Hans Küng And The Holy Fuehrer

Pope Benedict has made worse just about everything that is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church and is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests, according to this open letter to all Catholic bishops – Irish Times.
Hans Küng is a theologian of considerable renown. It is not necessary to accept the basic premise of all theology – the existence of god – to acknowledge the deep thinking prowess of Küng and his ability to intellectually defend and articulate his Christian perspective. His Book Infallible? - which I first read in 1982 - brought the heavies of the Vatican down on his head because he had the temerity to question papal infallibility. It was why I was drawn to him. For his crime of refusing to accept papal infallibility his licence to teach was stripped from him. Although steeped in irrationalism, which is what religion essentially is, Küng is something of a paradox, in many ways a creature of the Enlightenment with its uncompromising emphasis on reason. His was a dissenting voice, an awkward peninsula that jutted into and broke up the waves of irrationalism launched by ‘the reactionary forces in Rome.’ When it is considered what perfidy popes get up to, none more so than the current one, their audacity in claiming infallibility for themselves is both demeaning and an assault on reason. It also makes them appear idiotic and cultic, holding a belief, the foundation of which is indisputably fallible and held only by themselves. What a flawed god we must have who would deign to confer infallibility on those most in need of having their judgements robustly questioned and challenged. Küng remains within the church for reasons best known to him and by no means understood by me. But, to his absolute credit his has been a voice that the Vatican goondas have never been able to smother. Last year I finished another book by Küng, The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion. It was a lucid account from a man who clearly knew the subject matter and who did not buy into anti-evolutionist stance and its associated disdain for science in favour of the supernatural. While I could not agree with his overall take, based as it as on the existence of a god, I quickly found that he writes much better and conveys his ideas more clearly than the bane of all religious thought, Richard Dawkins. Küng returned to the theme of evolution in a combative open letter which featured in the Irish Times when he hit out at the Catholic Church for having missed ‘the opportunity to make peace with modern science by clearly affirming the theory of evolution and accepting stem-cell research.’ But Küng’s letter was much more subversive of the Vatican than favourable references to evolution would imply. According to Kung, Ratzinger has: taken notoriously anti-Semitic and schismatic bishops back into communion with the church, and he is actively promoting the beatification of Pope Pius XII, who has been accused of not offering sufficient protections to Jews in Nazi Germany. Added to this Küng points out that under Ratzinger the Vatican has missed opportunities to engage with both Judeaism and Islam. He also criticised the German Catholic boss of bosses for failing to ‘help the people of Africa by allowing the use of birth control to fight overpopulation and condoms to fight the spread of HIV.’ Nor did it stop at that as Küng went on to accuse Ratzinger of insultingly pushing the line that the people of Latin America longed for the religion of those who conquered them. Speaking on the repression of intellectual activity under Ratzinger, Küng levelled the charge that ‘none more so than the Curia, have done their best ‘to stifle criticism in the episcopate and in the church as a whole and to discredit critics with all the means’ at their disposal. Characterising the Ratzinger regime as one of failure Küng maintains that, ‘all of his spectacular appearances, demonstrative journeys and public statements have failed to influence the opinions of most Catholics on controversial issues.’ Most damning of all was Küng’s comment that: There is no denying the fact that the worldwide system of covering up cases of sexual crimes committed by clerics was engineered by the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger (1981-2005). This critique was a follow on from March when, in similar vein, writing in an Italian newspaper Küng had boldly stated, ‘should not Pope Benedict XVI also assume his own responsibility, instead of complaining that there is a campaign against him?’ In the same article he accused Ratzinger of having imposed ‘papal confidentiality’ on cases of clerical abuse throughout the world: In the name of truth, Joseph Ratzinger, the man who for decades was mainly responsible for the concealment of these abuses at a world level, should have pronounced a mea culpa. In his Irish Times summing up Hans Küng slammed the crime of silence and called on bishops to refrain from the practice.’ By keeping silent in the face of so many serious grievances, you taint yourselves with guilt.’ Silence is the cardinal sin of dissent. Küng is aware that none of his critique is the type of stuff the authoritarian minds that run Catholicism are likely to react kindly to. With Ratzinger as ‘an autocrat over and against the bishops’ the dissenting Swiss theologian knows the type of rollicking and dismissal his forcefully expressed views are likely to meet with. There will likely be whispers that the leading Catholic dissident is off his rocker, drinks to much altar wine, is ageing or embittered, has long been a vocal critic of the priest process – anything that can be pulled from the smear bucket to be daubed all over him. Hans Küng, fierce critic of the Catholic hierarchy, is a deeply devoted Christian. His fellow Christians should bear this in mind when urged not to read his books or have him burned this side of hell for having written them. Papal infallibility – papal bull.


