Fr. Hans Kung Affirms Pope Francis’s Vision

Hans Küng welcomes papal vision

04 December 2013 14:16 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

The controversial Swiss theologian Hans Küng has welcomed the structural reforms advocated by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium and said they will meet with wide approval “far beyond the Catholic Church”.

In a long article entitled “Church Reform at all Levels”, the fierce critic of Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, expressed serious concern as to whether the Pope “is still in control of his Guardian of the Faith” – the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller.

That Müller, as a loyal supporter of Benedict XVI’s collected works, was made CDF prefect surprised people less than the fact that Pope Francis confirmed him in office “quite so soon”, Küng wrote.

Recalling Müller’s conservative stance on Communion for remarried divorcees, Küng said that the present situation in the Church was contradictory. “The Pope wants to practise mercy, the prefect appeals to God’s holiness and justice.” Whenever Pope Francis pushes forward on reform, Müller immediately puts on the brakes, Küng pointed out. Pope Francis has actual people in mind, while Müller concentrated solely on traditional Catholic doctrine, Küng said.

So people are beginning to wonder whether Pope Emeritus Benedict “is in fact operating as a kind of ‘shadow Pope’ through Archbishop Müller and Georg Gänswein, [Benedict’s] secretary and Prefect of the Papal Household, whom he also promoted to archbishop”.

As far as remarried divorcees are concerned, Küng accuses Müller of ignoring the fact that when Jesus proclaimed the indissolubility of marriage (Mark 10:9), he pronounced a commandment based on an aim. “As with other commandments, this one does not exclude failure and forgiveness,” Küng recalled, and asks whether one can really imagine Jesus sanctioning the present way the Church treats remarrried divorcees.

Read Küng’s article

Fr. Hans Kung, a member of the theological commission present at Vatican II, but since disestablished as an official teacher of The Roman Catholic Faith, is here seen to congratulate Pope Francis in his efforts to reform the Vatican bureaucracy.
Once a colleague at the Theological faculty of Tubingen University of former Pope Benedict XVI, Hans Kung became a critic of the Vatican’s movement away from the policies inaugurated by the renewing ethos of Pope John XXIII at the Second Vatican Council. 
Thanks to ‘The Tablet’ (UK) , for this article
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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