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PROGRESSIVIST DOCUMENT OF THE WEEK
Fr. Hans Kung Receives an Award
While he was still in his 30s, Fr. Hans Kung was chosen as official perito of the Swiss Episcopate at the Second Vatican Council. He replaced Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar, who was vetoed for being too bold in his book Raze the Bastions.
During the first session of the Council, one of the blows planned by the conservative Roman Curia against the invasion of Progressivism was to condemn a book by Kung, the youngest representative of the Nouvelle Theologie [New Theology]. In fact, that condemnation was made, and the book was removed from Catholic bookstores. However, the prohibition was almost immediately suspended by an order coming from a "higher authority."
After Vatican II, Fr. Kung along with Fr. Joseph Ratzinger were in charge of Ecumenical Studies at the College of Theology in the University of Tubingen. At that time, Fr. Kung wrote The Church, his principal work, and thanked Fr. Ratzinger for his collaboration.
In 1975 and 1979, Kung received two notifications from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose Prefect was Card. Joseph Ratzinger, to change some theological concepts in two of his works - The Church and a preface for a book by another author. Otherwise, he could no longer be considered a "Catholic theologian" and "teach at Catholic institutes." He refused.
At the time, he was director of and professor at the College of Catholic Theology of the Theological Institute in the University of Tubingen. A little before the ban from teaching as a Catholic theologian took effect, the authorities of Baden-Wurtemberg decided to make the College of Theology independent from Catholic authorities. Instead, it would rely only on the secular authority of the University of Tubingen. With this legal sleight of hand, Kung was allowed to retain his same teaching position, the ban having no effect.
In September 2005, Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, received Fr. Hans Kung at the Vatican for a cordial three-hour-meeting. One of the topics of this long conversation was a new book by Kung, A Global Ethic for Global Politics and Economics. After the meeting, a Vatican official press report was released with these words of praise about Kung's book:
"The Pope welcomed Professor Kung's efforts to contribute to a renewed recognition of the essential moral values of humanity through the dialogue of religions and in the encounter with secular reason. He stressed that the commitment to a renewed awareness of the values that sustain human life is also an important objective of his own pontificate." For the full text of the Press Release, click here.
Recently, this same book was praised by the German Freemasonry as promoting its ideals.
At right above, the cover of The Tablet, May 26, 2007. Below, the news of the award received by Fr. Hans Kung, on page 39.
Posted on June 23, 2007
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