Last Tuesday, at the age of 93, the Swiss theologian Hans, one of the most important intellectual figures of contemporary Catholicism, who is also a teacher and colleague of many well-known liberation theologians in Latin America, passed away. According to the Weltethos (Ethos universal) Foundation, which he has personally headed since 1995, Küng died “peacefully at his home in Tübingen” (Germany) where he was living. The Swiss theologian gained a bad reputation outside of the Catholic Church because at one point Questioned the Catholic doctrine about the infallibility of the Pope. However, the most prominent of his career was related to his active participation in the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), a mission for which he was appointed as an “official advisor” by Pope John XXIII, and with his prolific theological production on a permanent basis. Critical look.
The statements are now presented to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera Cardinal Walter Casper, one of Jorge Bergoglio’s most direct advisors, stated that after learning about Kong’s precise health, “I called the Pope, and immediately, Francis, through me, sent him his blessing. Hans was very happy. To him.” With the death of the Swiss theologian Casper, he added that both Bergoglio and Ratzinger “recognized his condition and prayed for him.”
The 88-year-old German Cardinal, who had a very close relationship with Kong, confirmed that the theologian felt “at peace with the Church and with Francis, in a kind of reconciliation.”
Born in 1928 in Sursee (Lucerne, Switzerland), Küng was ordained a priest in 1954 and obtained a degree in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome (1953).
His first works were “The Church and Its Unity” and “Church Structures” in 1964 and “Freedom Today” in 1966.
In 1967 the theologian published “The Church,” a text that sparked controversy in the Catholic establishment, among other reasons because he proposed abolishing “licensing” (prior censorship) of theological works and questioned the mandatory celibacy of priests. In 1976 in another book he questioned the infallibility of the Pope. The theologian also expressed contradictions with Catholic church regulations on issues such as female priesthood, contraception, and euthanasia.
In 1979 the CDF withdrew his permit to teach and stated that he “could no longer be considered a Catholic theologian”. In this way Küng became the first theologian to be punished during the reign of Pope John Paul II In 1980 he ceased belonging to the Faculty of Theology at the University of Tübingen. The operation was in charge of Joseph Ratzinger, then the governor (highest authority) of that ministry to the Vatican and later elected as Benedict XVI.
Later, after several dialogues with the theologian, Küng was restored to the possibility of formally teaching in Catholic institutions and in 2005, with Ratzinger as Pope, a meeting took place between the two. On that occasion, Benedict XVI issued a solemn statement recognizing “Professor Kong’s efforts to contribute to the renewal of recognition of the fundamental moral values of humanity through interfaith dialogue and in the face of the secular mind,” and indicated in turn that one of the goals of Papriet is “a commitment to a renewed awareness of the values that preserve On human life. “