Fr. Hans Kung says Pope Francis responded to request for free discussion on infallibility dogma

Fr. Hans Kung says Pope Francis responded to request for free discussion on infallibility dogma

[“Everything is up for grabs” – including infallible teachings of the Church’s ordinary and extraordinary magisteria (see also angelqueen.org/2016/04/27/anglicans-and-catholics-discuss-recognition-of-ministry/ )]

Hans Kung | Apr. 26, 2016
National un-Catholic Reporter and The Tablet

Editors’ notes:

National un-Catholic Reporter:

Fr. Hans Küng, the Swiss theologian, says that he has received a letter from Pope Francis that responds “to my request to give room to a free discussion on the dogma of infallibility.”

Küng declined to show the letter to NCR, citing “the confidentiality that I owe to the Pope,” but he says the letter was dated March 20 and sent to him via the nunciature in Berlin shortly after Easter.

Küng says the letter shows that “Francis has set no restrictions” on the discussions.

Küng also said that he is very encouraged by Francis’ recent apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (‘The Joy of Love’), “I could not have foreseen then quite how much new freedom Francis would open up in his post-synodal exhortation,” Kung wrote in statement released to NCR and other media outlets. “Already in the introduction, he declares, ‘Not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium.'”

Küng writes, “This is the new spirit that I have always expected from the magisterium” and makes a discussion of infallibility possible.

On March 9, Küng had issued what he called an “urgent appeal to Pope Francis to permit an open and impartial discussion on infallibility of pope and bishops.” The appeal was released simultaneously in multiple languages and publications.

The Tablet:

Francis has ‘set no restrictions’ to discussion called for by Swiss theologian

Fr Hans Kung says Pope has responded to his call for discussion on infallibility dogma
Fr. Hans Küng, the Swiss theologian, has told The Tablet that he has received a letter from Pope Francis that responds to his “request to give room to a free discussion on the dogma of infallibility”.

The Tablet has been unable to confirm the existence of the letter as Küng refused requests by The Tablet and the National Catholic Reporter to the Swiss theologian to view a copy of the letter.

“On 9 March, my appeal to Pope Francis to give room to a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion on the problem of infallibility appeared in the leading journals of several countries. I was thus overjoyed to receive a personal reply from Pope Francis immediately after Easter. Dated 20 March, it was forwarded to me from the nunciature in Berlin.”

Küng said that in the Pope’s reply, Francis makes the following points which “are significant” to the Swiss theologian: “The fact that Pope Francis answered at all and did not let my appeal fall on deaf ears; the fact that he replied himself and not via his private secretary or the Secretary of State; that he emphasises the fraternal manner of his Spanish reply by addressing me as Lieber Mitbruder (Dear Brother) in German and puts this personal address in italics, that he clearly read the appeal, to which I had attached a Spanish translation, most attentively.

“[And] that he is highly appreciative of the considerations which had led me to write in which I suggest theologically discussing the different issues which the infallibility dogma raises in the light of Holy Scripture and Tradition with the aim of deepening the constructive dialogue between the ‘semper reformanda’ 21st century Church and the other Christian Churches and post-modern society.”

“Pope Francis has set no restrictions,” Küng added. “He has thus responded to my request to give room to a free discussion on the dogma of infallibility. I think it is now imperative to use this new freedom to push ahead with the clarification of the dogmatic definitions which are a ground for controversy within the Catholic Church and in its relationship to the other Christian Churches.

The Swiss theologian said in his statement to The Tablet that the letter is part of the “new freedom” that Pope Francis has brought to the Vatican.

“I am fully convinced that in this new spirit a free, impartial and open-ended discussion of the infallibility dogma, this fateful key question of destiny for the Catholic Church, will be possible,”Küng said. “I am deeply grateful to Pope Francis for this new freedom and combine my heartfelt thanks with the expectation that the bishops and theologians will unreservedly adopt this new spirit and join in this task in accordance with the Scriptures and with our great church tradition.

Following is the text of the statement about the pope’s letter that Küng released to media. The English version is being released simultaneously by National un-Catholic Reporter and The Tablet.

On March 9, my appeal to Pope Francis to give room to a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion on the problem of infallibility appeared in the leading journals of several countries. I was thus overjoyed to receive a personal reply from Francis immediately after Easter. Dated March 20, it was forwarded to me from the nunciature in Berlin.

In the pope’s reply, the following points are significant for me:

The fact that Francis answered at all and did not let my appeal fall on deaf ears, so to speak;

The fact that he replied himself and not via his private secretary or the secretary of state;

That he emphasizes the fraternal manner of his Spanish reply by addressing me as Lieber Mitbruder (“Dear Brother”) in German and puts this personal address in italics;

That he clearly read the appeal, to which I had attached a Spanish translation, most attentively;

That he is highly appreciative of the considerations that had led me to write Volume 5 of my complete works, in which I suggest theologically discussing the different issues that the infallibility dogma raises in the light of holy Scripture and tradition with the aim of deepening the constructive dialogue between the “semper reformanda” 21st-century church and the other Christian churches and postmodern society.