  1. Mackers, when I read this, it instantly made me think of Pope John Paul 1, the Pope of 33 days.
    After his untimely death, it was said that a piece of paper had been removed from his twisted hand.
    Apparently, it contained the names of highranking members of the Curia who had been involved in numerous acts of corruption and laundering Mafia drug money.
    Unlike any of the Popes before him or after him, John Paul was determined to reverse many of the Catholic, no, no's such as the opposition to birth control.
    In his own words he wanted to "humanise the office of Pope"

    Soon the whispering and smear campaigns began. He was accused of being a " theological lightweight" unable to properly deliver Papal policies.
    He was accused of being a liberal/ socialist because of his stance against birth control and greed.

    For years there have been question marks in relation to how he died?
    Most theorists, conspiracy or otherwise cite that, it was most certainly his inability to turn a blind eye to oppression, corruption and greed that hastened his demise.

    Wonder where we have heard that recently?

  2. 2 priests at a bucking bronco contest.One priest manages to stay on for 10 minutes .his mate says "how the fuck did you manage that?"easy he says ...one of my altar boys is epileptic

  3. too late in evening to study sumthin that deep..so i chekd out d posts..knew d article was heavy+bout mind control..but ffs marty..ur guna be the end of me lol my eldest is epileptic../was ...wen he was 5yrs old he had to go to a prod skool coz ony gaff wth special needs unit..1 mornin wile dressin him BBC news related belfast opera house + lurgan town centre B52'd..'is that our town daddy? reluctantly 'aye son its v bad@ GOOD said he...my father x RAF remarked "duplicity begineth at home."
    Ill read that HEAVY article wen i can see proper..in d meantime..ye hear bout new parish priest tormented in confessional by sexy young hussy talkin bout blow jobs..unsure of penance he went in2 vestry+asked wee alter bot...wat did father Adams used to give for a blow job, agh 2 mars bars+packet a crisps fa said wee smiley lol

  4. I am sick of these snappy literary Catholic theologian types writing their pseudo radical shit for profit whilst staying within the Beasts breast supping on the milk of satan $$$ Kung and all his type can go take a jump. If he be that devout a Christian why still hold hands with the Pharisees.

    At first read I thought gotta get hold of this book (i know nought about this man/his ?heroic attack on the Beast) But then i read it all again and thought nah Anthony has trawled the intellectual blather and picked the meat off the bones why bother. All these pseudo rad types are so freaking wearying. If someone identifies they are serving a corrupt institution even by mere affiliation, they get the hell out. If you know it is instrincally rotten why stick round trying to find bits you can perfume up and validate somehow. The whole construct of the Vatican and its' worlwide tendrils of control via churchified stuff is poison. One does not need to be a literary genius to spot it.

    I have read some Malachi Martin writings etc and prefer the Richard Bennetts (ex priest) writings - a man who got the hell out of the construct. It is diabolical the whole construct and nuts you down. Wherever there is worship of a man as representing God and thinking for you instead of you thinking, there is deception and scam.

