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Hans Küng: an ageing enfant terrible going nowhere

Even at Vatican II, he was regarded as ‘incendiary, superficial, and polemical’. The contrast with Pope Benedict XVI is stark

By on Thursday, 12 May 2011

Hans Küng is pictured in his office in Tübingen, Germany, in 2008 (CNS photo/Harald Oppitz, KNA)

Hans Küng is pictured in his office in Tübingen, Germany, in 2008 (CNS photo/Harald Oppitz, KNA)

How important is the personal character of individual theologians to the intellectual conclusions at which they arrive? Consider, first, the character of the Jesuit Henri de Lubac, who according to Cardinal Avery Dulles, even throughout times of great adversity,

…remained staunchly committed to the Catholic tradition in its purity and plenitude. He humbly and gratefully accepted what the tradition had to offer and made it come alive through his eloquent prose and his keen sense of contemporary actualities. His eminent success in enkindling love for Christ and the Church in the hearts of his readers stemmed, no doubt, from his own devotion, humility and selfless desire to serve.

This humble gratitude for the traditio had a profound effect on his assessment of the post-conciliar years. De Lubac, wrote Cardinal Dulles, perceived in postconciliar Catholicism “a self-destructive tendency to separate the spirit of the council from its letter … The turmoil of the postconciliar period seemed to de Lubac to emanate from a spirit of worldly contention quite opposed to the Gospel.”

De Lubac was, of course, a peritus (appointed by John XXIII to advise him personally) at the Second Vatican Council. Afterwards, he published a Vatican II diary, which contained an interesting assessment of two of his fellow periti, Fr Joseph Ratzinger and Fr Hans Küng. It is uncannily perceptive; and it enables us to look in a new way at the theological discord between them, which grew so much over the years, as being not only a difference of intellectual analysis, but as deriving also from a profound difference of character: the young Fr Ratzinger is portrayed as one whose powerful intellect is matched by his “peacefulness” and “affability”. Fr Küng, by contrast, is described as possessing a “juvenile audacity” and speaking in “incendiary, superficial, and polemical” terms. These quotations are made in a recent article by Samuel Gregg, who goes on to remind us of what happened to these two later: “Ratzinger emerged as a formidable defender of Catholic orthodoxy and was eventually elected pope. Küng became a theological celebrity [nice one] and antagonist of the papacy.” Küng had his licence to teach Catholic theology removed after he denied papal infallibility: but he is still a Catholic priest in good standing, a fact which puzzles many: I suspect he has not been forcibly laicised because it is just what he would like to happen: his claim to a liberal martyr’s crown would then be unassailable.

The contrast between the two men was pointed recently when both men brought out books on the same day: the Pope published his Jesus of Nazareth, part II; and Küng, the “theological celebrity” published what sounds like his usual (to use de Lubac’s words) “incendiary, superficial, and polemical” anti-papal and anti-Catholic ravings. According to one report:

Controversial Swiss-born Catholic theologian Hans Küng on Wednesday launched a new book attacking papal authority and calling on rank-and-file Catholics to seize control of the church from its clerical masters…. Speaking at the book launch in Tübingen, Germany… the 82-year-old said Jesus Christ would not like today’s Catholic Church. “If Jesus of Nazareth returned, he would not prohibit contraceptives, he would not shut out divorced people, and so on,” Küng said.

He charged that the curia, or Vatican bureaucracy, had come up with a long series of rulings over the centuries that opposed the teachings laid down in the Christian New Testament. He said Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II had reinforced this.

In the book, he argues that resistance to church doctrines that are “obviously against the Gospels” is a duty. Küng said this included Catholic parishes insisting on keeping their priests after they marry, even if church law declares the man is no longer a priest. He said the church could only saved by the faithful taking over responsibility for their church.

So, nothing new there, then, except Küng’s question, the book’s title: Can the Church Still be Saved? To which the answer, surely, is that the first thing it needed to be saved from is him and his like; and that thanks to the last two popes it has already been, however much remains to be done. That at least has been achieved: the routing of what Küng and his pals (as part of their programme of unceasing self-promotion) insolently termed the “alternative magisterium”.

