National Catholic Reporter

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Hans Kung calls for open church revolt

  • Hans Kung
 |  NCR Today

Catholic theologian Hans Küng has had enough already. This week in an exclusive interview in the Guardian he called for a revolution from below to force radical reform at the Vatican.  You might have seen the news story making its way through cyberspace. In case you haven’t, he has appealed to priests and churchgoers to confront the Catholic hierarchy, which he says is corrupt, has lost credibility and totally out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Catholics.

Küng described the church as an "authoritarian system" with parallels to Germany's Nazi dictatorship.  "The unconditional obedience demanded of bishops who swear their allegiance to the pope when they make their holy oath is almost as extreme as that of the German generals who were forced to swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler," he said.

The Vatican made a point of crushing any form of clerical dissent, he added. "The rules for choosing bishops are so rigid that as soon as candidates emerge who, say, stand up for the pill, or for the ordination of women, they are struck off the list." The result was a church of "yes men", almost all of whom unquestioningly toed the line.

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"The only way for reform is from the bottom up," said Küng, 84, who is a priest. "The priests and others in positions of responsibility need to stop being so subservient, to organize themselves and say that there are certain things that they simply will not put up with anymore."

 

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