Francis has set no restrictions. He has thus responded to my request to give room to a free discussion on the dogma of infallibility. I think it is now imperative to use this new freedom to push ahead with the clarification of the dogmatic definitions, which are a ground for controversy within the Catholic church and in its relationship to the other Christian churches.

I could not have foreseen then quite how much new freedom Francis would open up in his post-synodal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. Already in the introduction, he declares, “Not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium.”

He takes issue with “cold bureaucratic morality” and does not want bishops to continue behaving as if they were “arbiters of grace.” He sees the Eucharist not as a reward for the perfect but as “nourishment for the weak.”

He repeatedly quotes statements made at the episcopal synod or from national bishops’ conferences. Francis no longer wants to be the sole spokesman of the church.

This is the new spirit that I have always expected from the magisterium. I am fully convinced that in this new spirit a free, impartial and open-ended discussion of the infallibility dogma, this fateful key question of destiny for the Catholic church, will be possible.

I am deeply grateful to Francis for this new freedom and combine my heartfelt thanks with the expectation that the bishops and theologians will unreservedly adopt this new spirit and join in this task in accordance with the Scriptures and with our great church tradition.

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12 comments on “Fr. Hans Kung says Pope Francis responded to request for free discussion on infallibility dogma

  1. The fact that the Pope would even talk to a total heretic and Faith destroyer like Kung is again an illustration of how dangerous this Pope is.

    Unlike Kung, I believe in the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, however, if I wanted an argument against it I would use Pope Francis as my example.

    I find it ironic that Kung the traitor, would turn to a Pope, as his ally in destroying the doctrine of Papal Infallibility.

    The second irony is that Kung is too stupid to see that if they did destroy that doctrine, then Catholics everywhere, even Catholic Answers and Mark Shea, would feel completely free to disregard everything that Pope Francis said!

    Not that much of Pope Francis’ comments have come anywhere near falling under the circumstances required for an infallible statement.

    Still I will say this for Kung the traitor, if you have to tear down yet another Church doctrine, I can’t think of a better ally than Pope Francis.



  2. Kwai Chang: Master, I have been wondering, is the Pope Catholic?



    Master Po: Ah, Grasshopper, if a Gecko does not know the damage to the muffler of a Shelby Mustang, can he possibly predict the price for the repairs?



    Gecko: Oooh, that’s a tough one, Mate! Hold on…



    Kwai Chang: I cannot be certain, Master. Would that be the 1966 Shelby Mustang G.T. 350 or the 1967 Mustang G.T. 500 Convertible that Pierce Brosnan drives in The Thomas Crown Affair?



    Master Po: Yes, the 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 Convertible that Pierce Brosnan races around in on Martinique in The Thomas Crown Affair.



    Kwai Chang: But I do not know the prices on mufflers for the 1967 GT500 Convertible, Master.

    Master Po: Well, that is your answer, Grasshopper.



    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, I don’t think the Holy Father drives a Mustang.



    Hawkeye: Maybe he could check the prices on mufflers for a Fiat, Father.



    Hans Küng: I vuz going to say zat…



    Professor Sartre had to think about this one…Many strange things had happened since the onset of alienation and Cartesian dualism in modernity….



    Kwai Chang: It is a Zen riddle to puzzle over, is it not, Master?
    So that I may experience satori and break out of the cycle of karma?



    Master Po: I shall put it another way, Grasshopper. Can you hear the sound of one papal hand clapping?



    Kwai Chang: I cannot be sure, Master. Your Zen questions are so strange….



    Ann: Have you ever heard the sound of one hand clapping, Elvis?

    Elvis: Not over the sound of this engine when I peel out, Sugar Baby!



    Master Po: Ah, Grasshopper, when you hear the sound of one modernist papal hand clapping , time for you to go.

  3. Pope Agrees to Discuss Infallibility With Hans Kung. This is What it Means. [Nothing?]

    April 27, 2016 by Scott Eric Alt @ www.patheos.com/blogs/scottericalt/pope-agrees-to-discuss-infallibility-with-hans-kung-this-is-what-it-means/

    [No text: It may be a “work in progress”; or the author may have forgotten to post the text; or by not posting any text, he may have meant that “Pope Agrees to Discuss Infallibility With Hans Kung” means nothing!]



  4. Ted Baxter: Does your Mustang have an 8-track tape player, Mary?



    Kwai Chang: Master, if Mary Richards plays “Take It Easy” by Glenn Frey and the Eagles on the 8-track Dolby stereo player in her 1970s Ford Mustang will she break out of the cycle of karma of a childless single career woman facing a mid-life crisis in 1970s Minneapolis?