    I think the dilemma for many of us ex catholics who still retain belief in a God is how our parents and ancestors suffered for being Catholics. What a waste of suffering... The mindblowingly controling tools of Vatican start at birth and shape you into a neurotic, fearful, statue hugging, rosary bead click 'n clacking nutter feverishly doing stations of the cross. Kneeling in front of a mere man for absolution and all that palava. They twist your head up about everything from your body, sexuality, rights, gender through to keeping you compliant with ritualistic appearances at church and feastdays and on and on etc For us less fortunate who were abused as kids we live with the scars.

    At 51 i feel i have exacted my revenge in my own lower socio economic format way ahaha Putting face to words - tell your story. Shout out truth using various formats. Last time i made a stance was the Popes visit to Australia. i walked for kilometres with a huge poster stating Vatican suppresses truth re. child abuse etc. Pushing through the crowds of thousands waving their flags and singing hymns was no small feat.
    Kung can kiss my Irish ex catholic arse. The Vile Vatican are a bunch of c..ts and that is the most spiritual truth i can muster about catholicism.

  5. Never mind all this mind blowing stuff , if ya want to do that smoke dynamite, Anthony I,ve just relaised that I,ve been posting here a year now , do I get a tufty badge or a cake , a plain brown envelope filled will suffice , heck I even take Northern bank notes

  6. Gawd almighty Anthony this is deep very deep its even deeper than Alberts pockets popes all of them including the women ones should have been strung up I dont normally like fairy tales but lord of the rings was far better than any bible ,shouldnt reading things to do with any religion carry a sever mental health warning

  7. The pope gets a digi box installed in the Vatican. the NTL bloke says"there you go now your grace,500 channels for your viewing pleasure" the pope says "Are the porn channels disabled?"NTL bloke replies"No just regular poprn you sick b.....d".

  8. Anthony please ask Aine to retain a dignified silence some of us are hurting

  9. Marhyhedgehog,

    good for you. Not easy to face that mob to make your point.
    I don't think the world or choices are so simple. I often wonder why people did not leave Sinn Fein when I did when it was patently obvious that the strategy for a united Ireland had been abandoned. But others saw it differently. They have departed now and SF is left with only the former republicans. While having no time for the Church and failing to understand why HK is still in it he has his own reasons and is a owerful thorn in its side.

  10. I can't say that I agree totally with all of the views expressed here about Catholicism. I do believe there is corruption and deception within the Catholic Church, but no more then what you may find in any religion. It just seems that the Catholic Church, for whatever reason, appears to be a frequent and easier target. Although I don't agree with a lot of church teachings, I have been fortunate enough to have known some very good priests in my life time. Not all priests are bad and I think religion does have its place in society (a necessary sort of evil if you like) but I fear that without a belief in God combined with basic humanitarianism, society would be a hell of a lot worse off.

  11. Marty,

    Aine has every right to crow! The best team won the league. And now it may well do the double. Man Utd can join Liverpool in the losers' club

  12. Anthony I,m not bringing you home a rock !

  13. Nuala, he is one of the popes whose tenure I managed to miss. On the blanket at the time we heard he was elected and then that he died.

    Humanising the office of pope is not something that the curia or the cardinal class would welcome. They don’t want the superhuman infallibility of their boss stripped away from him. I recall Hans Kung quoting John 23rd that ‘I am only infallible when I speak ex cathedra. But I shall never speak ex cathedra.’

    That sort of thinking had to be reversed by the conservatives and the real charge was led by the Polish priest they made pope. After that the radical wing of the Jesuits had their wings clipped in Latin America and liberation theology was marginalised. The Jesuits and others like Oscar Romero and Helder Camara who were championing the cause of the poor became fair game for the right wing death squads. Camara lived out his life but Romero was not so fortunate.

  14. Mackers, there is no doubt that people like Kung, Camara and Romero deserve so much admiration.

    People who speak out against hypocrisy and corruption within their own organisations often suffer dire consequences.
    Yourself, Tommy and Brendan Hughes all had first hand experience of that one.

    While I agree with so much of what Saint? MaryHedgehog said, I also agree with Helen.

    I knew some exceptional priests here in Clonard. Some of the them would have come from the same school of thought as Oscar Romero. They were people priests, they stuck with the people through thick and thin during the conflict.

