Pope Grateful To Heretic Kung…

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The following extract is from a report in the National Catholic Reporter – you can read the entire text by clicking on the photo of Hans Kung…

It is through the lens of our long relationship that I read Volume 3 of Hans’ memoirs.

It is vintage Küng. Hans must have — with German-Swiss clockwork — saved and carefully filed every paper and note he took on his myriad travels, meetings, conferences and conversations. All is carefully documented, not in a pedantic manner, but in a way that assures the reader that she or he is getting wie es eigentlich gewesen, or what really happened.

So many of the world’s thinkers and doers came to Hans, or he to them, that this third, and presumably last, volume of memoirs reads much like an intellectual, cultural and political “who’s who” of the late 20th and early 21st century. Hans obviously wrote right up until the printer pulled the paper out of his hand to finish the book, for he recorded that on June 28, 2013, he wrote to Pope Francis asking for permission to reproduce the warm, handwritten note Francis had written to him in Spanish. (He clearly received an affirmative response.)

Hans means to make this volume his vaya con Dios in the sense that, at the end, he looks back and reflects on what he judges is a full and complete life. He said goodbye to his lifelong weeks of skiing — “one of the most fascinating sports” — in his beloved Swiss Alps as of 2010. He speaks of his various health issues and countering exercises.

The title of the mere 350-page English-language book, Can We Save the Catholic Church?/We Can Save the Catholic Church!, says it all. The second half of the English title is not in the original German (which was Ist die Kirche noch zu retten? — “Can the Church Still Be Saved?”), but it echoes a sentiment that can be found in all seven chapters of the book. Küng sees long-term history moving through an ongoing series of lesser and larger paradigm shifts that are always resisted until a tipping point is reached and the new paradigm takes the center of thought and action.

He is convinced — as I am, as well — that we are in the midst of a major paradigm shift that, expectedly, is vehemently resisted. Nevertheless, it is replacing the old — in this case, the Catholic medieval/Counter Reformation — paradigm.

It is interesting and encouraging to read that last summer, when Hans sent a note of greeting and a Spanish copy of this book to Francis (and to the cardinals on the new papal Council of Cardinals, each in his own language), in only a few days he received the handwritten card mentioned above. In it, Francis thanked Hans for his note and the book, which, he said, he would read with pleasure.

Hans obviously knows intimately more about the deep problems of the past and present Catholic church than anyone else alive today, and he distills these structural, deadly flaws with scorching clarity. However, he doesn’t simply criticize. He also lays out a set of suggested action plans. Hans, and now his readers, sees the depth of the disease in each portion of the church. But, learning the lessons of history, he knows that change is not only possible, but also inevitable.

Further, Hans also provides grounds for the inner courage that is needed to begin, or continue, those efforts, which will accelerate that positive change in the Catholic church. It is a vision of the church to which Hans, like so many others, has devoted, and will continue to devote, his life.  END OF EXTRACT

Comment

Let’s just run through that key paragraph (out of all the key paragraphs) again:

It is interesting and encouraging to read that last summer, when Hans sent a note of greeting and a Spanish copy of this book to Francis (and to the cardinals on the new papal Council of Cardinals, each in his own language), in only a few days he received the handwritten card mentioned above. In it, Francis thanked Hans for his note and the book, which, he said, he would read with pleasure.

I suppose we should be grateful that it’s only a handwritten note Kung received and not a personal telephone call, but still. Compare the treatment of Hans Kung, known heretic (who not so long ago intimated that he would consider ending his own life in a spirit of “euthanasia’s not all bad”) with the treatment meted out to anyone of the remotest “traditional” leaning, the Franciscans of the Immaculate springing to mind.

I’m lost for words, except to say that I’m prepared for the inevitable  Kung canonisation when it comes. What about you?

40 responses

    • Miles Immaculatae,

      It also looks like he knew he would get a sympathetic hearing. He didn’t send it to Cardinal Burke or any other cardinal who is regarded as conservative.

  1. I often wonder if people like Hans Kung ever find time to carry out their priestly duties or even to say a decade of the rosary.