    Master Po: Can a tortoise fly over a mountain during a thunder storm? Many things in the cycle of karma are possible, Grasshopper.
    However, Mary must first pass through the karma of discipleship under the passive-aggressive managerial direction of her boss, Lou Grant.

    Kwai Chang: But why, Master?



    Master Po: These are the rules of modernity under the karma of Calvinism and secular careerism for single career women, Grasshopper.



    Lou: I could have been a Shaolin Buddhist monk hopping around showing off with a lot of fancy Kung Fu martial arts moves and playing a flute, Mary. But my mother wanted me to be a Marxist actor instead.



    Lou: Mary is struggling with the karma of modernity, Ted.



    Judge Smails: So how did I end up as the loser of a golf bet to an Irish Catholic teenager at Bushwood Country Club, Lou?



    Ty: The trick is to break out of the illusion of Maya, Judge, where things in the phenomenal field of perception appear to be present and real but are not what they seem.



    Rhoda: I tell myself that all the time, Mar’.



    Phyllis: Of course, there are so many different men coming in and out of Rhoda’s apartment, who would ever know, Mary.



    Ted Baxter: Oh, I get it. It’s some kind of test, right?
    When we hear the sound of one hand clapping, we’ll all wake up and realize it’s just been some kind of dream…



    Mary: I just really want to find a man and I’d be willing to trade in my Mustang for the right one!



  5. Kwai Chang: The cycle of karma for Mary Richards and Lou Grant is very confusing. But, Master, if we can cannot be certain that the Pope’s progressive modernist opinions are Catholic, how can be categorize his theological discussions with Hans Küng?



    Master Po: When a horned chameleon changes colors in a tree, is it the same lizard grinning down from the branches?
    These are deep and complex mysteries, Grasshopper.





    Hans Küng: I would like to address that…



    Dean Wormer: You’ll get your chance, smart guy!



    Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.: It would be ecumenical dialogue…



    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, heresy is not always a dialogue.



    Father Sarducci, S.J.: Sometimes it’s a debate. Although the “Catholic” position at Georgetown is not always presented.



    Father Copleston, S.J.: Who will be representing the Catholic position?



    Father Fitzgibbon: Is the pope Catholic, Father?



    Reverend Neuhaus: Forgive me for interrupting again as aggressive and pushy professional Protestant converts sometimes do, but now would be a good time to discuss the Naked Public Square….





  6. For Mary Richards, a childless single career woman in 1970s Minneapolis, washing her Ford Mustang while wearing a Fran Tarkenton Minnesota Vikings sweatshirt, as Glenn Frey and the Eagles crooned “Take It Easy” on her 8-track tape player, the immanentization of the eschaton
    was not an immediate focus of worry or concern….



    Elvis: Well, that’s quite a change for a single career woman, Mary!



    Dick Van Dyke: Yes, but she’s been married before.
    Did I mention that I’m for Bernie Sanders?



    Rhoda: I warned you he was a Commie, Mary!



    Sally: Rob!

    Buddy: There goes my tax bill!

    Mel Cooley Rob, you don’t look like you’re feeling well.
    Maybe you need to take a nap!



    Lou: I’m voting for Bernie Sanders too, Mary.



  7. It’s time for


    Everybody join in
    The Schnitzelbank Song!



    v. Ist das nicht eine pontifex?
    r. Ja, das ist eine pontifex.



    v. Ist das nicht infallible?
    r. Ja, das ist infallible.



    v. Ist das nicht eine heretic?
    r. Ja, das ist eine heretic!



    v. Ist das nicht eine heresy?
    r. Ja, das ist eine heresy.

    (chorus)
    Heresy. Heretic. Infallible. Pontifex.
    O – die schoenheit an der wand
    Ja das ist eine heresy.



  8. Hans Küng: Let’s see…how does it go again?
    Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
    Who was very rarely stable.
    Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar…



    Professor Derrida: Who could think you under the table!


    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: David Hume could out-consume
    Schopenhauer and Hegel…



    Father Sarducci, S.J.:And Wittgenstein was a beery swine…



    Captain Kirk: Who was just as sloshed as Schlegel!



    Spock: There’s nothing Nietzsche couldn’t teach ya’
    ‘Bout the raising of the wrist.



    Kierkegaard: SOCRATES, HIMSELF, WAS PERMANENTLY PISSED…



    Professor Sartre: John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
    On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.



    Father Copleston, S.J>: Plato, they say, could stick it away;
    Half a crate of whiskey every day….



    Reverend Neuhaus: Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle…



    Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.: Hobbes was fond of his dram…



    The Professor: And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart: “I drink, therefore I am”



    Professor Jürgen Habermas: Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed…



    Hans Küng: A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he’s pissed!



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