pastor of the Church". Born in Turin in 1927, Martini entered the Society of Jesus, whose members are called Jesuits, in 1944 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1952. He served as the archbishop of Milan from 1980 until his retirement in 2002, when he moved to the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem to continue his work as a biblical scholar. He passed away at the Jesuit-run Aloisianum college in Gallarate (Varese) near Milan, where he had been living and receiving treatment since his return to Italy from Jerusalem in 2008. "The Lord who has led cardinal Carlo Maria Martini throughout his whole life will receive his tireless servant of the Gospel in Heaven. To all those present and those who mourn his passing, I extend the comfort of my blessing," said the pope. Martini was considered one of the more liberal high-ranking representatives of the Catholic Church. He was to be buried in the Milan cathedral near another previous Archbishop of Milan, the sainted Charles Borromeo.
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