    Can you imagine any (other) company training someone over a period of years at great expense, giving them a top job, free accommodation, paid travel to anywhere in the world they take a fancy to and then allowing them to sit all day writing fairy tales while their business goes down the tube?

    They then get a letter from the CEO telling them that he looks forward to reading their latest drivel.

    Meanwhile, all expenses are paid by an ever growing elderly population, some of whom can ill afford to heat their homes in winter.

    • Perhaps it would be better if you attended to your own duties and prayer. We have neither the right nor the ability to enquire into the state of another’s inner life, which is known to God alone.

      • Perplexed

        For your info., I do attend to my own duties, including prayer.

        In fact, because of this I can barely find time to read through all of Catholic Truth far less sit and write fairy tales.

        I feel I am entitled to wonder how, especially when there is a shortage of priests, so many of them can meander around the world at their leisure without any supervision, or discipline even when they step out of line.

        • Frankier,

          Well said. And, for the benefit of “Perplexed” (who seems to be perplexed at the most obvious of things) it is not “enquiring into the state of another’s inner life” to wonder how, on earth, any priest can find time to write books at all, let alone, like Kung, pulp out volumes of heresy like there’s no tomorrow, when the story going around is that the clergy can’t even find time to distribute Holy Communion without some female clattering around in high heels alongside them in the sanctuary. Either, as Frankier says, they are taking precious time away from prayer and priestly duties or we’re all being told bare faced lies and they’ve got plenty of time on their hands.

          The really perplexing thing is how so many otherwise intelligent lay people have fallen for the party line “priests too busy, shortage of priests” when the real shortage is self-evidently in the pews.

      • Lay people are not idiots. They have a right to know what is done with their money. Priests get a house, a car, and a pension and a whole package of other benefits. The clergy are used to treating the faithful like children, the ‘pay, pray and obey mentality’. I’m sorry, but when it comes to clergy, although we do not have the right to personally judge, there are nevertheless a different set of standards to which we may hold clergy to.

        • Miles Immaculatae,

          Got it in one. Well said. And we’ve every right to know why someone like Hans Kung is permitted (encouraged by the Pope even) to attack and undermine the Church and paid for the privilege.

          Let me take the “inner enquiry” forward a step, for the sake of educating Perplexed: I would hazard an intelligent guess that Hans Kung wouldn’t know a prayer if it came up and smacked him on the mouth.

          Given his unofficial “expert” status in the Church, Perplexed, who am I NOT to judge?

      • That is a cowardly cop-out, and nothing more than a variation of “Who am I to judge?” We do, moreover, have the right to examine the exterior lives of those whom Our Lord called to his service. And in this case, such an examination reveals that Hans Kung has been nothing but a destructive force in the Church.

        Are we to presume, then, that you approve of this swath of destruction he has left behind him?

    • Frankier,

      Kung does not respect nor carry out his Priestly duties. Have you ever seen him in a collar or a cassock? Nope. I never trust the orthodoxy of a Priest who does not wear his uniform and sacred signs of his office. Just don’t get me started on Priests who wear jeans. Obviously he does not say the Rosary- aren’t us ‘Rosary rattlers’ too old fashioned for the heretical Kung. 500 years ago he would have been burnt at the stake.

        • Perplexed,

          Well, they shouldn’t. Wear jeans. In a good school, e.g. with high standards, teachers would be reprimanded for wearing jeans. A Maths teacher friend of mine could write the book. He loved his jeans. New Head, higher standards, sort of thing. Then there’s the law student, related to a former colleague, who was told to get her hair back to a normal colour (not sure whether the powers-that-be objected to the pink part or the green part, whatever) or she could look for another profession.

          Priests are the original professionals, yet they seem to be completely unaware of the importance of their vocation. I’m blessed in never having met a priest in jeans but if I were to do so, I’d ask him if he could spare the time to clear out our garden shed after he’d cut the grass and weeded That, I would hope, would signal my opinion of his personal dress code.

