Hans Kung Uses Friend Status to Bash Pope Benedict

New book by leading dissident published by Novalis Press, official publisher of Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Mon Mar 19, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST

By Hilary White

  OTTAWA, March 19, 2007 ( – A March 15 Ottawa Citizen article headlined, “Pope Lives in Terror of Rebellion, says former friend,” quotes Hans Kung, former Catholic theology professor, accusing Pope Benedict of embracing “a medieval idea of the Catholic church.”

  Kung told the Citizen that the Pope’s stance supporting the moral law and the traditions of the Catholic faith is a result of fear. Painting his former academic colleague as a paranoid autocrat, Kung said, “He got more and more conservative, more and more frightened.”

  Kung said, “To the present day, Ratzinger has shown phobias about all movements ‘from below’; whether these are student chaplaincies, groups of priests, movements of church people, the Iglesia popular or liberation theology.”

  But Kung, a former Catholic theologian and famous opponent of Catholicism who once compared then-Cardinal Ratzinger to the head of the KGB, was given a warm reception in 2005 as the Pope’s guest for an unprecedented four hour private dinner meeting. At that meeting, Catholic reporter John Allen wrote that the Pope warmly praised Kung for his efforts to “foster dialogue among religions and with the natural sciences.”

  Kung is making the rounds of publicity appearances for his latest bestseller, “My Struggle for Freedom,” sold in English and French by Novalis Press, the official publisher of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. The book is the first of a two-volume autobiography.

  Jennifer Green wrote that the 78 year-old Kung described the Catholic Church as the “unrequited love of his life.”

  But Green admits that it is Kung’s reputation as the world’s leading enemy of the Catholic faith and teaching that attracts “hundreds of reporters” in the mainstream press who, she writes are “confident that he will say exactly what he thinks of the increasingly conservative papacy.”

  Kung somehow remains a priest in good standing with the Church despite his decades as the figurehead for the post-sixties clerical rebellion that continues to this day. His talking points remain, as ever, the familiar list of liberal grievances against Catholic teaching: sex, contraception and women priests.

“What would Jesus do if he were Pope? I can’t believe He would forbid the (birth control) pill today, or the ordination of women,” he told the Citizen.

Keep this news available to you and millions more

Your gift will spread truth, defeat lies, and save lives

Share this article