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Irish bishop spanks Kung September 14, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, scandals, silliness, Society.

Hans Kung is almost something of a shibolleth among traditional, or orthodox, Catholics.  His novel “interpretations” of Vatican II and the illusionary “spirit” of that Council have been a source of great angst among those who try to adhere to the great Tradition of the Church, and many have been convinced that Dr. Kung would be more pleased as a protestant. 

Well, the Archbishop of Meade in Ireland is having none of it.  Writing in the Irish Times (h/t Catholic Culture), Archbishop Michael Smith recalls that, as far as Vatican II is concerned, Kung wasn’t really even at the Council – he was too busy giving lectures and press conferences on what the Council “meant”.  In current day terms, we would say he was busily constructing the narrative:

Dr Hans Küng wrote what he described as an open letter to the church. It was deeply critical of Pope Benedict, those working in the Roman Curia and “subservient” bishops.It contained factual errors, eg that Pope Benedict had taken bishops of the traditionalist Pius X Society back into the church without precondition.

Running through the piece was an infallibility no pope would claim. He spoke of the betrayal by successive popes and the Curia of the “spirit” of the Vatican Council, without defining what exactly that “spirit” was.

But it is his claim to be the true interpreter of the documents of the Vatican Council that I find most difficult to accept, given the reality of his involvement with it.

Being present each day over the four years of the council, I had an opportunity of observing its workings closely. Scholars with expertise in theology, biblical studies, ecumenism etc had been appointed as “experts” to assist Council Fathers.

These were assigned to different commissions, the primary one being the Doctrine Commission. It would consider in detail proposals received from the Council Fathers, and establish reasons why some could be accepted and/or some could not.

One of those involved with the Doctrine Commission was Irish Franciscan biblical scholar Fr Alexander Kerrigan. I met him most days at the council, a kind and affable priest.

I was surprised one morning to find him visibly angry after his experience the previous evening at a commission meeting. It had followed a visit to the commission by Dr Küng, the only time Fr Kerrigan had seen him present.

Dr Küng left quickly, taking no part in the discussion. Since Dr Küng was spending a great deal of time giving lectures on the council and interviews to media, his refusal to be involved in drafting council texts was not appreciated by many….

A clear conclusion, for me at least, is that Dr Küng is less qualified than most of those present to interpret that ephemeral concept which he constantly evokes – “the spirit of the Vatican Council”.

A major theme of this pontificate is Pope Benedict’s defence of truth and morality and his robust criticism of moral relativism. In media coverage of his visit to Britain we should be mindful of ulterior motives behind campaigns to damage him.

Typically his critics reject his views as inconsistent with their agenda that morality is a matter of opinion. Rather than prejudging his visit this week we need to keep our hearts open to his key messages.

That, my dear, sweet readers, is the whole point of the “spirit of Vatican II,” an attempt to “liberate” the Body of Christ, us, from any authoritative view of morality.  Wow, and that has worked out so wonderfully over the last several decades, hasn’t it?  Look at all the wonderful fruit the diminished adherence to Christian morality has yielded – sterile marriages, divorce, devastated families, acceptance of all manner of perversion, empty churches, collapse in vocations – it’s been so very, very wonderful!  Kung would say the problems in Church and society have come about because his “spirit of Vatican II” hasn’t been adhered to strictly enough – as if more liturgical abuse and ignorance of Church doctrine on morality would somehow bring people to greater faith and more wholesome living.  How’s that working out for the protestants, Dr. Kung?  Many of the most liberal protestant churches are cratering even faster than the Catholic Church was from ~1955 – 2005 (praise God, things seem to be turning around in the Church), and are on the verge of splitting themselves into complete irrelevance. 

Dr. Kung’s worldview is old, obsolete, and discredited.  It was a fanciful dream, fueled by a sense that ecumenism could be achieved if we all just chucked some of our more problematic beliefs, we could achieve fabled Christian Unity!  But that is not how to achieve unity, that is how to come to believe in precisely nothing.   Kung and his cohorts have convinced many that, especially regarding sexual issues, it’s alot more fun, in this life at least, to believe in what you will, rather than observe Church doctrine faithfully.  I pray the Heavenly Father is infinitely merciful to him and his adherents. 

Their earthly reward has been the devastation I mentioned above. 

PS – The virtue of meekness is not my strong suit.

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