          And do you know what, Perplexed? It doesn’t hit me between the eyes. “I know priests who wear jeans and pray the rosary frequently”. Doesn’t do it for me. Sorry.

          • Editor

            I think I should state, just in case Perplexed feels that you are demeaning someone wearing jeans rather than pointing out the need for special clothing relating to one`s profession, that I wouldn`t fancy someone coming to cut my grass or do some weeding wearing a top hat and tails.

            I suppose it would be OK for someone coming to sweep my chimney
            wearing a tile hat and bow tie though.

    • Along with Keith O’Brien for good measure. And now the Church in Scotland is all, all ruined.

      • Constantine

        Don’t lose hope. The new Bishop of Paisley plans to bring Pope Francis’s “vision” of the Church to Scotland so who knows… After a few phone calls from Bishop Keenan, and once he’s gotten “close to the people out on the streets” the Church may suddenly revive and all manner of things shall be well…. At least in Paisley 😀

  2. Didn’t this ‘theologian’ receive an award from the Kulturpreis Deutscher Freimaurer (Culture Award of German Freemasons)?

    If the CDF (1979) said that Kung, “in his writing has departed from the integral truths of Catholic Faith”, what business does the Pope or any thinking Catholic have reading anything he may have penned?

    • Jobstears,

      I think I’ll write personally to the Pope (in addition his copy of our bi-monthly newsletter) and ask him precisely that. It’ll be interesting to see if I receive so much as an acknowledgement, let alone a handwritten note or a telephone call.

    • Well, Jobstears, since the Pope has repeatedly departed, in his public statements, from the integral truths of the Catholic Faith, it sounds to me as though these two make appropriate bedfellows.

      • Great Pretender,

        “…it sounds to me as though these two make appropriate bedfellows.”

        And since it’s obviously NOT a marriage made in Heaven, we’ll have to leave that one hanging in the air 😯

  3. I don’t often post here, but the comment from Miles Immaculatae needs challenging:

    “Priests get a house, a car, and a pension and a whole package of other benefits.”

    No, they don’t. Let’s have a look.

    The House: They have a house to live in – but it isn’t theirs. A recent case in Motherwell shows what difficulties that can bring for both the priest and the Church.

    The Car: They buy their own car (often with great difficulty) and often with the loving support of family and friends.

    The Pension: as for the pension – tell us how much it’s worth. I know – do you?

    The Salary: Their salary is just over 4000 pounds per annum, 75 pounds per week. Many would be better off on benefits.

    The Whole Package of Benefits: And as for the “whole package of other benefits”, what are they??

    By all means comment and criticise, but be honest.

    • The priest in Paisley is a different matter altogether. Let’s disregard that. I feel what is happening to him is unjust.

      The house isn’t theirs, but that is the case for everybody in this country who rents. Priests are no less secure than the many people up and down the land who are at risk of being evicted due to bedroom tax, many of whom are working or are sick/disabled. My family has no such security, which has caused much distress. Priests are probably more secure in most cases.

      As for other benefits: I was primarily referring to their security, which I mentioned above. Unlike other single men, they don’t have to look for somewhere to live, which is a real ratrace, the diocese has its own portfolio of property. But I do not hold this against them, I am sure they have their unique problems. Also, I assume clergy continue to live in Church property after they retire? Or are they expected to move into local authority/private rented/housing association accommodation?

      Some people don’t get pensions at all. So they rely on social security in old age. Even if the pension is very low, I assume it is at the very least just above the bare state minimum which everybody in the country should normally be entitled to. I could be wrong. Maybe they do get the very bare minimum. Please tell me.

      In most cases, I don’t think they would be better of on benefits. Unless they were receiving ESA and/or DLA or some other benefit (usually due to sickness or disability), they would have to claim JSA which is about £72 (That is of course unless the £75 covers rent, in which case they would be better off on benefits, but I assume because they live in diocesan property they wouldn’t be charged rent).

      I didn’t know about the car. That surprises me.

      I feel priests should get these things. If not more. What they get at the moment is austere, but it is still better than a lot of people in Britain.