What’s wrong with Küng, and what’s right with Pope Benedict, emerges absolutely clearly from the contrast between their respective understandings of the person of Christ Himself. As Gregg puts it, “from [the pope’s book] Jesus of Nazareth’s first pages, it’s clear Benedict is focused upon knowing the truth about Christ as He is rather than who we might prefer Him to be”. Küng’s Jesus on the other hand “is one who would apparently disavow his own teachings on subjects such as marriage because they don’t conform to 21st-century secularist morality. Instead, Küng’s Christ faithfully follows the views of, well, progressive post-Vatican II German theologians”.

There’s another contrast between the two men. At 82, Küng is finished, intellectually. He is consumed by anger; all he can do is repeat himself. But Pope Benedict’s mind and spirit grow ever deeper. He is not angry, but serene. His books emanate from a man who is still travelling, ever more profoundly, into the Mystery of Christ, whose Vicar he truly is, may God be praised.

So, the contrast between their views of Christ is, in the end, also a contrast between the characters of the two men. Hans Küng’s character was already very evident by the time of the Council itself, and not just to de Lubac; a fellow progressive has recalled how he called him aside one day, after he screeched to a halt in a bright red sports car, to warn him: “Hans, you are becoming too evident.” The story was recalled last year in an open letter to Küng from George Weigel published in First Things:

As the man who single-handedly invented a new global personality-type – the dissident theologian as international media star – you were not, I take it, overly distressed by your friend’s warning. In 1963, you were already determined to cut a singular path for yourself, and you were media-savvy enough to know that a world press obsessed with the man-bites-dog story of the dissenting priest-theologian would give you a megaphone for your views. You were, I take it, unhappy with the late John Paul II for trying to dismantle that story-line by removing your ecclesiastical mandate to teach as a professor of Catholic theology; your subsequent, snarling put-down of Karol Wojtyla’s alleged intellectual inferiority in one volume of your memoirs ranked, until recently, as the low-point of a polemical career in which you have become most evident as a man who can concede little intelligence, decency, or good will in his opponents.

He was responding to another open letter from Küng himself, to the bishops of the world – who had of course been panting for his guidance (not) – neatly summed up by the Irish Times in its standfirst: “Pope Benedict has made worse just about everything that is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church and is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests, according to this open letter to all Catholic bishops”.

Of that, I say nothing: read it for yourself, then read George Weigel’s whole article in First Things. To the Irish Times standfirst Weigel says simply this:

I recognise that authors do not write the sometimes awful subheads that are put on op-ed pieces [actually the Irish Times’s is quite accurate]. Nonetheless, you authored a piece of vitriol – itself utterly unbecoming a priest, an intellectual, or a gentleman… That grotesque falsification of the truth perhaps demonstrates where odium theologicum can lead a man. But it is nonetheless shameful.

Shameful, indeed: and there will be no shame from its author. But what do you expect from a self-constructed theological celebrity, who knows that his media strategy absolutely depends on maintaining and escalating ad infinitum his own brazen impenitence?

  • Nick

    This is more like anecdotes; also, the hard feminists sure  would love him (since they hate Benedict).

    But among women in general (which are _not_ represented by hard feminists) slightly more women than men are pro-life for example.

  • Nick

    Kung is explicitly trying to change Church’s teaching; I adhere to Church teaching.

    I don’t criticize that American bishop. I have no information and no reason to assume that he was “trigger-happy” as you suggest. What information do you have? We have two sides (the hospital and the bishop) and the secular media (as well as modernist Catholic media) obviously would side with the hospital without hesitation. They would hardly even care about the details of the case.

  • Josephsoleary

     Read Cardinal Koch in the Oss Romano to see that the current problem is not that of allowing the TLM but of encouraging the wider use of the TLM with a view to reshaping the OF in a way that takes it back to something closer to the Mass of 1962. A letter of Cardinal Ratzinger to Lothar Barth already expressed this ambition. In reality the crisis in our liturgy cannot be solved by going back but only by building more creatively on what Vatican II called for. For fuller information consult
     One respect in which the TLM suppresses an opening of Vatican II is in the drastic curtailment of the scriptural readings, as was pointed out by the US bishops.

