Hans Küng, Catholic Theologian With a Powerful Critique, Dies at 93

Soon after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a chief within the marketing campaign towards Dr. Küng, turned Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, he invited Dr. Küng to his summer season residence in Castel Gandolfo, exterior Rome. Pope John Paul II had denied greater than a dozen of Dr. Küng’s requests for a assembly.

Dr. Küng and Cardinal Ratzinger had change into associates when Dr. Küng recruited Cardinal Ratzinger to be a professor at the University of Tübingen in 1965. They cut up over the coed revolts of 1968, which had horrified Cardinal Ratzinger. They continued to diverge, and Dr. Küng got here to seek advice from the cardinal, who was head of the Vatican workplace answerable for defending church orthodoxy, as “the Grand Inquisitor” or “head of the K.G.B.”

Nevertheless, after Cardinal Ratzinger turned pope, the 2 loved a lengthy dinner at the pope’s summer season residence after agreeing to not disagree. Pope Benedict applauded Dr. Küng’s efforts to revive the dialogue between religion and the pure sciences. Dr. Küng praised the pope for reaching out to different religions.

But after Benedict resigned the papacy in 2013, Dr. Küng advised that the pope had been out of step with “modernity” and that the church was in want of extra progressive management.

“In this dramatic situation the church needs a pope who’s not living intellectually in the Middle Ages, who doesn’t champion any kind of medieval theology, liturgy or church constitution,” he wrote, “a pope who stands up for the freedom of the church in the world not just by giving sermons but by fighting with words and deeds for freedom and human rights within the church, for theologians, for women, for all Catholics who want to speak the truth openly. ”

Dr. Küng’s picture was distinctly nonclerical. Athletic and good-looking, he wore crisp enterprise fits, not a priest’s collar, and drove a sports activities automobile. On his journeys to the United States, he generally appeared on tv discuss reveals, and his youthful model drew comparisons to President John F. Kennedy.

Dr. Küng most well-liked to be referred to as “professor” or “doctor” or “just plain Hans Küng,” explaining that the title “Father” was not historically utilized in German-speaking lands.

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