Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Open Letter to Hans Kung

George Wiegel writes an open letter the Professor Hans Kung in response to Kung's letter to the bishops of the world to reject the authority of Pope Benedict.
What is so apparent in Kung's writings is that he is not a very nice man, one cannot help compare his self serving publicity seeking to the self effacing "worker in the Lod's vineyard".
Who would you prefer to have tea with, Ratzinger or Kung?


Tiberius said...


Catholic Student said...

Just tea or afternoon tea??

You see if you simply have a quick 'cuppa' then I'd rather it were with Prof. Kung so I could quickly escape before he attempted to brainwash me with anything heretical.

If we're talking afternoon tea then it would be with the Holy Father...

Michael Petek said...

If this man were a martial art, he'd be a kung fool.

pelerin said...

Who would you prefer to have tea with? No contest!

Having just read Kung's open letter linked from that of George Wiegel I fail to understand how Kung is still regarded as a Catholic theologian. He seems to bear so much hatred for the Church that I also fail to understand why he did not found a church of his own. He could have become his own 'pope!'

In his open letter
he also perpetuates the phrase 'back to the people' (describing Mass 'ad orientem') a phrase which I find constantly irritating although when I hear it, it instantly puts me on my guard!

It is surprising to learn that Pope Benedict and Hans Kung were the youngest to take part in the Council - it seems such a long time ago now. I wonder if Kung's animosity results perhaps from

Patricius said...

Many years ago I got Kung's "On Being a Christian", finding it, initially, quite interesting but, as I read, I got the strong impression that he did not believe in the Incarnation- or even that Christ was unique. Is he a heretic - or just plain barmy?

GOR said...

The study of theology can be a challenge to one’s faith. On the one hand it is salutary to find that many heretics were not satanic enemies of the Church, but people who honestly disagreed with some Church doctrine or, despite much interior struggling, could not bring themselves to assent to it. Faith is, after all, a gift – freely given, but which can be lost. On the other hand when one becomes more learned and respected as a theologian there is the danger of pride – of thinking one knows more than the Church, or more than God, for that matter.

The Holy Father has repeatedly admonished theologians to cultivate humility in the pursuit of their discipline – and in this he leads by example. Humility is something I look for in theologians. Tellingly, one seldom finds it in the dissenting ones – a Hans Kung, a Richard McBrien, a Charles Curran or, closer to my home: Dan Maguire of Marquette University. Like Martin Luther, who started out with good intentions, they seem to get tripped up by the sound of their own words and the level of their intellects.

But our Faith and the teachings of the Church were never intended just for the learned. As the Holy Father noted in one of his addresses to theologians, God often conceals Himself from the learned, but reveals Himself to the “little ones” – of which we have abundant examples going back to the beginnings of the Church and Our Lord’s choice of Apostles!

Ma Tucker said...

Thank you Mr Weigel, this narcissistic fruitcake has gone too far for too long now.

Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Is Kung a catholic? He seems to be a liberal minded protestant.

In fact I was surprised that he doesn't sound as clever as he undoubtedly is.
Even at first skim-through reading there were a few very obvious errors, not least his reference to the old condom/Africa/HIV canard. And also this:

"he is actively promoting the beatification of Pope Pius XII, who has been accused of not offering sufficient protections to Jews in Nazi Germany."

I would have expected him to be well aware of the full story here. I think he is, because it is a little cunning to say "who has been ACCUSED of" as a way of passing over the facts in order to make his point.

Weigel letter is good. I expect that there will be a few good fiskings of this too. I hope so.

Independent said...

My favourite picture of the Pope is of him drinking a large stein of beer. Forget the tea!

Independent said...

Had Prof. Kung not remained in communion with the Holy See would anyone really be impressed by him? He says nothing which has not been commonplace for many years in Liberal Protestant circles.

I can remember a state College of Education where the very Liberal Protestant Theology Department used Kung's "On being a Christian " as a textbook. Like Gregory Baum in Canada, he seems to be much more important outside his church than in it, expressing as he does the beliefs and attitudes of the present secular elite.

If Dr Kung is a Catholic, on what grounds can Mr Paisley be rejected, he certainly believes in the Divinity of Christ and the Atonement? Does Prof. Kung?

Michael Petek said...

Ma Tucker, the German word for him is 'Fruchtkuchen'.

Sadie Vacantist said...

He may be a protestant but he's not an American one. Many of the latter are getting ready to 'lock and load' to gun down some bankers. "Today Wall Street tomorrow Switzerland!", is the cry.

Hans has got a fast car, he needs to get out more.

universal doctor said...

Another no-brainer father! Ratzinger. Earl Grey of course.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Sorry Ignatius I don't promote heresy here.

RJ said...

I'm not sure that the failure of heresy is just a matter of honestly disagreeing with the authoritative teaching of the magisterium. I'm not talking about people who have been formed outside the visible boundaries of the Church, who perhaps have a certain mindset that makes them non-receptive to certain doctrines, but theologians who claim to be Catholic. In my studies for a theology degree, I had the unpleasant experience of reading a certain amount of dissident theology (I did try and avoid it – why drink poison when you don't have to?) - it seemed to me there was a basic contempt for the teaching authority of the magisterium. There is something wrong there in the heart - is it an antipathy to the Holy See nourished in some cases by a perception of oppression of talented men in the past, and/or an unwillingness to submit to an authority higher than one's own?
I wouldn't care to say whether Küng is a heretic - I haven't read enough of his work, but when I dipped into his book on priesthood (Why Priests?) published in the early 70's, I noticed immediately this bitterness.