  • Nick

    > Read Cardinal Koch in the Oss Romano to see that the current problem is
    not that of allowing the TLM but of encouraging the wider use of the TLM
    with a view to reshaping the OF in a way that takes it back to
    something closer to the Mass of 1962. A letter of Cardinal Ratzinger to
    Lothar Barth already expressed this ambition.

    Supposing that is true (I read only the recent Catholic Herald article on Koch, but nothing about Benedict’s letter), I still don’t think we need to be worried. There is no problem with using the best elements of both missals. You may be afraid that the Holy See will discard important, good elements of the OF in the process. But I trust the Holy See to give us a nice reform. They have the talent and the motivation. Maybe you read too much material from dissenting websites and got a horrible vision of the Holy See.

    > One respect in which the TLM suppresses an opening of Vatican II is in
    the drastic curtailment of the scriptural readings, as was pointed out
    by the US bishops.

    I can’t comment on that; I don’t know the TLM.

    Anyway, I should stop commenting on the liturgy, which I know very little about.

    Also, if I was rude in comments above, I apologize again. I am using the internet _far_ too much.

  • dan

    If Hans Kung is a priest in good standing canonically speaking, even though he’s not allowed to teach, and he’s in “full” communion with the Church, there is no reason why the priests of the SSPX couldn’t be with the Pope’s permission and without changing any of their opinions. The SSPX in its unfortunate position is a casualty of the chaos in the Church. The SSPX believes and teaches every dogma of the Faith. It could be easily restored canonically and likely will be eventually as the “reform of the reform” and traditionalist movement build momentum.   

  • Dan

    I don’t know if those are associated with dogma or not.  

  • Dan

    another possibility is Pius IX, speaking infallibly, was contradicted by a council that got some things wrong 

  • GFFM

    You are so clever–and insubstantial. Try responding to substance; sniping is a tactic which is typical of hysterical left. 

  • Nat_ons

    J, there is no ‘open’ option in the body of Christ for discussion on the topics of abortion, sexual liberty, female ‘fathers’ in the presbyterate or on the infallible origin of the abiding teaching authority in apostolic oversight (as opposed to any theological dissentionism in a ‘spirit of the age’ .. now passing). True ‘Kung may express some appreciation of liberation theology, feminist and gay theology, and he has made huge efforts in the field of interreligious theology’, that does not make what he expresses the authoritative teaching of the church catholic – let alone orthodox. Where Ven. Pius XII, Bl John XXIII, the Servant of God Paul VI, Bl John Paul II and the awesome Benedict XVI differ from isolated theologicans, no matter how catholic, orthodox and tradition-aware the theologian, is in the kind of authority used not the degree of ingenuity offered. So whether or not Father Küng finds aspects of Liberation Theology, et al, appealing (to a mid-20th century mind) is merely academic; that aspects of it are condemned authoriatively by the official teachers allotted to the Church by the Holy Spirit is a matter of shared living faith and its treasure .. to hold firmly to it (or to dismiss it obdurately), 2 Tim 1 : 13-14.

  • Nat_ons

    GFFM, I trust you were also shown – even by the Küng-addicted mindset –  that it is important to the Faith (as our one shared living faith) to understand the difference in kind of authority used not merely the degree of ingenuity offered. Father Küng understands the difference, he simply asserts that hierarchy is the enemy of the ‘authority’ that he wishes to have imposed on the church catholic as Christ’s .. and in this he is correct; all or any priestly rule is in direct opposition to his sovereign individualism (provided, of course, all such sovereignty submits to his pontificating, presbyteral oversight and prophetic claims of obedience to God’s inspired word). In the orthodoxy of the church catholic, however, another rationale must be at work; not ‘I understand, therefore, Believe me’ but ‘fides quaerens intellectum’ – and what ‘orthodoxy’ holds as worthy of belief can never be just whatsoever any speculative individual theologian holds as appealing to himself, and thereafter binding on all, but whatever is shared authoritatively, officially and magisterially by the one body with one Spirit as one call to one hope in one faith, Eph 4 : 4-6. (In praying for the intentions of HH Benedict XVI, as we ought, a wee mind would not go amiss for the Küng-ite spirit .. even only because it must add so grievously to the sighing under the cross of oversight laid on the Pope’s dutiful shoulders, Heb 13 : 17.)

