Pray for the Holy Father in Germany

I've read some interesting blog posts today, among which A Reluctant Sinner writes an excellent piece on the rough treatment of another brave Priest by his Bishop, following complaints from vociferous elements of the gay community. He preached Catholic Faith and paid the price. This is what we usually say of Martyrs who suffer at the hands of the godless. Sadly, today, the virtuous suffer at the hands of even their own Shepherds.

Another good read is James Preece's post on the new website from Catholic Voices that, somehow, against all the odds, fails to mention either Our Lord Jesus Christ or Our Blessed Lady. Were it not for the fact that the Catholic Voices project was launched in order to represent the Faith in the media during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI, I doubt it would mention the Holy Father either, but let us not be too critical, because after all, Austen Ivereigh's new Catholic Voices website does talk very eloquently about the project becoming a school of "new Christian humanism". I hate to be dismissive of Austen's projects, but "new Christian humanism" does sound like the kind of thing Hans Kung might invent or say he invented. Hey! Now, I think about it, maybe he did invent it and Austen is just re-inventing it and re-packaging it!

As a matter of fact, another post I read today, I forget where I read it, concerns the very same Hans Kung, of Germany, who has been speaking out about the "Putinization" of the Catholic Church under the reign of Pope Benedict XVI. It really is one of the slimiest interviews I have read in a good, long while.

The interview is with Der Spiegel and you can read it here, if you can bear it for Friday penance. There is so much that Kung says which is objectionable, but even the prospect of a relatively successful Papal visit to the Successor of St Peter's homeland seems to get Hans into a lather. Of the 70,000 attending one of the Holy Father's Masses, Kung says...

"They're not all believers; the crowd will include many curious onlookers. The believers who will attend are mainly conservative Catholics with no interest in reforms. There are also notorious young, hysterical Benedict fans who are also always present at the major papal events. Most of them are recruited from strictly conservative groups."

Supporters of the Holy Father are "notorious, young and hysterical". Is that "rad, trad and dangerous to know"?  Every fibre of my being desires to be charitable to Hans Kung, but so far my body isn't responding to my brain's signals. What really comes across is the carping bitterness of the modern German theologian whose great vision of the Church in the 21st century is now in decline, while desire for sound, orthodox teaching and liturgy is on the increase. It is so sad that after the colossol failure of the Vatican II experiment whose adherents still dominate the Catholic Church in the West, Kung and his supporters are still blaming traditional Catholics in the Church for the lack of new Priests coming through. Come on...liberalism has been the default setting of the Church on the ground in parishes and Dioceses for a long, long time. Does he really think that it is the failure of modern Catholic liberalism to totally capture the heart of the Supreme Pontiff that is to blame for a dearth of vocations? Could the problem not be liberalism and its tenets that are to blame?

The abuse crisis occurred under the watch of liberals within the Church, even at high levels of the hierarchy, but for Kung the abuse crisis has no link to the trend within seminaries for seminarians to believe and be taught, from the 1970s onwards, that Heaven and Hell were quaint fairytales believed only by medieval anorexic mystics who were mad anyway. No...

"If you put it that simply, I'll give you a simple answer. Ratzinger's predecessor, John Paul II, launched a program of ecclesiastical and political restoration, which went against the intentions of the Second Vatican Council. He wanted a re-Christianization of Europe. And Ratzinger was his most loyal assistant, even at an early juncture. One could call it a period of restoration of the pre-council Roman regime."

Make sense? No, the answer to the question about the abuse crisis does not make sense. So, it isn't just one Pope, the current, reigning one, but two that Kung dislikes immensely. He speaks as if the re-Christianization of Europe is, like, er, a bad thing. Do read the interview, but don't if you have a heart condition. It really is an exercise in maintaining your composure and, to be honest, if you are unable to do so, you've passed the test. Catholics should be horrified by the flagrant disloyalty of Kung and the downright disgraceful assertion that Pope Benedict XVI behaves like a former shady KGB man who rose to the top of the Church and now bullies Her into submission to his will and whim.

The opposite is, in fact, true. If it were not, he would not have given Holy Communion to a dissident in the hand today when it was totally and utterly obvious that it is his preference to distribute Communion to the Faithful kneeling and on the tongue. He is always gentle, even with those, even in authority in the Church, who deserve to have their heads knocked together. It is so sad that Kung cannot see that the liberal experiments which damaged the Church so badly and ruined the faith of so many is not the answer to the restoration of the Church. It is, he, sadly, who is intransigient to reforms - not the Holy Father and his "notorious, young, hysterical" supporters in the laity, the Priesthood and in religious life. By the time you get into the second page of the Der Spiegel interview it really does begin to sound as if Hans Kung has been possessed by the spirit of Martin Luther, but one fears that that might have happened about 40 years ago. Poor man. Pray for the Holy Father in Germany. May God bless him and preserve him and give him long life. Long may His Holiness reign. May it be long and continue to be glorious.

At least we can rest assured that the man in charge of the Catholic Voices project is poles apart from Hans Kung's disastrous, dissenting theology and that as far as the East is from the West, that is how far apart are Austen Ivereigh's views and those of the embittered and rather sad modern theologian, Hans Kung, though it possible that they could discuss, amicably and in a spirit of fraternal affection, a "new Christian humanism".


Physiocrat said…
Kung is, I would suggest, an extreme conservative.