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December 21, 2007



I had the good fortune for a jobrelated visit to Tuebingen last week. Because of your post I was aware of Prof. Kuengs latest book and ended up purchasing it. A wonderful read indeed - thank you for pointing the book out.

As sad and depressing as this saga is I honestly believe that the current sad Ratzinger retro affair will be forced by the actual Christenheit to revisit many of the silly 'taboo' issues.

The fact that my very traditional catholic mom mentioned "Women ordination" as a must do for our church gives me hope.
Priests also should be allowed to marry.
( by the way, If I read Kueng correctly 'between the lines' than he is de facto also married -
which if true - he should be less coy about.

Spirit of Vatican II

Grega, I did not get the impression at all that Kung was "de facto married" or that he was trying to suggest anything of the sort between the lines. On the contrary, he refers to his housekeepers very much as celibate clergy do.

Spirit of Vatican II

"the current sad Ratzinger retro affair..."

a phrase to remember


You are probably correct -
I should not have speculated.


I am more than half way through the book now - a wondrous and very rewarding read so far- the book for me serves right now also as a roadmap to more indepth required future reads.
I found the many parallel aspects of Kueng's and Ratzinger's path rather eye-opening. Kueng, it seems to me, has Ratzinger figured out pretty good.
The one aspect that I sense Kueng does not to this day fully appreciate is how important the more irrational and emotional aspects of the church are, even for Brainiacs like Ratzinger and Rahner.
Kueng tells that he was rather deeply surprised and hurt to have Rahner get angry with him and say something like: "Hr. Kueng, I fear you rob me of my beloved Catholicism"
I think that is the problem for us progressive catholics - we tend to gravitate away from the utterly irrational church when we try to rationalize our beliefs and try to dig deeper and deeper down to the true origin of the scripture while our conservative foes blissfully embrace particularly the most backwards and boneheaded aspects of church structure. Since we have great and functioning democracies the thinking seems to be that we can afford the luxury of having the church solidly stuck in pre-democratic 'soulful' medieval times. Look at the Russian orthodox church and you see the future as envisioned by the current soul band of clergy.
Theology and rational reasoning are left for dead.

I could not help but sense a certain similarity between your and Fr. Kueng's vitas. Certainly you both seem to combine superb academic credentials with a deep seated love for the church.
You both were trained at the Germanicum right?
You both love and appreciate our church in the context of other religions. Kueng embarked on an eye-opening lecture/leasure journey around the world after the infallibility debate - you live in Japan and know both your catholic theology as well as eastern religions soundly it seems.
It must be amazing for you to read Kueng's book in light of your own journey.


Will we ever see the much needed reform in the Catholic church? I have been reading Hans Kung and
Joseph Girzone. Both admit change is needed...

Patrick AKAL

Reading Kung has helped me to understand why the initiatives of Vat II came to a screeching halt soon after the Council. The courage of Kung lies in his willingness to suffer the deep hurt of being cast out by one's own tribe, at least by the leaders. Rome may well dominate Kung during his life-time but the soundness and common sense of his theology will, one time, defeat the naked power structures and behaviour of Rome.


A stunning book. Couldn't put it down. Looking forward to Part III. One point worth noting though - it says Cromwell was a "famous Scottish Reformer". No he wasn't!

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