  • Nat_ons

    Martin, the problem is the notion of ‘faith’ that is being strengthened by this spirit of dissention – even if it is described as an ‘open, inclusive, broadminded approach’. Destructive opposition, as an end in itself, may well be modern but it is not orthodox .. nor is it catholic. In fact, the beliefs that are strengthened by Father Küng thrive on rebellion (e.g. Wyclif, Huss, et al), Rom 16 : 17-20.. 

  • In Our Times

    Thank you for the previous reply Weary, in another thread.

    I had a quick look at Lord Acton, who seems on paper of course, to be a most decent chap. And whereas I am not refuting that religion can inspire selfless acts & good works, one can never be too sure. The dependency-fostering dogmas & secrecy of the confessional process being what they are; one can only really speculate.
    Take for instance the very famous sculptor Eric Gill, who devoutly followed the Roman Catholic faith & died in 1940. During his prominent career, he had sexually abused his own children, had an incestuous relationship with his sister and performed sexual acts on his dog. An early biography by Robert Speaight suppressed this information (from the artists own diaries); only to be later brought to light in a biography by Fiona MacCarthy in 1989.

    How do you think such a thing happened? Who ordained the ‘right’ course for this man & claimed it God’s Will? Did the hierarchs know what he was doing in his private life? Will we ever know? Of course, it’s all for the better that the information finally became public knowledge, because it can be (hopefully) learned from.

    So regarding Lord Acton on the corruption of power etc…an obvious question occurs to me. Why then, pledge life-long allegiance to a corrupt Magesterum? For who’s sake is that? Psychological self protection? Protection of the Establishment? For the sake of a Continuum; (which we know is merely one point of reference amongst many). (?) We all know that God can be served from anywhere as indeed Christ can be followed; from anywhere. Loving with “all one’s heart” surely knows no bounds. Unconditional love that is. Why further the Catholic Cause and allow them to ‘claim’ the “good & the great”? 

    Regarding Mr Gill, I doubt very much a public consensus would have facilitated & advanced such behaviour & I’m not even claiming to know what the best outcome would have been. But I do find myself supporting more fully the notion of widest consensus on all matters political & religious. 

    God Bless. 

  • Weary Convert

    Thank you for this interesting response.  Regarding Eric Gill, I know only some of his work especially the Stations of the Cross in Westminster Cathedral .  I was aware that he had strange sexual tastes in which respect perhaps there is a parallel with the priestly child abuse of these days – faithfully following the barren procedures of liturgy etc.while simultaneously acting as sexual predators.

    As to Lord Acton, I wonder if many of the Ultras who contribute so violently to this website even realise that there was a powerful liberal Catholic movement in the 1850s and after, that was for some time crushed by exactly the sort of persecution that the Ultras would like to see re-instated. After the promulgation of the Vatican Decrees – which he considered not just wrong, but wicked – Acton’s position was that what preserved his allegiance was a sense that the Church is holier than its officials and the bonds of the Christian community are deeper than any dependence on the hierarchy.  I think that in a humbler way, there is a similarity today to the position of liberal Catholics who are seeing a noisy Gaderene rush back towards obscurantism and superstition, yet remain in in the Church for much the same reasons as Acton and know, like Julian of Norwich that eventually, “all will be well.”

    Thank you again..

  • In Our Times

    Thanks also for the most interesting reply. I do find it amazing (& a little arrogant maybe) that an individual might assume “all will be well” & maybe this is a position more easily adopted amongst the privileged few, who see themselves as epoch-makers maybe. A ‘knowing that all will be well’ can only ever be self-referential however, as all our positions tend only to a matter of personal faith & intuition. If others around us are encouraging & supportive also, the more validated we feel.

