Vatican II Architect: Fr. Hans Küng
The Angelus - March 1980

Hans Küng
by Father Hector L. Bolduc

THE RECENT condemnation of Hans Küng by the Vatican was welcomed by many. While it is evident that excommunication as a heretic is certainly in order for Küng, who has denied the most basic Catholic dogmas, the fact that it was declared that he cannot be considered a Catholic theologian has far-ranging effects.

What many Catholics fail to grasp by Küng's ouster is that his downfall has shaken the very core of the evil existing within the Church and against which we have waged a tireless battle.

It must be remembered that Küng was the theologian of the Second Vatican Council. He was the theological brain for the German speaking bishops at the Council. Thus he represented the most powerful coalition at the Council, comprised of the bishops of Germany and Austria. Their influence was of such magnitude as to warrant a book, aptly titled The Rhine Flows into the Tiber. Küng also was a personal consultant to many of the most powerful bishops attending Vatican II, including Cardinal Bea, Cardinal Villot, Cardinal Suenens, and was said to have been consulted by a host of American bishops who will certainly blush to have their names associated with their now-deposed hero. Küng was also the advisor for many of the non-Catholic observers, including the Anglicans and a host of Protestant sects. Small wonder that the Anglicans and non-Catholic denominations were the first to come to his defense following his condemnation. Küng was, in fact, the darling of the Liberals, the rising star of the Progressives. The Council was permeated with his thought and saturated with his theological input. Now that Küng's star has been shot down, where does that leave the Council?

It is quite obvious that if the top theologian of the Council, who directed much of its theological content is not Catholic, then the decisions arrived at by that Council are, at the very least, suspect. If Küng cannot be considered a "Catholic" theologian, then can the Council be considered "Catholic"? The obvious answer has to be NO! This is what was wrong with the Council from the very start. Many of those who influenced it were not Catholic. Therefore, much of what came out of the Council was not Catholic. The Vatican, by its denouncement of Kü ng, has admitted this. Whether willingly or unwillingly, the Vatican has now cast doubt upon the instrument which was used to create the greatest single attack on Catholicism, the Second Vatican Council.

The influence of Küng, of course, goes much further than the Council. For years, his books attacking the divinity of Christ, the divine origin of the Church, and papal infallibility, have been the standard texts for Catholic colleges, universities, schools, and seminaries. Many of the priests ordained in recent years cut their teeth on his rubbish. In many Catholic institutions, including the Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C., and especially the Dominican College in that same city, the works of Küng, Chardin, Curran, Schille-beeckx, and Dulles, all either condemned or under investigation by Rome, form the nucleus of courses in the theological department and are standard required reading. These textbooks are not supplements to the course, but the basic texts from which the students are expected to derive the knowledge with which they will minister to the faithful.

It is obvious that if these seminarians are educated with non-Catholic materials (the Vatican says they are not Catholic), then they will, in fact, be un-Catholic in their formation, un-Catholic in their thinking, un-Catholic in the execution of their duties, and most important of all, un-Catholic in what they transmit to the flock from the pulpit and altar. (I would have included the confessional; but the new priest does not bother to hear confessions anymore.)

One would expect that if the American bishops are serious in their claim to recognize the Pope as the sovereign authority within the Church, they, would immediately issue orders that all of Küng's works be removed from Catholic institutions across the country. The exact opposite is, in fact, true. A check shows the works of Küng still on Catholic university reading lists, and still available on the library shelves and in campus bookstores. Moreover, courses based on the works of Küng and his heretical cohorts are prominently listed on university curricula.

When will the bishops decide to back up the Pope? How long will it take the bishops to act to restore the faith of the people? If the bishops claim to be true shepherds and claim to be loyal to the Pope, I challenge them to prove it by taking the following actions:

Quote:1. Publicly acknowledge the errors of Küng, Curran, et al., and publish a warning against them in all Catholic publications.

2. Order the works of Küng, Curran, Chardin, and others removed from all Catholic institutions.

3. Remove Curran, Dulles and all other heretics from their position at Catholic institutions where they are currently using that position and the donations of the faithful to destroy the Church, while leading millions into heresy.

4. Return to the Traditions of the Church which have been approved and recognized by two thousand years of holy popes, martyrs, and saints.

5. Recognize and authorize the return of the Latin Tridentine Mass thus assuring that the supreme Sacrifice, instituted by Christ and purchased by His Precious Blood, will be returned to the altars of the Church and accomplish through its salvific action, the sanctification of the Church and its quick return to normalcy.

When the Holy Mass is restored, and only then, will God restore His blessings to His faithful.

Catholic bishops of America, the challenge has been given. Either prove your loyalty to Rome and your Catholicity by accepting it—or turn in your crosiers and make way for the true Church Militant, whose loyalty is not in question!

[Emphasis mine.]
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
The Roman Curia and the Ecumenical Council
by Joseph Clifford Fenton

Hans Kung is hailed in some circles as "the prime spokesperson for Vatican II".
This article, written during the Council, proves that Kung was considered a dissident from the beginning.

Larger Work: The American Ecclesiastical Review
Pages: 185-198
Publisher & Date: The Catholic University of America Press, Washington, DC, March, 1963

Father Hans Kung is a young priest who seems hopelessly addicted to the practice of giving press conferences. In two of these, reported during the month of December, 1962, he had some harsh things to say about the Roman Curia.

The first report was carried in the New York Times on Thursday, Dec. 6. Among other things this story said:

Quote:Father Kung indicated that major reforms were in the making, among them the wider use of the vernacular in the mass, broader powers for bishops and the rapid decline of the Roman Curia, the conservative, Italian-dominated central administrative arm of the Roman Catholic Church....

Father Kung discounted fears that the Curia might regain some of its lost prestige while the Council recesses for nine months. He said the prelates had demonstrated their independence and had tested their powers.

"The Curia will not forget that the Fathers are returning," he added.

The next report is to be found on the front page of Our Sunday Visitor, for Dec. 30. According to this account he told some reporter
Quote:that the relation between the bishops and the Vatican administrative staff--the Roman curia--should be made very clear.

"The episcopate is really the collaborator of the pope. The curia is only an executive arm of the pope," he said.

He added that he also hoped to see a new decentralization of the Church emerge from the council. "I often say," he declared, "that the United Nations secretariate in New York is more catholic than the Roman curia of the Catholic Church."

Thus, if we are to believe Father Kung, one of the major "reforms" brought into being, or at least occasioned by the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican was "the rapid decline of the Roman Curia," which the young priest seems to have qualified as "the conservative, Italian-dominated administrative arm of the Roman Catholic Church." It is quite obvious that this "decline" was envisioned and described as a good thing, since Father Kung "discounted fears that the Curia might regain some of its lost prestige." He seemed quite certain that it had lost considerable prestige. And his hopes were based on his assurance that the bishops of the world "had demonstrated their independence and had tested their powers."

