Pope affirms estranged theologian Hans Kung

Pope Benedict XVI met the so-called dissident German theologian Fr Hans Kung at the weekend, praising Kung's contribution to a "renewed recognition of humanity's essential moral values through a dialogue of religions and through an encounter with secular reason".

CLICK HERECatholic News Service reports that Benedict and Kung, who have known each other for almost 50 years, met in Castel Gandolfo in what the Vatican described as a "friendly" encounter.

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, Vatican spokesman, said yesterday that the two "agreed that in the space of this meeting it made no sense to enter into an argument about the doctrinal questions remaining between Hans Kung and the magisterium of the church."

Kung served as a theological expert at the Second Vatican Council, but in 1979 the Vatican withdrew permission for him to teach as a Catholic theologian, although not restricting his ministry as a Catholic priest.

The German priest has challenged official church positions on papal infallibility, birth control, priestly celibacy and the all-male priesthood.

Navarro-Valls said the meeting focused on two topics of Fr Kung's recent work: the possibility of developing a "global ethic" drawing from all religious traditions and the dialogue between Christian faith and science.

"The pope appreciated the efforts of Professor Kung to contribute to a renewed recognition of humanity's essential moral values through a dialogue of religions and through an encounter with secular reason," the spokesman added.

"He emphasised that the commitment to a new awareness of the values that sustain human life is also an important objective of his pontificate," Navarro-Valls said.

The spokesman said Pope Benedict also supported Fr Kung's attempts to promote a dialogue between faith and science, including his efforts to convince scientists of the need to address the question of God's existence.

"For his part, Professor Kung expressed his praise for the pope's efforts to promote dialogue among religions" and his attention to the variety of social groups present in the modern world, Navarro-Valls said.

Pope, Fr Hans Kung have 'friendly' meeting, Vatican says (Catholic News Service 26/9/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Global Ethic Foundation
Hans Kung: Declaration of the Religions for a Global Ethic
Hans Kung: The Result of the Papal Election (logosjournal.com)

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27 Sep 2005