    The ‘lowly, meek & abused’ may not particularly wish to be refered to as sacrificial lambs for the sake of a “romantic orthodoxy” (sic), for instance, nor may take any comfort in being told “well it’s OK guys, you will inherit the Earth” etc… or other such patronising dictums. We may merely insult their intelligence & dignity. We can never know even, whether lives could have been saved had an individual in ‘power’ chosen differently. (And some people do have more diminished opportunity to ‘choose’ for themselves, especially if they have been raised from birth within one system.)

    But fascinating nonetheless, to shed light on the motives of a few, so thank you.

    I think what concerned me the most regarding the Eric Gill case were the posthumous moral & ethical extrapolations of exposing the behaviour & personal lifestyle, (although very illuminating in some ways also).  I refer mainly to the work & comments of Patrick Odou & Fr. Peter Scott, particularly because they shed light on “Catholic Morality” & both positions are extreme, apposite & fairly current; (beginning 2005 with an article by Odou entitled “Eric Gill, the Paedophile Founder of Distributionism”)
    “…the deliberate telling or publishing of the sins that a man committed during his life, without proportionate reason, is a mortal sin of detraction both against justice and against charity, and even if the facts told are perfectly true… Those who went into the details of Gill’s moral life on the Internet were sinning against charity by the manner and publicity that they gave to this discussion, and also on account of the scandal that an unnecessary and excessively public discussion of sins against purity does cause.” (Hmmm….)

    Odou’s position & accusations of blasphemy in Gill’s art are equally extreme & also under critique, but I feel his questioning of Gill’s “moral pearls” are fair & it’s understandable why those protecting & lauding him might feel uncomfortable & react defensively.

    So I do find such ‘rationale’ rather incredible to be blunt & can sometimes feel quite concerned that many are guided, instructed & raised in this way. The sexual sublimation elements of such allegorical & doctrinal frameworks are clearly obvious to many in the more modernist arena, but I couldn’t comment on how healthy I feel it may be for others: they may choose for themselves. 

    Thanks again.

  • davanna kilgore

    This article is just one long ad hominem attack. 

  • Parasum

    A considered analysis of Kung’s work would have been no bad idea

  • Parasum

    A considered analysis of Kung’s work would have been no bad idea

  • Josephsoleary

    Kung is UNageing, a hardy perennial.

  • Josephsoleary

    OK, but you later turned out not to defend the church’s hard line in hard cases, which puts you closer to Kung.

  • Mayra .

    Did anyone see these open messages to Pope Benedict? They discuss the Fatima prophecies in great detail, the 4th audio reveals the whole truth about the consecration of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. I found it very interesting.

  • Josephsoleary

    A diet of spurious or dubious Marian messages, at the expense of Scripture and sound Christian teaching, is fatal to Catholic faith and orthodoxy.

  • John S

    Sounds like you are now the one who is “incendiary, superficial, and polemical” – why do attack the man. I think a more peaceful and affable thing to do would be an attempt to understand.

  • Josephsoleary

    I suspect you found NO positive support for them. Indeed the reaction bids fair to  be more violent than anyone anticipated.

  • Josephsoleary

    Yes, it is a big mistake to think that Kung is a fool. If I had as much to say at his age, I would be proud.

  • Tiggy

    We know.

  • Ken Purdie

    Violent. I don t think so. People were mostly unaware,and whilst do not like change, seemed to be in tune when things were explained,

  • Josephsoleary

    Tiggy aka Purdie — I see signs that the reaction will be violent — as in South Africa — unless the faithful are so numbed or so inattentive that they do not react at all. A positive reaction is something no one really expects.

    “seemed to be in tune when things were explained” — could you explain what that means, concretely? It sounds evasive.

    “whilst do not like change” — that is a false talking-point, one of many surrounding this ghastly translation. The strongest criticism of the new translation comes from those who admire the suppressed 1998 translation. People whose reaction to the new translation is based only on dislike of change, if there are any such people, sound like people who do not want to be bothered with improving the language of their worship.

  • Tiggy

    Yep the laity, like some of the Clergy are lazy. Change always means work.
     Its a huge step forward  Fr,that you think this is “improving the language of their worship”  Well done you.