Father Kung's statements and insinuations against the Roman Curia are cited here, not because they have any importance in themselves, but precisely because they mirror what has come to be a rather common procedure among many writers, some of them Catholic. It has become fashionable to deride and to attack the Roman Curia. And there is definitely a lack of information about the position of the Curia in the true Church available to our people at the present time. As a result it is all too common to find some of our own fine Catholic faithful impressed by these attacks and insinuations, and thus being deceived about a highly important factor in the life of the Catholic Church.

For this reason it has seemed good to face up to some of these statements made against the Roman Curia. Nowhere are they to be found in a more naive and absolute form than in the reports of the various press conferences given by Father Kung. As a result it will be interesting to see just how much truth and meaning are to be found in the allegations this young priest has made against the Roman Curia.

The Nature of the Roman Curia

The term "Roman Curia" is used to designate the complex of congregations, tribunals, and offices which exist to aid the Pope in his government of the universal Church militant of Jesus Christ. There are eleven of these congregations, three tribunals, and five offices listed in the Code of Canon Law. The Roman Pontiff himself is the prefect of three of the congregations, the Holy Office, the Consistorial Congregation, and the Congregation for the Oriental Church. But all of the other organizations of the Roman Curia are equally under his direction.

Now it must be understood from the very outset that, given the actual divine constitution of the Catholic Church, there will have to be some people actually doing the work now assigned to the Roman Curia. It is not at all necessary that the body of people doing this work should be designated as the Roman Curia. Neither is it required that the men doing the work of assisting the Pope in his care for the universal Church should be organized in exactly the same way that the Roman Curia is organized today. But some sort of organization is required in the actually existing Catholic Church to do the essential duties now devolving on the Roman Curia.

The reason for this necessity is quite obvious. It is a truth of divine and Catholic faith that
Quote:the Roman Church, because Our Lord has thus disposed it, has received the authority (principatum) of ordinary power over all the other [Churches], and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate, with reference to which both the pastors and the faithful of every rite and dignity, considered both individually and corporately, are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and of true obedience, not only with regard to those things that pertain to faith and morals, but also in those things that belong to the discipline and the rule of the Church spread throughout the world.1

From this basic truth, it follows, according to the teaching of the same First Vatican Council, that the Sovereign Pontiff has the right of full and free communication with the pastors and the people of the entire Church.2 And this right is considered as something required for the fulfillment of the obligation which God Himself has imposed upon the man who has succeeded in the office of St. Peter within the true Church of Jesus Christ.

Furthermore the First Vatican Council enunciates this dogma:
Quote:And since it is by the divine right of the apostolic primacy that the Roman Pontiff presides over the universal Church, we also teach and declare him to be the supreme judge of the faithful and that in all cases pertaining to ecclesiastical inquiry there can be an appeal to his judgment.3

Thus it is divinely revealed teaching that the Bishop of Rome is the teacher and the spiritual ruler of the millions of people who constitute the membership of the Catholic Church. He is empowered to act as the judge of these individuals in all cases involving ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Without any offense to the jurisdiction of the other bishops who rule over their several dioceses as successors of the apostles, he can accept appeals to his court from any of the pastors or any of the faithful among the subjects of his jurisdiction.

As a result it is imperative that this man should have individuals devoted to the task of aiding him in the carrying out of his divinely imposed obligations towards the universal Church of God, and in the exercise of his jurisdiction over that Church. At this particular moment in history, the group thus gathered together to assist the Vicar of Jesus Christ in his rule over the Church is called the Roman Curia. It is this group which, according to Father Kung, has gone into a "rapid decline," which will not regain its "lost prestige," and which is less catholic or Catholic than the secretariate of the United Nations.

Now it is quite possible that the organization of the Roman Curia could be considerably improved or "reformed" by new arrangements. With the passing of the years cases which might be said to be in some way within the competence of two or more of the agencies of the Curia are bound to arise. With the great improvement in travel facilities throughout the world, it is obvious that procedures which might be considered adequate during the nineteenth century will no longer be acceptable within the Church.

The Curia is always, and will always be, subject to improvement in organization. Undoubtedly, as the years go by, it will be found that new agencies will have to be set up, and that some of the older ones will have to be drastically refashioned. As in any other institutions, individuals will be found unfitted for the tasks to which they have been assigned. In all of these ways the Roman Curia is and will continue to be subject to some sort of "reform."

The Pope and the Curia

But it must be understood that, whatever there is to be done to the Curia will fall within the competence of the Roman Pontiff, and not within that of the ecumenical council. In the last analysis, the council is definitely not superior to the Pope. The Curia includes the bodies of men assembled by the Pope himself to aid him in his task of caring for the universal Church of God on earth. The other bishops of the Catholic world can recommend that some changes be made within the Curia. But they have not the power, and they can never have the power, to make any changes over the objections of the Sovereign Pontiff.

The Sovereign Pontiff himself is responsible for the Curia. In the final analysis, an attack on the Curia is nothing more than a kind of veiled attack on the Pontiff himself. According to the Code of Canon Law,
Quote: "Under the name of the Apostolic See or of the Holy See come not only the Roman Pontiff but also, unless the nature of the case or the context make it evident otherwise, the Congregations, the Tribunals and the Offices by which the Roman Pontiff is accustomed to carry on the business of the universal Church."4

The men who are in charge of the various congregations, tribunals, and offices of the Roman Curia are individuals who have been appointed by the Sovereign Pontiff, and who hold their positions at his good pleasure. If he disapproves of what they are doing, or of the way in which they are conducting the business of their particular parts of the Curia, the Pope can discharge them at once. He can always overrule any decision by any agency of the Curia. It would be most naive to assume that what is decided within and by the Curia is done other than with the knowledge and with the consent of the Vicar of Christ on earth.

The Conservative Nature of the Curia

What precisely are the objections advanced against the Roman Curia? According to Father Kung, the Curia is "conservative," and "Italian-dominated." He likewise (for some strange reason) imagines it to be less catholic (or less Catholic) than the secretariate of the United Nations. Since there is nothing particularly catholic (or Catholic) about that secretariate, it would appear that Father Kung is quite displeased with the Roman Curia.

Is there anything particularly "conservative" about the Roman Curia? If we are to answer this question we must, of course, try to learn what the opponents of the Curia mean when they designate an agency or an individual as "conservative."

As far as we can see, the Curia (and of course, the blame attached to the Curia is principally centered on the Holy Office) is designated as "conservative" in great measure because it is opposed to teachings which were more or less pleasing to its opponents and which might be considered as "liberal." The Curia was considered as in some way responsible for the issuance of the Humani generis and the Ci riesce. It is likewise blamed for the appearance of the Si diligis and the Magnificate Dominum. Furthermore the recent Monita on the historicity of the Gospels, on the teachings of Father Teilhard, and on psychoanalysis were the works of the Holy Office itself. And of course the Lamentabili was a decree of the Holy Office. In the circles where the Roman Curia is attacked, these are the offenses alleged against it. In this procedure we must seek the inherent conservatism of the Roman Curia.

