Archive for the ‘Hans Kung’ Category

Hans Küng and the Roman System

September 27, 2011

Hans Küng is not allowed to teach “Catholic theology,” but he remains with the Roman communion, apparently teaches ecumenical theology at the University of Tübingen, and is still a priest (i.e. he has not been defrocked).  Unlike most priests, he has been invited to the pope’s summer palace and corresponds occasionally with the pope.

However, Küng has a less Roman perspective than his former colleague Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI).  As reported by Spiegel, Küng stated:

Küng: In my view, the Catholic Church as a community of faith will be preserved, but only if it abandons the Roman system of rule. We managed to get by without this absolutist system for 1,000 years. The problems began in the 11th century, when the popes asserted their claim to absolute control over the Church, by applying a form of clericalism that deprived the laity of all power. The celibacy rule also stems from that era.

SPIEGEL: In an interview with the respected weekly German newspaper Die Zeit, you were sharply critical of Pope Benedict, saying that not even King Louis XIV was as autocratic as the leader of the Catholic Church, with his absolutist style of government. Could Benedict truly change the Roman system if he wanted to?

Küng: It’s true that this absolutism is an essential element of the Roman system. But it was never an essential element of the Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council did everything to move away from it, but unfortunately it wasn’t thorough enough. No one dared to criticize the pope directly, but there was an emphasis on the pope’s collegial relationship with the bishops, which was designed to integrate him into the community again.

SPIEGEL: Was it successful?

Küng: I wouldn’t say that it was. The shamelessness with which the Vatican’s policy has simply hushed up and neglected the concept of collegiality since then is beyond compare. An unparalleled personality cult prevails once again today, which contradicts everything written in the New Testament. In this sense, one can state this very clearly. Benedict has even accepted the gift of a tiara, a papal crown, the medieval symbol of absolute papal power, which an earlier pope, Paul VI, chose to surrender. I think this is outrageous. He could change all of this overnight, if he wanted to.

There’s plenty more in the article, but it interesting to hear Küng speak for himself, particularly considering how “conservative” (the way he would describe them) members of the Roman communion seem to portray him as some sort of monster.


Another Consequence of Forbidding Marriage to Clergy

March 11, 2010

We have previously noted that one consequence of forbidding marriage to clergy is that one gets a higher ratio of homosexual clergyman (link to brief discussion). Another consequence is that priests do to nuns the kinds of things that Maria Monk reported (link to Vatican’s acknowledgment that this happens). The report makes Steve Hays’ satire (link) seem not so far from the mark.

These abuses take place in part because of Rome’s unscriptural policy of mandatory clerical celibacy, as Roman Catholic priest and former theologian, Hans Küng, agrees (link). Such a policy is a serious error and is contrary to Scripture, though we acknowledge that it is not an error as to an essential doctrine. If this were the worst error that Rome has, she would still be a true church.

There are, however, many other and worse errors in Rome’s teaching. While Rome’s gospel that involves subjection to the Roman Pontiff and veneration of Mary may not injure the bodies of its nuns, it is something that does far more serious damage – it harms their souls. The way of salvation is through trust in Christ alone for salvation.

(Update: Cardinal Schönborn appears to agree with Hans Küng and this blog)


Let Hans Kung Explain …

October 31, 2009

… why the papal attempt to cause schism within Anglicanism is likely to undermine Rome’s ecumenical attempts (link). I don’t endorse or even like Kung. He’s a Roman Catholic priest, whose authority to teach theology has been revoked by the Vatican (as of 1979, I believe). Back in the 60’s he used to work with Joseph Ratzinger, who is now the pope of Rome, though plainly the two have parted ways in certain respects. Kung is considered a theological “liberal” in Roman Catholicism today. His area of specialty: ecumenical theology.

His view of Christianity is far too broad. Christianity is to be defined by the gospel as preached by Jesus and the apostles: a gospel of repentance from sin and trust for salvation in Christ alone.

Kung’s complaints are somewhat revealing, however. They demonstrate the fact that, for Rome, unity with those she considers “other Christians” must always be subservient to her goal of maintaining primacy over the church.

Kung states: “Evidently, the papal primacy – which Pope Paul VI admitted was the greatest stumbling block to the unity of the churches – does not function as the ‘rock of unity’.”


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