  • Josephsoleary

    Very many critics of the new translation are outstanding for the work they have put into liturgy. To suggest that their dislike of the ghastly new translation is due to laziness is a rather desperate ploy — but congratulations on inventing a new talking point. You could even sell it to the desperate defenders.

  • Josephsoleary

    But a far more valuable talking point would be “the warm response to the new translations in Ireland” — that would be a true man bits dog story. You could sell that story to the New York Times for a tidy sum.

  • Ken Purdie

    Who in their right mind, would get involved with the New York Times, at any price?

  • Ken Purdie

    The Liturgy since 1970 has had nothing outstanding about it. Probably because nothing outstanding has been “put into it” Deo Gratias that this is being rectified.

  • Anonymous

    Is Hans a Kung Fool?

  • J.P.

    It seems very apparent to me that regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with Pope Benedict on the basics of Catholic moral teaching, Kung’s theology should be disregarded simply because he cannot prove a point without directly insulting the person behind the philosophy.  Little does he know the person he is insulting is not Pope Benedict XVI, but rather our Lord Jesus Christ himself.

  • AgingPapist

    B16 deteriorated into a hopeless reactionary with a second-rate mind, who became scared out of his wits by a bunch of left-wing students. He could never hold a candle to Hans Kung and he knows it.  Kung is a prickly personality to be sure, a vain chaser of the limelight, but his predictions, like those of  Fr. Karl Rahner SJ, are unfolding before our eyes.

    He is so right.  It is time for the laity to take back their rightful place and exercise it as members of the “royal priesthood”.  To start thinking of not only retiring the hierarchy en masse, but making certain many of them spend the rest of their lives in prison.

  • Roy Banes

    Or perhaps destroyed the faith of those very many people with his open, inclusive, broadminded approach, of wich it is dribble.  God save us from the like of Kung.

  • Roy Banes

    I cetainly hope you stay awway!!!!!!!!

  • AgingPapist

     This is pure hogwash.

  • AgingPapist

    Fatima and Medjugorje charlatanry and the sources of superstition on a grand scale.

  • AgingPapist

    The Raven, You should look back beyond just the time you hate and consider as the “bad times”.  It was all coming apart long before good pope John called the Council in 1958. Two world wars ended the authoritarian structures we swept out with the fascist dictators.

    This pope’s view of the Church and those attracted to it is an anomaly. An accident of history hearkening us to a Hitler universe of order, the power of concentrated authority, in other words a romantic Golden Age. Where there will be order and obedience and not a whole lot of creativity and experimentation.

    Hans Kung, Edvard Schillebeeckx, Karl Rahner, Leonardo Boff, and Ives Congar represent an antidote to this historical view . To refuge from what is becoming quite obviously as the “Age of Benedict”. We will have need to use that antidote from time to time as it becomes increasingly obvious how irrelevant the Church is becoming.

     These men be old, dead, and dated, but their vision of the Church and their message for today is as pertinent to our times as they were in following the failed opportunities at Vatican II and the 60s.  Laugh at them and dismiss them if you wish, but they are the voices the Church should have been following and not the false prophets inhabiting Satan’s sanctuary in Rome today.

  • Martin

    Hans Kung takes many of us closer to Jesus than any organised religion or other individual theologian does. The Roman Catholic Church needs fundamental change to move back to Jesus, which hopefully will happen one day, but unfortunately probably not under the current leadership.

  • gilhow

    So you presume that Hans Kung is “going nowhere!”  The reality is that Kung, a grand exemplar of Jesus, has already traveled light years beyond most thinkers and expressers of grand ideas based on the the thought of Jesus that is a bit collated in the limited books of the official canon called the New Testament.  Kung has been able to do that because he does not presumed to be reaching anywhere close to understanding the Infinite God of Jesus.  

    Kung has understood and always elaborated on Jesus as the shining starting point toward God, in no way the final achievement of God.  God is infinite.  Then why would anyone dare to presume that the billions of theological volumes that have been written might in any way come close to exhausting picayune human thought about that Infinite, or adequately explain that Infinite?  