For the enemies of the Curia it would seem that a non-conservative (and therefore basically acceptable) Roman Curia would have allowed all forms of doctrinal eccentricity to pass without challenge. While not all of these individuals would go so far, it is quite obvious that some of those who dislike the Curia are fundamentally opposed to the condemnation of any doctrinal aberrations, particularly of any misstatements that repeat the contradictions of Catholic teaching first uttered by the Protestant Reformers and by the Modernists. They claim that they do not want a condition of doctrinal anarchy, but they certainly discourage the system which reacts against the tendencies towards doctrinal anarchy.

In the last analysis, the conservative tendency for which the Roman Curia is blamed so severely is a necessary adjunct to the purpose and the function of the Roman Curia itself. As we have seen, the essential function of the Curia is to aid the Sovereign Pontiff in his care for the universal Church of Christ on earth. And the most fundamental obligation connected with the papal office is the duty of preserving the purity and the integrity of the divinely revealed message which the Church received from the apostles as God's supernatural teaching in and through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Thus the most important task and function of the Roman Curia is and always will be the work of preserving the purity and the integrity of Catholic doctrine. If it does not do that work efficiently, then it will have failed in its most important and most basic function.

Essentially, then, according to the somewhat slanted terminology of contemporary journalism, the basic obligation of the Church and thus of the Roman Curia is a work of conservation. It is the business of the Sovereign Pontiff, and therefore of the men who are gathered together to aid him in his work as the Vicar of Christ on earth, to conserve the divinely revealed message of Jesus Christ in His Church in all of its purity and entirety. The Curia will do its work properly only in so far as it remains, in this fundamental sense, "conservative." And, for this reason, a properly functioning Roman Curia will always be opposed by the sensational press and by publicity seekers because, in their lexicon, "conservative" has a bad meaning, while all that is good and desirable in the world is summed up in what is considered to be the opposite of "conservative," the term "liberal."

As far as anyone can see, Father Kung's antagonism to the Roman Curia on the grounds that it is "conservative" is based on the very concrete evidence of the Holy Office's opposition to definite teachings which have been advanced by Catholic writers over the period of the last sixty years. It was a "conservative" Holy Office that issued the decree Lamentabili sane exitu which first condemned the central teachings of the Modernists. It was likewise a "conservative" Holy Office that issued a Monitum against the writings of Father Teilhard and on the subject of the historicity of the Gospels. When the Roman Curia is opposed on these grounds it is obvious that the accusation is made by an individual who has at least some sort of sympathy for the theses which the Holy Office has rejected over the course of the past few years. Loyal, intelligent, and instructed Catholics have no such sympathy.

Nationalism and the Curia

It is quite interesting that the story about Father Kung's attack on the Roman Curia describes this institution, not only as "conservative," but also as "Italian-dominated." In that designation we find the explanation of one of the more dangerous and undesirable features of modern Catholic life in some sections of Europe. It is a kind of racism in reverse that can seriously undermine and harm the Church.

It is a matter of fact that most of the Cardinals and prelates who head and who make up the various congregations, tribunals, and offices that go to make up the Roman Curia are Italian. It is likewise a matter of fact that these are the men who have been chosen for these positions by the Roman Pontiff, for whom they and the men under their charge work. The complaint that there is an Italian domination of the Roman Curia is, in the final analysis, a complaint against the Holy Father himself.

Quite obviously over the years to come there will probably be more non-Italians appointed to the Curia than work in it today. Yet the choice of men who are called to help the Pope in his work of caring for and governing the universal Church of Jesus Christ depends on the Sovereign Pontiff himself, and on no one else. There is nothing that the bishops of the Church, apart from the Pope, can do to change the nationality of the personnel of the Roman Curia. And there is nothing but harm that can come to the Church from complaints about the nationality of most of the men who now compose the Roman Curia. It is seriously to be hoped that no priest of the Catholic Church will allow himself to be used to harm the charity within the Church by protesting publicly against the nationality of the men whom the Pope has chosen to aid him in his apostolic work of directing the Church of God.

The Curia and Father Kung

Father Kung speaks as if a "rapid decline of the Roman Curia" were in the making as a result of what happened during the course of the first thirty-eight meetings of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. Of course no such decline, rapid or otherwise, took place at all. There is no congregation, tribunal, or office which has lost any portion of its powers or its competence as a result of what transpired during the meetings of the council. And there has been, as far as anyone can see, no notice of any development which in any way promises to harm the power and the influence of any of the agencies of the Roman Curia. The person who believes otherwise as a result of some imprudent statement by a newspaper is being badly deceived.

Those who treasure the love of the brotherhood within the true Church of Jesus Christ will be amazed and displeased at the New York Time's statement that "Father Kung discounted fears that the Curia might regain some of its lost prestige while the council recesses for nine months." The agencies which the Holy Father has set up to aid him in his work of caring for the Church and governing it have lost no prestige whatsoever as a result of the council and what transpired in it. Loyal, intelligent, and well instructed Catholics would be pained to think that the Curia had lost any prestige, and would certainly not express any fears of the type which Father Kung is supposed to have talked about.

Most disappointing of all the statements attributed to Father Kung was the one contained in Our Sunday Visitor, the one in which he is represented as stating that 
Quote:"I often say that the United Nations secretariate in New York is more catholic than the Roman Curia of the Catholic Church."

The reporter who wrote up the interview spelled the first word "Catholic" in this sentence with a small initial letter. Yet as a spoken statement it is difficult to see how it could appear to be anything other than a facetious and insulting remark, calculated to make the listener imagine that, in the mind of the man being interviewed, the secretariate of the United Nations was more Catholic than the Roman Curia. The secretariate of the United Nations obviously contains a majority of non-Catholics. The institution itself, despite its manifest advantages, has no basic religious character whatsoever. It is most obvious that the secretariate of this institution is not more in accord with the spirit of Christ's Church than the corps of men whom the Vicar of Christ has gathered around himself to aid him in the carrying out of his obligations to the universal Church of God on earth. The statement attributed to young Father Kung is very definitely newsworthy. Yet it cannot be other than very harmful to the loyalty towards the Church which every good priest should try to foster in all the other members of the Mystical Body of Christ on earth.

The Curia and Knowledge of the Catholic World

The January 7 edition of the NCWC News Service Bulletin prints another kind of attack on the Roman Curia. This one is attributed to a Catholic paper in Amsterdam, De Volkskrant. According to this paper:
Quote:"More than ever it has been shown publicly [as a result of a discussion caused by an objectionable speech by a priest in Holland] that power in the Church has fallen into the hands of a group that does not know what is really going on inside the Church. A majority of the council was no longer prepared to be guided by small, not very up-to-date groups."

A statement of that type is inexcusable. The editors of the Dutch paper are writing against the Curia, and specifically against the Holy Office. They would have to be naive indeed if they really believed that the Holy Office could adequately or accurately be described as "a group that does not really know what is going on inside the Church." And they would have to be even more naive were they really to believe that the Holy Office is a group into whose hands power within the Catholic Church has in some mysterious way fallen.

