Pope Barack?

Pope Barack? February 14, 2009

That’s the dream of none other than esteemed Catholic theologian, Hans Kung.  At Religion Dispatches, Rosemary Ganley reports,

To get right to the point, Kung in his article
on February 3, wished Barack Obama were Pope. “The mood in the church
is oppressive, reforms are paralyzed, and the church in crisis,” he
says. “Benedict is unteachable in matters of birth control and
abortion, arrogant and without transparency and restrictive of freedom
and human rights.”

For Kung, Benedict should act as Obama has
done, declaring a crisis, identifying the problems, proclaiming a
vision of hope, revitalizing ecumenism, gathering competent colleagues
of either gender, and using the power of his executive office to issue
decrees (unhindered by such institutions as a democratically-elected
Congress or a Supreme Court.)

But no, “the Pope is reorienting
himself backward, inspired by the ideal of the medieval church, looking
toward the Council of 1870, not the one of 1965.”

Can the Roman
Church, he asks, give birth to an episcopacy which does not conceal its
manifest problems, theologians not afraid to speak out and a climate to
encourage women leaders? Kung is playful: “Yes, we can,” he writes.

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