VATICAN CITY -- A recent "open letter" by Swiss Fr. Hans Küng to the world's bishops is off target in its criticism of Pope Benedict XVI and shows a lack of charity, an article in the Vatican newspaper said.
Fr. Pier Giordano Cabra, the former editor of Küng's works in Italian, said Küng's letter focused almost exclusively on reforming church structures rather than on renewing the hearts of church members and promoting their ongoing conversion.
Küng, in a letter distributed by The New York Times Syndicate April 16, said Pope Benedict has worsened relations with Anglicans, Jews and Muslims and failed to give adequate responses to modern problems such as AIDS and the challenges of new scientific discoveries.
Regarding the sex abuse crisis, Küng said many people expect a personal apology from Pope Benedict, who he said had helped engineer a "worldwide system of covering up cases of sexual crimes committed by clerics" when he headed the Vatican's doctrinal congregation.