What is most apparent in that statement is the hyper-emotionalism which has spoiled a great deal of the writing on the subject of the Curia among those who like to be called liberal Catholics. If the editor of that little paper in Holland would take the time to think, he would realize at once that the distinguished Cardinals who make up the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office are far better briefed on what is taking place within the Church than any provincial writer in the Catholic world. He would know very well that the work being done by the Holy Office is work required by the very nature of the Catholic Church itself. And he would realize that the men who actually make up the membership of the Holy Office, the Cardinals themselves, have this position only because they have been appointed to it and continued in it by the Sovereign Pontiff.

It is quite manifest that such attacks against the Holy Office and against the Roman Curia as a whole will continue in the secular press. The non-Catholic newspapers are always interested in the spectacle of a malcontent priest or Catholic layman talking against an institution so close to the person and to the work of the Sovereign Pontiff as is the Roman Curia. But, in the days to come, as we prepare for the second, and what may well be the last, portion of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, it would be most refreshing if Catholic papers would stop giving publicity to those who want to attract attention to themselves and to gain reputations for themselves by setting themselves up as critics--and quite incompetent critics--of the men whom the Vicar of Christ has chosen to aid him in his task of teaching and directing the universal Church of God in this world.

The Curia and the Episcopate

Father Kung, in his effort to make it appear that the episcopate of the Church is in some way opposed to the Roman Curia, made this highly interesting observation:
Quote:"The episcopate is really the collaborator of the pope," he said. "The Curia is only an executive arm of the pope."

This is a point on which every Catholic, and particularly every priest, should be very well instructed. In a sense the episcopate, meaning the residential bishops of the Catholic Church, is the collaborator of the Sovereign Pontiff. It is a matter of Catholic doctrine and completely certain that the residential bishops of the Catholic Church, united with and subject to the Sovereign Pontiff, can and do teach the Church infallibly and authoritatively, even when the bishops remain in their various dioceses scattered throughout the world. The residential bishops in union with and subject to the Vicar of Christ constitute an organ of the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Catholic Church. And the individual residential bishop, in union with and subject to the Roman Pontiff, is an authoritative but non-infallible teacher within his own diocese.

God has so constituted His Church on earth, according to the dispensation of the New Testament, that the residential bishop, as one of the successors of the apostles, is an essential part of the structure of that Church. It is definitely not within the competence of the Roman Pontiff or of the ecumenical council to abolish the residential episcopate and its powers within the true Church of Jesus Christ on earth. The Pope may reserve certain powers to himself, and thus, to a certain limited extent, lessen the authority and the competence of the residential bishop within the Catholic Church. But he definitely cannot touch the residential episcopate as an institution within the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ.

But, by the same token, the responsibility and the authority of the residential bishop within the Church are sharply circumscribed by the divine constitution of the Church itself. The individual residential bishop has authority over his own people and within the limits of his own diocese. He has this power from Our Lord, and the power comes to him through the Sovereign Pontiff. When he acts with the Sovereign Pontiff, to teach authoritatively or to legislate for the universal Church of Christ on earth, he is using an authority which is participation or sharing of the power given by Our Lord to the Bishop of Rome. It is perfectly true that he is a person who is qualified, in the very constitution of the Catholic Church, to receive that delegation. It is connatural for the residential bishop, in union with the Roman Pontiff, to teach authoritatively and to legislate for the entire Church of Christ on earth in an ecumenical council. Yet the power he uses is definitely a participated power, and cannot, according to the divine constitution of the Catholic Church, be anything else.

After all, it was to one man alone that Our Lord gave responsibility for, and consequently authority over, the entire or universal social unit which is the society of His disciples, the supernatural family of God on earth. It was to St. Peter alone that Our Lord said: "Feed my lambs . . . Feed my sheep."5 Any power or responsibility for or over the universal Church of God on earth which is exercised by a person other than Peter or his successor, the Roman Pontiff, must be derived from the responsibility and the power given to Peter himself. It must be a delegated responsibility and power. The residential bishop as an individual, and the sum total of all the individuals who are fathers of an ecumenical council have no other power over the universal Church militant of Jesus Christ.

It is true, then, that the episcopate collaborates with the Sovereign Pontiff, but in a very definite sense. The bishops of the Catholic world can collaborate as a unit when they are called together for a council by the Roman Pontiff. They remain subject to the real and episcopal jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, who exercises true and episcopal jurisdiction over the entire council and over each of its members. Yet, having received this delegation from the Holy Father, all of the other members of the ecumenical council truly teach and govern for the universal Church militant.

On the other hand, the Curia is the administrative staff of the Vicar of Christ, who, by reason of his position in the actually existing Church of God, really needs an administrative staff. The acts which the various departments of the Roman Curia perform are acts which are rightly attributed to the Holy See. They are acts which are performed at the bidding and thus with the knowledge and the permission of the Pope himself. The directives issued by the various departments of the Roman Curia are binding upon all the subjects of the Catholic Church. The doctrinal decisions and decrees of the Curia, and in particular of the Holy Office, must be received and accepted with full and genuine religious assent by every loyal Catholic, despite the fact that such decisions are not guaranteed by the Church's charism of doctrinal infallibility.


Quite clearly the episcopate of the Catholic Church has a dignity not conceded to the Roman Curia. The residential episcopate of the Church, united with and under the direction of the Roman Pontiff, constitutes the apostolic collegium within the Church militant of the living God. The Curia, on the other hand, is the body of men who are selected by the Holy Father to aid him in the carrying out of his responsibility to care for, that is to teach and to direct, the entire Mystical Body of Christ on earth. The episcopate is in solemn session in an ecumenical council only once over a course of very many years. The Roman Curia is in continuous action. And the decisions of the individual departments of the Roman Curia, backed up or initiated by the Pope himself, are necessarily normative for the entire Church. It is poor theology to say that the Roman Curia is "only an executive arm" of the Pope.

As a matter of fact only harm can come to the Catholic Church from the type of irresponsible and facetious criticism of the Roman Curia with which we have been dealing. Such criticism tends to lead gullible people to disregard, or even to oppose, the directives which come to us from the Holy Office and from the other departments of the Curia. It tends to bring confusion and opposition in the Church of God, wherein God Himself wills that there should be order and love. It tends to turn Catholic against Catholic, at least in part on the grounds of a negative nationalism, and to influence some members of the Church to dislike others by reason of the fact that they are members of one race or citizens of one country.

It is to be hoped that the spirit of irenicism, which we pray may flourish within the ecumenical council, and which will bring us to look with even great affection on the members of non-Catholic religious societies, may be extended in such a way as to bring us to look with more favor even on the favorite whipping-boy of the anti-Catholic press, the Roman Curia. If this hope is realized, then the council will have been, in great measure, a success.

But if it is disloyal to attack and facetiously to criticize the Curia, it is plainly erroneous to say or to infer that the Curia has declined or has been hurt as a result of the council or anything that has happened in it. The Roman Pontiff remains the ruler of the universal Church of God. By reason of the very magnitude of his task, it is necessary that there should be persons chosen by him to assist him in his work. The organizations containing these persons are the various departments of the Roman Curia.

