Loading
Weigel rips Hans Kung on Pope attack, waits for real response
George Weigel, Catholic scholar and biographer of Pope John Paul II.
George Weigel, Catholic scholar and biographer of Pope John Paul II.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- George Weigel, who recently took the dissenting theologian Fr. Hans Kung to task for his attacks against Pope Benedict, said he would welcome a response from the priest “in which the issues were truly engaged.” But, the scholar qualified, “another Swiss volcanic eruption wouldn't serve much purpose.”

In an April 16 open letter to the Catholic bishops of the world, published in the Irish Times and other venues, Kung criticized Pope Benedict’s engagement of Protestants, Jews and Muslims; his support for Catholic teaching on birth control and condoms; and his approach to the Second Vatican Council.

Kung also commented specifically on the sexual abuse controversy, saying:

“There is no denying the fact that the worldwide system of covering up sexual crimes committed by clerics was engineered by the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger (1981-2005).”

George Weigel responded to this in an April 21 letter of his own, published on the website of the journal First Things.

When asked by CNA last Friday why he felt compelled to respond to Kung's letter, Weigel said that he was “struck by the extraordinary vitriol of the article and by its misstatements of fact, both of which required a response.” Weigel added that he would welcome a response from Kung “in which the issues were truly engaged,” but that “another Swiss volcanic eruption wouldn't serve much purpose.”

On April 21, he called Kung’s charge against Pope Benedict “a tissue of falsehoods.” The theologian’s comment, Weigel said, was “manifestly ignorant” of the fact that sexual abuse cases were not under then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s oversight until 2001.

This ignorance forfeits “any claim to be taken seriously on this, or indeed any other matter involving the Roman Curia and the central governance of the Catholic Church.”

Weigel noted his own criticisms of the mishandling of abuse cases by individual bishops and by Vatican authorities before then-Cardinal Ratzinger began to press for reforms.

Judging from this experience, Weigel said Kung’s description of Cardinal Ratzinger’s role was “ludicrous to anyone familiar with the relevant history.”

That description was also belied by “the experience of American bishops who consistently found Ratzinger thoughtful, helpful, deeply concerned about the corruption of the priesthood by a small minority of abusers, and distressed by the incompetence or malfeasance of bishops.”

He especially criticized the Irish Times editors who subtitled Kung’s letter with the claim the Pope was “directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests, according to this open letter to all Catholic bishops.”

Weigel said this was a “grotesque falsification of the truth” and “shameful.”

He suggested that Kung owes Pope Benedict XVI a public apology for “a calumny that I pray was informed in part by ignorance (if culpable ignorance).”

“I assure you that I am committed to a thoroughgoing reform of the Roman Curia and the episcopate,” Weigel’s letter concluded. “But there is no path to true reform in the Church that does not run through the steep and narrow valley of the truth. The truth was butchered in your article in the Irish Times. And that means that you have set back the cause of reform.”

Fr. Hans Kung served as an expert at the Second Vatican Council with Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI. He is now a well-known dissenter from Catholic teaching on many points and has been barred from teaching Catholic theology.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
22

Liturgical Calendar

October 22, 2014

Wednesday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:39-48

Gospel
Date
10/22/14
10/21/14
10/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3: 2-12
Gospel:: Lk 12: 39-48
Gospel:: Lk 12: 39-48

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:39-48

Homily
Date
10/22/14
10/21/14
10/20/14