      In this country those who are dependent on social security are often vilified by the press and the government. Why should the enemies of Christ who depend on the Church’s funds (which is supported by the donations of the laity) get off scot free? These are the people I was referring to, not the good priests. I don’t believe in the concept of ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor, or ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ sick. But I do believe in ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ priests. A priest who attacks the Catholic faith is not deserving, not even of the meagre bread and shelter the poor Church provides them with.

      Many priests suffer. I am not attacking them. I am attacking the nefarious parasites who destroy the Church of God.

      • Miles,

        When I agreed with your original post it was in the context of Hans Kung and his ilk who do, in fact, make a living out of the Church. That Mgr Loftus is paid for his weekly savage attacks on the Faith, really makes my blood boil.

        However – and I’m glad to see you have clarified your original post somewhat – none of the priests I know (whom I count as friends) are well to do. Far from it. Laguna2002 has described their situation accurately. Can’t help wondering if we have the same friends!

        I didn’t pick up on the wider context of your words or I’d have said something to this effect before, but I think we can rest easy that the clergy do live a modest lifestyle, for the most part.

        In fact, I remember our curates telling us stories about our then Parish Priest, who was very frugal in his own lifestyle, but took care to make sure that they had the heating on etc.

        I limit my criticisms of clergy-lifestyle to those who are, like Kung & Loftus, making a living out of destroying the Church. As for being more secure etc than other people – that applies to a lot of professionals and priests who were NOT reasonably secure would be about as much use as the proverbial chocolate teapot. Just imagine it: “Father, can I book the church for my wedding?” Reply: “Well, if it’s next week, should be fine, after that, not sure where we’ll all be…”

  4. Miles

    Thank you for the clarification. Thank you too, Editor. We may indeed have the same friends!

    The pension is so bare as to be almost negligible. Contributions come from both the priest (paid for from his £75 per week!) and whatever he pays it is usual for the diocese to match. The result, in most cases, is a pension pot that pays out well below the national minimum wage. It’s quite shocking actually. Remember too that clothing (even jeans!) are a personal expense and the result is very little disposable income.

    The result of all of this, for most priest, is something they are prepared to put up with for love of Christ. The difficulty is that there are some priests who really should not have been ordained for one reason or another and when they realise this they then feel trapped. Most of us wish they would leave. But the financial situation means they hunker down and stay.

    Editor points out, rightly, that some clergy are on the make, publishing and writing when they should be visiting the sick, teaching the faith and administering the sacraments. I couldn’t agree more.

    Some time ago I pointed out that the Archbishop emeritus of Glasgow and the present Archbishop occupy property totalling £1.5 million between them. That too is a scandal when seen in light of the above figures. While I accept they need a residence to conduct their social affairs it doesn’t need to be excessive. And £1.5 million, between two prelates is, in anyone’s book, surely excessive!

  5. I came across this quote about Pope Francis on Rorate Caeli from a another Jesuit. Seems his own order didn’t have much time for him.

    “Yes I know Bergoglio [, says a Jesuit superior from another Latin American country]. He’s a person who’s caused a lot of problems in the Society and is highly controversial in his own country. In addition to being accused of having allowed the arrest of two Jesuits during the time of the Argentinean dictatorship, as provincial he generated divided loyalties: some groups almost worshipped him, while others would have nothing to do with him, and he would hardly speak to them. It was an absurd situation. He is well-trained and very capable, but is surrounded by this personality cult which is extremely divisive. He has an aura of spirituality which he uses to obtain power. It will be a catastrophe for the Church to have someone like him in the Apostolic See. He left the Society of Jesus in Argentina destroyed with Jesuits divided and institutions destroyed and financially broken. We have spent two decades trying to fix the chaos that the man left us.”

  6. Fr Kung and his many, many followers are the Fr Knox clergy of our time, they are agents of satan wrapped up in pride, vanity and arrogance.
    St John Ogilvie pray for us.
    Mary Mother of God intercede for us. Amen.

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