At this moment they can do all of the things which they were able to do before and during the meetings of the council. The Pope may reorganize these departments. He may, as time goes on, replace some of the men who are in charge of the various congregations, tribunals, and offices which compose the Roman Curia. But the Roman Curia remains now with the authority it has always possessed, and with the responsibility for aiding the successor of St. Peter in his care for the universal Church of Christ on earth, Father Kung and his imitators to the contrary.

Joseph Clifford Fenton
The Catholic University of America
Washington, D.C.


l The First Vatican Council, the dogmatic constitution Dei Filius, cap. 3, Dens., 1827.
2 Cf. Ibid., Dens., 1829.
3 Ibid., Denz., 1830.
4 Canon 7.
5 Cf. John. 21:16 f.

For information on Hans Kung's activities promoting the United Religions Initiative see Vatican Opposition to the United Religions Initiative.

[Emphasis mine.]
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Fr. Hans Küng Receives an Award from Freemasonry

TIA | June 23, 2007

While he was still in his 30s, Fr. Hans Küng 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 Küng, 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. Küng 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. Küng wrote The Church, his principal work, and thanked Fr. Ratzinger for his collaboration.

In 1975 and 1979, Küng 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, Küng was allowed to retain his same teaching position, the ban having no effect.

In September 2005, Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, received Fr. Hans Küng 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 Küng's book:
Quote:"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.

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The cover of The Tablet, May 26, 2007.

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The news of the award received by Fr. Hans Kung, on page 39.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Fr. Hans KüngApplaudes the Semi-secret Organization that Prepared Vatican II
TIA | June 15, 2005

It is common to find conservatives trying to explain Vatican Council II as a continuation of the previous Magisterium of the Church. They refuse to listen to any explanation coming from traditionalists saying the opposite.

Conservatives think that traditionalists are not objective. Traditionalism, according to them, would interpret everything that happens in the Catholic Church under a pessimistic light.

Here we present a document written by Fr. Hans Küng showing that Vatican II was the fruit of a long and semi-secret work that aims to change the entire Church. This current of ideas would have "hibernated" for decades and returned to the light again after the anti-modernist and anti-progressist persecutions. It triumphed when it placed Angelo Rocalli on the papal throne as Pope John XXIII.

We hope that this document will open the eyes of some conservatives to the reality.

[Below] is a facsimile of the book cover; [next], a photocopy of the Portuguese text. Below, we present our translation.

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Quote:"With regard to Vatican II, how could we have reached this turnaround .... if there had not been a long preparation before the Council, a sort of hibernation? John XXIII, a charismatic in the Seat of Peter, was the wick for a new veracity in the Church .... How could he have unleashed this process unless, long before the Council, there were not people - both known and anonymous - who accumulated the material that made the spark become a flame? ....

"We have every reason to bow our heads with respect and gratitude before the Christian commitment of those silent heroes of the struggle for a renewed veracity. .... They suffered from the distortions and false attitudes that were in the pronouncement of the Gospel, the doctrine, the liturgy, the pastoral work, the ecclesiastical order, asceticism, and relations with other Christians and the world, but they did not give up. Suspected, impeded, discredited, branded as heretics, persecuted and exiled by co-brothers, shepherds, and theologians in the Church, they carried on their work as best they could! Singled out as dangerous, extremists, ultra-radicals, heretics, revolutionaries, they always advanced as far as they were permitted, and, at times, even further. ....

"Many times - sometimes only after decades, at other times, only after death - a gesture of gratitude was shown toward them; some of them were rehabilitated only by Vatican Council II ....

"What a few started with modesty and insignificance and what slowly succeeded in taking hold with great efforts, has now developed and multiplied many times over: in the renewal of theology, the liturgy, and Church life in general. ....

"It has been proven that those harbingers of a new truth were not people on the fringe, lonely outsiders, but rather the vanguard troop of an army which, though undoubtedly slow, were determined to forge ahead. With regard to this army, some official representatives of theology and the Church leadership have proved to actually be a rear guard."

(Veracidade - O Futuro da Igreja, Sao Paulo: Herder, 1969, pp. 161-162).
Fr. Kung: Vatican II was Convened to Adapt the Catholic Church to Protestants and Schismatics

TIA | May 21, 2006

Fr. Hans Küng has the merit of speaking frankly about the goals of Progressivism. In doing so, he becomes a useful source for us to know straightforwardly the intentions of this current.

Nothing could be more important than knowing its intention regarding Vatican II. What was the main reason for its convocation? Küng answers the question. Read his explanation below.

The article by Küng is a collaboration for a work coordinated by Fr. Alting von Geusau, director of the Dutch Documentary Center, published soon after Vatican II.

[Below] is the cover of the book I grandi temi del Concilio [The Great Themes of the Council]. [Next], photocopies of the Italian text. 

Below, we present our translation of the lines highlighted in yellow.

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Quote:The Council was convened by the Holy Father to prepare for reconciliation. When he first announced it, he expressed this with extraordinary clarity, which is the reason why Vatican II .... was received with joy and hope everywhere. The Holy Father did not swerve from that purpose, and the observers of the great non-Catholic confessions present at all the sessions .... with their presence continuously reminded the conciliar fathers to not lose sight of the final aim of the Council: reconciliation with the separated Christians.

Then, the question arises: How can this reconciliation become a reality? It is not, as many Christians imagine - especially the Evangelicals, primarily by means of organized discussions and inter-confessional conferences of the leaders .... It is also not, as many Christians would desire - especially the Catholics, by tranquilly inviting the others to come to their own Church - as if the others had something for which they needed to be forgiven - or through the conversion of individuals .... or simply by a general reform of customs ....

Vatican II saw its mission in a very different way: reconciliation with the separated Christians can only be accomplished by means of a renewal of the Catholic Church herself.

The renewal of the Catholic Church leading toward reconciliation: this great goal can be reached by methodically realizing the legitimate desires of the others - Orthodox, Evangelicals, Anglicans and independent churches - under the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which judges what is legitimate in those desires and what is not.

(Hans Küng, "La Riforma Liturgica del Concilio Vaticano II e la Riunione con I Cristiani Separati, in I Grandi Temi del Concilio, Rome: Paoline, 1965, pp. 103-105).
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
[Excerpt from an indult site article - May 2016]

Quote:...It is important to report on ...  the encouragement of the progressivist, Father Hans Küng, who was removed in 1979 from his teaching position as a Catholic theologian under Pope John Paul II for his heterodox teaching. For now, it seems, his hour in the spotlight has at last come.

As the National Catholic Reporter first reported, Hans Küng has now received a personal letter from Pope Francis in which he is encouraged to discuss – and thereby effectively to question – the Dogma of Papal Infallibility itself! This story has now been reported also by the official Vatican website in German, on Radio Vatikan, as well as by the official website of the Swiss bishops. The pope’s encouragement comes in response to an open letter to the Holy Father written by Küng in March of 2016. In it, he requested an open discussion of this settled dogma. He also explained rather explicitly why he wanted to question this Dogma: namely, because Papal Infallibility is now is a barrier that makes impossible the further reforms of the Church in many other fields. Küng wrote:
Quote:The themes [of reform that came up in recent times] were: agreements among the different confessions; mutual acceptance of the offices and of the celebrations of the Last Supper; questions of divorce of marriage and of the ordination of women; concerning forced celibacy [sic] and the catastrophic lack of priests; and, finally, and especially, concerning the leadership of the Catholic Church.