    I remember reading about "Gods Banker" Calvi, found hanging from a bridge in London and thinking it was like something out of a Bond film.
    Very vindicative and unforgiving when crossed the Church! Wonder is that where Big beardy got some of his ideas from? Him being a frequent visitor to the Lords house.

    Really glad I have never said anything offensive on the blog about the Vatican!
    Would not like to be in Marty's shoes though, hopefully the Pope is still tuned into those 500 channels and not surfing the net.

  15. If he,s looking for me Nuala tell him I,ve hit the road and wont stop untill I,ve reached lovely Leitrim,where I maintain a soft spot for the likes of these people yip the bogs are truley useful, now as a parting shot Nuala always remember what happened Moses when he went to Mount Olive.....Popeye knocked his fuck in..and finally may I ask Anthony Larry , Mick ,Mary the hedgehog(love them deep fried)Nuala,and Albert to join with me in a wee prayer for TP or Westie May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the person that screws up your day and may their arms be to short to scratch,Beidh me ag caint leat aris mo chairde

  16. A year Marty - and you have kept the rest of us amused throughout. Looking forward to the next year!!

  17. Mackers, do you believe Marty is away to Leitrim? Think it is a bit suspect all that stuff coming out about Marie. Then, suddenly a holiday is supposedly arranged!
    Maybe he has got her booked into one of those re-hab clinics. Probably a downmarket version of the one Tiger Woods and Michael Douglas were in.
    Or, maybe he took the recent election result a tad worse than he is letting on!

  18. Helen, it would not be possible to agree with all the views expressed here. They conflict so much. I think it was Tariq Ali who pointed out that the Mullahs like their boys as much as the priests. Catholicism however is the dominant religion here and its clerics for long enough held considerable sway. I think that is why the Catholic Church is focussed on more than any other religion; it is what people are most familiar with. Not all priests are bad but it does not follow that we need religion to make us behave more morally. What can a religious based morality draw on? Scripture? That is full of holes and contradictions. Religion might provide solace but I don’t believe it is a guide to moral action. There is too much evidence to the contrary showing it can be used for whatever end. Religion is just an opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

  19. Nuala,

    Without doubt there are good priests, just as there are good all sorts. I have no doubt there are good screws. I met some of them in my time. It is the institution that gets characterised more than the individuals. I think religious people can make valid arguments but I tend not to listen if they are made on religious grounds. For example, I have a strong personal dislike of abortion but would never oppose a woman’s right to choose and would defend her right to exercise that choice. But I have absolutely no religious reason for disliking abortion. And I would brook no religious argument against it. I could listen to all manner of humanist arguments against it. But I am always reminded of the quip that if men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament.

  20. Mackers, agree with you one hundred percent, in relation to individuals being labelled because of the organisation they belong to or are employed by.

    In relation to abortion, I have always felt it was a tricky one.
    Women were damned if they got rid of a child, and in many respects even more damned if they had a child without a man in tow.

    I remember hearing a middle class woman from the Legion of Mary speaking about women committing the ultimate sin of abortion!

    I was quite young at the time and I remember thinking, what would you know about ordinary women's lives.

    I very much think it is a, walk a little while in my shoes debate.

  21. Nuala,

    Most women probably dislike abortion including those who have one feeling that it is the only option they have. I think women have the difficult choice to make and should make it free from pressure. They should not feel pressure to abort or to carry. And whatever decision they freely arrive at they should not be subject to finger wagging.

  22. Mackers, something I read once had a profound affect on me in relation to abortion.

    Just over twenty years ago the body of a young women was found lying dead below the statue of Our Lady of Knock. A few feet from where she lay her new born baby lay dead.

    Whether she had went to the statue seeking forgiveness or help, who knows?
    I just know that, when anyone speaks to me about abortion I just think of the two of them lying there and I feel both angry and sad.

  23. Nuala,

    Think Marty is away at Lough Derg with his rosary beads!

  24. Nuala, I remember the case and thought it was outrageous that the young girl thought that was her only option.