    Kung never does that, but all those who consider that the search for God has been exhausted are making very little of God.  They are the ones who arrogantly presume they know more, they know best–than is even possible to know.  They are the ones like Josef Ratzinger would dare to end the teaching careers in Catholic institutions of bright, shining lights like Hans Kung or Charles Curran–or try to end the careers of theologians like Elizabeth Johnson CSJ.  

    It’s not a matter of being “trendy,” it’s a matter of our evolution of thought after study and meditation on the Almighty Infinite.  We learn more, we think harder and larger, we lay ourselves open to the thoughts of others and to light, and no, we must never think that any one of us comes close to understanding/knowing God, much less exhausts even our own thought about that Infinite. 

  • gilhow

    I find it very challenging, indeed, to consider that De Lubac, Von Balthazar, a favorite of Ratzinger’s, or Ratzinger himself, could be fresher air, “speculative,” or “creative” than Hans Kung. You might benefit from a return to a more mature study of your undergraduate work of Kung, and the grad studies might help to understand him better now.  You sadly did not elaborate on your denigration of “The Dram of Atheistic Humanism.”  You might be extremely challenged to find any difference between that “humanism” and “the greatest of these, charity.”  Of course, the virtues of faith, hope, and charity, Kung, De Lubac, Von Balthazar, atheism, and humanism might be better understood and obtain deserved respect if studied with an open mind.  That requires honesty, which is really the “greatest of these.”

  • gilhow

    I”s time we grow beyond the childish mythology of visions.  Isn’t it interesting that most visionaries were illiterate, and most of them are impressionable children.  It’s psychic!

  • gilhow

    You’re much, much better off to have missed all the hoopla about Medjugorje, Fatima or any of those hallucinations.  Let’s stick with science even though the official church hates hates to recognize it.  John Paul II did apologize for the church’s treatment of Galileo–400 centuries late.  

    If Satan introduced death, then didn’t God miss out on part of creation?  How does one learn so much about the activities of Satan?  More visions, I suppose.

    More science needed, again.  Abortions do not butcher a woman’s womb unless our inhumane laws cause women to resort to coat hangers in their garages, etc.  Sepsis usually results.

    What do you have to say about God causing abortions?  Isn’t that an evil disrespect for life, too?

  • danlunche

    Not “Who is John Galt?” but “Who is Hans Kung?”

  • Lucretia

    I’m sorry William that you are so bigoted and unbalanced about Hans Küng,  Have a look at the Church (magisterium/curia) today because it has not listened and is not listening to the Holy Spirit. Why do you think people are leaving and not joining the church. Because it is stumbling in it’s approach to an authentic open and dynamic faith as Jesus espoused. 

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    Hans Küng ideology (free sex, abortion, divorce, etc.) has been adopted by many liberal protestant churches – the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterians, and others. All of them are dying. Fast. They are collapsing.

    Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Protestants are growing.

    And intra Catholic Church, the heretic movements (such as liberation “theology”) are dying, while the orthodox movements are growing.

  • Josephsoleary

     The “orthodox” movements, which are anything but, are growing like a cancer, and catholics are leaving in droves because of their deleterious effects — often to join the Anglican Communion, where people are much kinder and more tolerant of the great variety of legitimate Catholic opinion.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    > “The “orthodox” movements, which are anything but,”
     The orthodox movements believe in what the Church always believed.
    > “Catholics are leaving in droves”
     This is not my perception. Also, statistics say that the number of Catholics is growing worldwide. And in the USA, where the number of priests still diminishes slowly, the number of seminarists is increasing, suggesting long-term health.

    > “Because of their deleterious effects”
     Funny. The places where the Catholic population diminished the most – such as Latin America – are places dominated by “Liberation Theology”.

    > “often to join the Anglican Communion”
     Which is on the verge of a huge schism. Precisely because of the Episcopal Church and other secularized, ultra-progressive provinces. And because of the abandonment of Tradition in the “ordination” of “bishopesses”.

    > “where people are much kinder and more tolerant of the great variety of legitimate Catholic opinion.”
     By which you mean “different priests believe different and incompatible doctrines.”