This proposed agenda for further reforms shows that the essential parts of the Catholic Faith are already under attack by the notably heterodox Swiss theologian. And now, it seems, he continues his assault with the support of the Vicar of Christ, who has been put in his office for the express purpose of defending the irreformable Deposit of Faith!


[A related article by Fr. Küng himself...]

Infallibility — Hans Kung appeals to Pope Francis
Mar 9, 2016

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Next week, Hans Küng, the Catholic priest and Swiss theologian, will mark his 88th birthday. The fifth volume of his complete works, titled Infallibility, has just become available from the German publishing house Herder. In connection with the release of Infallibility, Küng has written the following “urgent appeal to Pope Francis to permit an open and impartial discussion on infallibility of pope and bishops.” The text of his urgent appeal is being released simultaneously by National Catholic Reporter and The Tablet.

It is hardly conceivable that Pope Francis would strive to define papal infallibility as Pius IX did with all the means at hand, whether good or less good, in the 19th century. It is also inconceivable that Francis would be interested in infallibly defining Marian dogmas as Pius XII did. It would, however, be far easier to imagine Pope Francis smilingly telling students, “Io non sono infallibile” — “I am not infallible” — as Pope John XXIII did in his time. When he saw how surprised the students were, John added, “I am only infallible when I speak ex cathedra, but that is something I will never do.”

I became acquainted with the subject very early in my life. Here are a few important historical dates as I personally experienced them and have faithfully documented in Volume 5 of my complete works:

1950: On Nov. 1, facing huge crowds in St. Peter’s Square and supported by numerous high church and political dignitaries, Pope Pius XII definitively proclaimed the Assumption of Mary as a dogma. “The immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” I was there in St. Peter’s Square at the time and must admit that I enthusiastically hailed the pope’s declaration.

That was the first infallible ex cathedra proclamation by the church’s senior shepherd and highest teaching authority, who had invoked the special support of the Holy Spirit, all according to the definition of papal infallibility laid down at the First Vatican Council of 1870. And it was to remain the last ex cathedra proclamation to date, as even John Paul II, who restored papal centralism and was always happy to seek publicity, did not dare to play to the gallery by proclaiming a new dogma. As it was, the 1950 dogma proclamation had been made despite protests from the Protestant and Orthodox churches and from many Catholics, who simply could not find any evidence in the Bible for this “truth of faith revealed by God.”

I remember German theology students, who were our guests in the Collegium Germanicum (German College) in Rome, discussing the problems they had with the dogma in the refectory at the time. Only a few weeks previously, an article by the then leading German patrologist, Professor Berthold Althaner, a highly regarded Catholic specialist in the theology of the Church Fathers, had been published in which Althaner, listing many examples, had shown that this dogma had did not even have a historical basis in the first centuries of the early church. It goes back to a legend in an apocryphal writing from the fifth century that is brimful of miracles.

We seminarians at the German College at the time thought that the students’ “rationalist” university teachers had kept the Pontifical Gregorian University’s general perception regarding this dogma from them. The general perception at the Gregorian was that the Assumption dogma had “developed” slowly and, as it were, “organically” in the course of dogma history, but that it was already ascertained in Bible passages such as “Hail (Mary) full of grace (blessed art thou),” “the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28), and although not “explicitly” expressed, it was nevertheless “implicitly” incorporated.

1958: Pius XII’s death marked the end of a century of excessive Marian cults by the Pius popes that had begun with the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. Pius XII’s successor, John XXIII, was disinclined toward new dogmas. At the Second Vatican Council, in a crucial vote, the majority of the council fathers rejected a special Marian decree and in fact cautioned against exaggerated Marian piety.

1965: Chapter III of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church is devoted to the hierarchy but, oddly enough, Paragraph 25, which is on infallibility, in no way actually goes into it. What is all the more surprising is that in actual fact the Second Vatican Council took a fatal step. Without giving reasons, it expressly extended infallibility, which was confined to the pope alone at the First Vatican Council, to the episcopacy. The council attributed infallibility not only to the assembled episcopacy at an ecumenical council (magisterium extraordinarium), but from then on also to the world episcopacy (magisterium ordinarium), that is, to bishops all over the world if they were agreed and decreed that a church teaching on faith or morals should permanently become mandatory.

1968: the year the encyclical Humanae Vitae on birth control was published. That the encyclical was released on July 25 of all times, which was not only during the summer holidays but, on top of that, in the middle of the Czechoslovak people’s fight for freedom, is generally interpreted as Roman tactics so that there would be less opposition to it. Perhaps, however, it was quite simply because work on this sensitive document had only just been finished. Whatever the reason for the timing, the encyclical hit the world “like a bomb.” The pope had obviously greatly underestimated the resistance to this teaching. Isolated as he was in the Vatican, he had not envisaged that the world public would react quite so negatively.

The encyclical Humanae Vitae, which not only forbade as grave sins the pill and all mechanical means of contraception but also the withdrawal method to avoid pregnancy, was universally regarded as an incredible challenge. Invoking the infallibility of papal, respectively episcopal teaching, the pope pitted himself against the entire civilized world. This alarmed me as a Catholic theologian. I had by then been professor of theology at the Catholic theological faculty of Tübingen University for eight years. Of course, formal protests and substantive objections were important, but had the time not now come to examine this claim to the infallibility of papal teaching in principle? I was convinced that theology — or, to be more precise, critical fundamental theological research — was called for. In 1970, I put the subject up for discussion in my book Infallible?: An Inquiry. I could not have foreseen at the time that this book and with it the problem of infallibility would crucially affect my personal destiny and would present theology and the church with key challenges. In the 1970s, my life and my work were more than ever intertwined with theology and the church.

1979-80: the withdrawal of my license to teach. In Volume 2 of my memoirs, Disputed Truth, I have described in detail how this was a secret campaign carried out with military precision, which has proved to be theologically unfounded and politically counterproductive. At the time, the debate about the withdrawal of my missio canonica and infallibility continued for a long time. It proved impossible to harm my standing with believers, however, and as I had prophesied, the controversies regarding large-scale church reform have not ceased. On the contrary, during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI they increased on a massive scale. That was when I went into the necessity of promoting understanding between the different denominations, of mutual recognition of church offices and celebrating the Lord’s Supper, the question of divorce, of women’s ordination, mandatory celibacy and the catastrophic lack of priests, but above all of the leadership of the Catholic church. My question was: “Where are you leading this church of ours?”

These questions are as relevant today as they were then. The decisive reason for this incapacity for reform at all levels is still the doctrine of infallibility of church teaching, which has bequeathed a long winter on our Catholic church. Like John XXIII, Francis is doing his utmost to blow fresh wind into the church today and is meeting with massive opposition as at the last episcopal synod in October 2015. But, make no mistake, without a constructive “re-vision” of the infallibility dogma, real renewal will hardly be possible.

