Hans Kung Seems to Be Under the Impression That Jesus, Not Benedict, Resigned

Here’s the thing: it is Jesus, not Benedict, and not even the toweringly humble Hans Kung (author of the upcoming book “Can the Church Still Be Saved?”) who is the savior of the Church. So much as I am sure God appreciates old Hans’ suggestions on how to save the Church, it turns out the Church already has a savior. I am reasonably confident that he already heard Hans’ reiterations of the same Woodstock Generation advice the other 10 zillion times he gave it.

Since you’ve heard it all before, I will give the Cliff Notes version helpfully supplied by a reader:

He lists the good and bad things that Benedict did.  The bad:  almost everything.  The good:  “In 2005, in one of Benedict’s few bold actions, he held an amicable four-hour conversation with me.”

Yes, the Pope’s greatest action was to have a conversation with Me.

It’s always so thoughtful of the NY Times to supply the Church with helpful advice on how to be saved. One of these days, just for a changeup, they should consider “believe in Jesus Christ” as one possible way to do that.

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  • Mike Harrison

    Most will have seen this before, but it’s relevant yet again …

  • Cheri

    Well, of course, we should have lots of democracy in the church, like the Episcopalians have. After all, Jesus must have had votes about all of his major teachings, right? That’s in the Bible, right? And look how that’s helped the Episcopalians!
    (Oh my goodness!!!)

    • Mike

      Are Episcopalians even Christians anymore; like do they believe God exists? I know some don’t so wonder about the Church itself.

  • Marthe Lépine

    By the way, Commonweal Magazine has also “generously” provided the future pope with a complete “program of action” to help him modernize and rebuild the Church: From: http://commonwealmagazine.org/shock-therapy
    Shock Therapy
    Could the Next Pope Learn from Benedict?
    Peter Steinfels

  • The church is trying here. One blind priest was on a roll in Donauworth all he had to do was give an altar call. Instead, he suggest one should find a small group who meet and pray. In this fellowship, you might find Jesus. Okay. . . They are trying to show there is a Jesus. They step ten steps backwards last year for idea or maybe not idea of refusing sacraments to anyone who left the church. I think they were talking more taxes than membership. I am talking Germany. We pay church tax here. It sounds like a modified version of indulgences. I have not left church, yet, but that is pushing it. I am under the understanding that maybe if I stay Catholic and express my “Evangelical” ways, one might find Christ. I am losing faith in this idea. Hans Kung was be sarcastic in his remark over their meeting. There were specific guidelines on what they would discuss which old Kung was not real happy about. He was not going to turn down the meeting. The website, FranzVine, is down.

  • It’s always seemed strange to me that someone as intelligent as Kueng has such a blinkered view of what goes on in the Church. Nothing that’s of any concrete concern to real people in the pews seems to reach him. It’s all about power plays, reducing the power of the Curia, destroying the monarchist power of the papacy, etc. I always wondered why he harped on this so obsessively.
    I got some very interesting perspective on this as I was recently reading Fr. Yves Congar’s My Journal of the Council, and I can say that the source of the resentment that many of the theological experts like Kueng and Congar who worked – and worked hard – studying, advising on and even writing the Council documents, was in indeed in having all their efforts shot down by Curialists who could indeed only be described as dinosaurs. There are some really hair-raising incidents in the book, at least as told from Congar’s perspective.
    From time to time, Congar himself forgets the spiritual nature of the real reform in the Church, forgets everything except the desire for revenge, and declares that the whole work of the Council simply MUST be to break the power of the Curia and change the “power structures” of the Church, or no reform could ever be accomplished. Happily, as evidenced by the journal, he usually managed to yank himself out of this mood. Kueng, evidently, is still in a snit about all of it fifty years later.
    One very interesting thing is that Congar never appeared to like Kung much. He found him “very radical” and an abstract intellectual who was never tied into “concrete situations.” Once, when Kueng wrote an article in the critical vein I just described, it was read by Pope Paul VI, and his verdict on Kueng was reported to Congar by another colleague. From the journal:
    “The Pope is somewhat hurt and disappointed. He said: ‘Küng is young. I was hoping he could be a theological leader for the future. But he is without love. He will not be able to be that.” I find this remark profound. Küng is critical. He loves the truth, but has he any mercy for human beings? Has he the warmth and the measure of love?’
    There you are.

    Congar, by the way, had some very nice things to say about another theologian colleague at the Council, a certain Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, whom he found “reasonable, modest, disinterested, a great help.” Wonder whatever became of him?
    Sigh. I am SO going to miss our Pope.

  • Thinkling

    Lori, thank you for relaying that from Conger’s writings.

    A great intellect will by definition have a really good chance of acknowledging its own greatness. But that is now a virulent occasion of Pride, which of course is the driving force behind movements like his (ergo the “Me” references). One of the most amazing things one notices when reading Seewald’s “Light of the World” interviews with Benedict XVI was the pope’s profound humility. Over and over again it was clear he saw himself as the servant of truth, not as its master. Conger’s “modest, disinterested” reflects this. And yet Benedict, now Ratzinger, could intellectualize 90% of next weeks conclavers under the table.

  • Anyone who affirms that Jesus of Nazareth, true God and true man, rose from death in the flesh, is a friend of the Church and a friend of God. One should include even non-Catholics. And those who affirm this can be part of a living Church.

  • SouthCoast

    Do those who strive mightily to bring their particular Church into the current century or decade never note how “flat, stale, and unprofitable” those changes are when the next decade or century rolls around?