What is all the more astonishing is that the discussion (of infallibility) has disappeared from the scene. Many Catholic theologians have no longer critically examined the infallibility ideology for fear of ominous sanctions as in my case, and the hierarchy tries as far as possible to avoid the subject, which is unpopular in the church and in society. When he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger only expressly referred to it very few times. Despite the fact that it was left unsaid, the taboo of infallibility has blocked all reforms since the Second Vatican Council that would have required revising previous dogmatic definitions. That not only applies to the encyclical Humanae Vitae against contraception, but also to the sacraments and monopolized “authentic” church teaching, to the relationship between the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of all the faithful. And it applies likewise to a synodal church structure and the claim to absolute papal power, the relationship to other denominations and religions, and to the secular world in general. That is why the following question is more urgent than ever: Where is the church — which is still fixated on the infallibility dogma — heading at the beginning of the third millennium? The anti-modernist epoch that rang in the First Vatican Council has ended.

2016: I am in my 88th year and I may say that I have spared no effort to collect the relevant texts, order them factually and chronologically according to the various phases of the altercation and elucidate them by putting them in a biographical context for Volume 5 of my complete works. With this book in my hand, I would now like to repeat an appeal to the pope that I repeatedly made in vain several times during the decade long theological and church-political altercation. I beg of Pope Francis — who has always replied to me in a brotherly manner:

Quote:“Receive this comprehensive documentation and allow a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion in our church of the all the unresolved and suppressed questions connected with the infallibility dogma. In this way, the problematic Vatican heritage of the past 150 years could be come to terms with honestly and adjusted in accordance with holy Scripture and ecumenical tradition. It is not a case of trivial relativism that undermines the ethical foundation of church and society. But it is also not about an unmerciful, mind-numbing dogmatism, which swears by the letter, prevents thorough renewal of the church’s life and teaching, and obstructs serious progress in ecumenism. It is certainly not the case of me personally wanting to be right. The well-being of the church and of ecumenism is at stake.

“I am very well aware of the fact that my appeal to you, who ‘lives among wolves,’ as a good Vatican connoisseur recently remarked, may possibly not be opportune. In your Christmas address of Dec. 21, 2015, however, confronted with curial ailments and even scandals, you confirmed your will for reform: ‘It seems necessary to state what has been — and ever shall be — the object of sincere reflection and decisive provisions. The reform will move forward with determination, clarity and firm resolve, since Ecclesia semper reformanda.’

“I would not like to raise the hopes of many in our church unrealistically. The question of infallibility cannot be solved overnight in our church. Fortunately, you (Pope Francis) are almost 10 years younger than I am and will hopefully survive me. You will, moreover, surely understand that as a theologian at the end of his days, buoyed by deep affection for you and your pastoral work, I wanted to convey this request to you in time for a free and serious discussion of infallibility that is well-substantiated in the volume at hand: non in destructionem, sed in aedificationem ecclesiae, ‘not in order to destroy but to build up the church.’ For me personally, this would be the fulfillment of a hope I have never given up.”

[Fr. Hans Küng, Swiss citizen, is professor emeritus of ecumenical theology at Tübingen University in Germany. He is the honorary president of the Global Ethic Foundation ( The sixth volume of his complete works, Church Reform, is expected later this year also from Herder. This article was translated from the German by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.]
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Hans Küng, influential dissident theologian, dead at 93

The Pillar [one of the more 'conservative,' non-laudatory articles found reporting on his life and death] | April 6, 2021

Fr. Hans Küng, an influential Swiss Catholic priest and theologian who was forbidden from teaching theology because he dissented from Catholic doctrine, has died. The priest was 93 years old.

The priest was a contemporary of Joseph Ratzinger, later Benedict XVI, with whom he had a relationship of frequent public disagreement, especially as the men embarked on radically divergent theological paths, engaged in pointed theological disputes, and after official condemnation of some of Küng’s theological work. 

Küng’s death was announced by the German bishops’ conference on April 6.

Born in 1928, Küng was ordained a priest in 1954, and was shortly thereafter appointed a professor of theology at the influential German University of Tübingen.

Like Ratzinger, Küng was an influential theological expert at the Second Vatican Council. During the Council, Küng, who proposed some models of Church reform that were adopted by the Council Fathers, became a prominent media figure and a well-known theologian, especially because he was interviewed frequently by English-language media.

But theologians at the Council criticized Küng privately. In his diaries, Fr. Henri de Lubac lamented the priest’s “juvenile audacity” and “incendiary, superficial, and polemical” approach to theological engagement.

After the Council, Küng helped to secure a faculty position at Tübingen for Ratzinger, and the men were initially friendly.

But Küng’s rejection of Church doctrine was made explicitly manifest in 1968, when Humanae vitae was promulgated, and the theologian joined those opposing its teaching, which ruled out the licit use of artificial contraception and reiterated the Church’s holistic teaching on human dignity, sexuality, and the link between the unitive and procreative potential of marital love. Ratzinger, then a colleague of Küng’s, supported the document and criticized those who dissented from it.

In 1971, the bishops’ conference of Germany denounced a book by Küng that seemed to reject the doctrine of papal infallibility, which was declared definitively by the First Vatican Council.

In 1975, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said of Küng’s theological work that “some views are found which in different degrees oppose the Catholic Church’s doctrine which must be professed by all the faithful.”

In addition to his rejection of papal infallibility, “he does not adhere to the true concept of the authentic Magisterium by which the Bishops are in the Church ‘authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice,’’ the Vatican said.

Also the view already suggested by Prof. Küng in the book Die Kirche (The Church) according to which the Eucharist, at least in cases of necessity, can be validly consecrated by baptized persons who are not ordained priests, cannot be reconciled with the doctrine of Lateran Council IV and Vatican II.”

The Vatican at that time admonished Küng not to teach the positions identified as false by the CDF, and urged him to “harmonize, after an appropriate period of deep study, his own views with the doctrine of the Church’s authentic Magisterium.”

But in 1979, Küng’s work was found by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to contain persistent heretical elements, and the priest was censured.

“In his writings, has departed from the integral truth of Catholic faith, and therefore he can no longer be considered a Catholic theologian nor function as such in a teaching role," the CDF concluded. The priest was forbidden to teach theology in any Catholic institution.

Küng continued to teach as a professor of “ecumenical theology” at Tübingen. Although the priest’s work was found to contain persistently heretical elements, he was not formally declared to be excommunicated, the prescribed canonical penalty for heresy.

In addition to his rejection of papal infallibility, Küng was a staunch critic of the Church’s teaching and discipline on sexuality and clerical celibacy.

In later life, Küng blamed the sexual abuse scandals of the early 2000s and the shortage of priestly vocations in dioceses in the West on clerical celibacy.

In 2010, he insisted that "Compulsory celibacy is the principal reason for today's catastrophic shortage of priests, for the fatal neglect of eucharistic celebration, and for the tragic breakdown of personal pastoral ministry in many places."

Commenting on the sexual abuse crisis, he said that “celibacy is not the only cause of such misconduct. But it is the most important and structurally the most decisive expression of an uptight attitude of the church’s leadership towards sexuality in general, an attitude that is also revealed in the birth control question and in other related issues.”

"Abolition of the celibacy rule, the root of all these evils, and the admission of women to ordination. The bishops know this, but they do not have the courage to say it in public."

Küng was a fierce critic of Ratzinger’s administrative and theological leadership, even while periodically affirming the genuine faith of his former colleague. He referred to Ratzinger’s leadership as “Roman Inquisition” and blamed him for the global cover-up of clerical sexual abuse.

In 2005, however, the two men met in Rome for a conversation the Vatican described as “friendly,” and they spoke of another with some degree of cordiality.

[Emphasis mine.]
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
From a sedevacantist site that doesn't mince words in condemning the damage done by this priest [adapted and all sedevacantist references filtered out]:

Hell’s Apostle Called to Judgment: Über-Modernist Theologian Hans Küng Dead at 93
Give an account of thy stewardship…” (Lk 16:2)

NOW | April 6, 2021

Big news on Easter Tuesday: One of the world’s most dangerous, most notorious, and most prolific apostates has been called to judgment.

We are talking about the Swiss theologian Fr. Hans Küng. According to reports, the famous “church critic” died in his sleep on April 6, 2021, at his home in Tübingen, Germany.

Born on Mar. 19, 1928, Kung was ordained a priest for the diocese of Basel, Switzerland, on Oct. 10, 1954, clearly one of the most fateful mistakes in ecclesiastical history.

The Holy Office under Pope Pius XII took notice of Kung right away. Although his denial of the Faith later became manifest and tenacious, Kung always remained a priest in good standing with his diocese. He taught “theology” at the University of Tübingen since 1960.

Together with Fr. Joseph Ratzinger (“Pope Emeritus” Benedict XVI), Fr. Kung was one of those suit-and-tie-wearing “theological experts” at the Modernist Second Vatican Council (1962-65), called to his advisory role as a competent “Catholic theologian” by Pope”John XXIII. By contrast, the then-orthodox Catholic University of America issued an interdict against Kung in 1963 for his lecture “The Church and Freedom”. Though Ratzinger and Kung went separate theological ways, with Ratzinger preferring a more moderate Modernism (which, being moderate and therefore not as easily identifiable, is actually more dangerous, as Fr. Felix Sarda shows in Liberalism is a Sin), whereas Kung decided to go full-steam ahead and reason Modernist principles to their logical conclusions.

Due to his performance at the council, Mgr. Joseph Fenton called Küng “king of the nuts” in his personal diary. But Fenton also spoke against Kung in public, such as in this article:
The Roman Curia and the Ecumenical Council” by Mgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton (1963) [See Post #2 in this thread - The Catacombs]

By the early 1970s, Kung had become a notorious denier of the dogma of papal infallibility as defined at the First Vatican Council in 1870. His 1971 book Infallible? An Inquiry generated untold controversy. After numerous quarrels with the Novus Ordo Vatican’s Congregation for the Destruction of the Faith, on December 15, 1979, the Congregation’s Prefect, Cardinal Francis Seper, declared several of Kung’s books to contain errors incompatible with Catholic — even Novus Ordo! — teaching and announced that Kung was no longer permitted to teach theology under the name of “Catholic” and could not be considered a Catholic theologian (see the Novus Ordo “Acta Apostolicae Sedis” 72 [1980], pp. 90-92).

Despite his clear heresies and the dangerous influence he held as an active university professor, the Vatican never excommunicated Kung, did not suspend him, and did not even remove his priestly faculties. The effect was that Kung continued teaching as before at the same university, though no longer as part of the “Catholic” faculty. He became professor of “ecumenical” theology instead. The secular world has long hailed him as a courageous “rebel Catholic” and frequently consulted him on “controversial” Catholic questions as a “critical voice of reason” against (what they perceived to be) the militantly-hardline Vatican.

On September 26, 2005, a newly-elected Pope Benedict XVI (Ratzinger) met with Kung in the Vatican for a chit-chat, and a chit-chat is really all it was. Kung described the meeting as “very joyful” and with “no reproaches, no polemics” from Ratzinger (see John Allen’s coverage of the meeting here). This did not come as a surprise to those who knew the real Joseph Ratzinger — as opposed to the pseudo-traditionalist face put on him by his cheerleaders at The Remnant & Co. — because in his 1996 book Salt of the Earth, Ratzinger had already said about Kung: “I respect his path, which he takes in accord with his conscience…” (Ignatius Press, p. 96). By “his path”, Ratzinger was referring precisely to the theological views Kung had developed against Catholic (even Novus Ordo) doctrine (see pp. 95-96).

When Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis in 2013, Kung quickly recognized a kindred spirit in the new Holy Father. He endorsed Francis’ first exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, and said there was no longer a reason to be a “Pope critic” now:

It is no wonder that Francis, himself an apostate, gave Küng explicit “permission” to dispute freely the Catholic dogma of papal infallibility...

In December of 2013, the German magazine Der Spiegel had interviewed Kung and asked him if he was going to heaven, considering that he is reputed to be a heretic. Kung’s answer was presumptuous of his eternal salvation, denied the existence of hell, and, of course, rejected the idea that he is a heretic:

Quote:SPIEGEL: Professor Küng, will you go to Heaven?

Küng: Well I certainly hope so. [German: “Das hoffe ich doch sehr.” NOW comment: The way the answer is phrased in German suggests not the theological virtue of hope but a presumption that he is deserving of Heaven and it would be an affront to him should he not be admitted.]

SPIEGEL: What would indicate that you will go to hell [instead] is you being a heretic in the eyes of the Church.

Küng: I am not a heretic but a critical reform theologian, who, in contrast to many of his critics, does not use medieval theology, liturgy, and canon law as his standard but the Gospel.

SPIEGEL: Does hell even exist?

Küng: All the talk about hell is a warning that a man can completely miss the meaning of his life. I do not believe in an eternal hell.

SPIEGEL: If hell means losing the meaning of life, then that is a fairly earthly conception.

Küng: Sartre says that hell is other people. Men make their own hell, for example in wars like in Syria or also in an unscrupulous capitalism.

(Hans Kung, “Ich hänge nicht an diesem Leben”, Der Spiegel, Dec. 9, 2013; underlining added; our translation.)

Towards the end of his life, Kung was contemplating suicide, since he was gradually going blind and could no longer read and write properly...

Küng’s death is an important reminder to all of us that no matter how “endless” and even successful someone’s career of apostasy seems to be, eventually it does end. Everything earthly must end, and just as Kung has now died after 93 years on this earth, so the Novus Ordo Sect will one day collapse and all its heresies and blasphemies will be no more.

So too for each one of us. We will all find ourselves, sooner or later, before the all-just Judge: “Therefore every one of us shall render account to God for himself” (Rom 14:12).

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