on Wednesday, 28 October 2009 at 12.10 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Anglican Communion, Church of England
Cif belief has published The Vatican thirst for power divides Christianity and damages Catholicism by Hans Küng
The astonishing efforts to lure away Anglican priests show that Pope Benedict is set on restoring the Roman imperium…
The astonishing efforts to lure away Anglican priests show that Pope Benedict is set on restoring the Roman imperium…
Quite an interesting and sober take from Hans Kung who argues with some vehemence on the matter. The issue of how Roman Catholics are supposed to continue living with the insistence on celibate clergy under this arrangement is definitely one to ponder. I struggle to see how this contradiction can be bridged. He is a little ill informed, though, when speaking about same sex couples. Whilst correct that the C of E has opposed same sex marriage, the adoption of children is a secular matter rather than a religious rite, though children of same sex couples might be baptised in… Read more »
The estimable Dr. Kung is misinformed. “In Rome, one speaks of a half-million Anglicans and 20 to 30 bishops. And what about the remaining 76 million?” The thing is, of course, that the “half million and [their] “20 to 30 bishops” are not part of the Anglican Communion. While there are some historical connections, the half-million left communion with Canterbury years ago. In that sense they are not Anglicans. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a challenge to the Anglican Communion, and more particularly for the Church of England (and with a particular tunnel vision Rome has always wanted to see… Read more »
“It is already suffering from the consequences of the heedless and unnecessary election of an avowed gay priest as bishop in the US, an event that split his own diocese and the whole Anglican communion.”
Excuse me, but who is Hans Kung to tell TEC or the diocese of New Hampshire what is “unnecessary” for it? And, as far as I know, New Hampshire remains in one piece–what splitting is he talking about there?
I have just published this
You may consider if it is useful in your next round-up
I have admired many of +Hans Kung writings. I thoroughly enjoyed his book on Jews and Judaism. I think it’s great he recognizes the Anglican Communion as a legitimate branch of orthodox Christianity. He makes many good points in this column. But, I scoff at the notion that Anglican priests having to be re-ordained to join the RCC’s ordinariates will cause Anglicans who stay to question the validity of the orders of Anglican priests. Many Anglicans already know that Rome doesn’t recognize Anglican orders. It doesn’t bother them in the slightest. Apostolic succession continues in the Anglican Communion and people… Read more »
More a question than a comment.
Will those traveling to Rome require fresh Ordination?
If so doesn’t that action make a mockery of their present status?
After all they could just as simply resign their pasitions,especially Bishops and or resign their orders.
“First, a further weakening of the Anglican church. In the Vatican, opponents of ecumenism rejoice over the conservative influx. In the Anglican church, liberals rejoice over the departure of the catholicising troublemakers. For the Anglican church, this split means further corrosion. It is already suffering from the consequences of the heedless and unnecessary election of an avowed gay priest as bishop in the US, an event that split his own diocese and the whole Anglican communion. This friction has been enhanced by the ambivalent attitude of the church’s leadership with respect to homosexual partnerships. Many Anglicans would accept a civil… Read more »
In reply to Pat O’Neill: the Diocese of NH is down two churches from 50 to 48, at least one of which was closed due directly to the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop. Many others have lost members and revenue for the same reason. Parishes and the diocese have had to make program and budget cuts. Priests have struggled to defend the bishop’s actions to their congregations.
I was pleased that the supposed reconciliation of Kung and Ratzinger has proved no such thing, but I agree with some of the comments that someone as intellectual and usually well informed as Kung should have checked up on the Anglican Communion before giving his opinion. How unfortunate that he calls Gene Robinson an ‘avowed gay’ bishop and his consecration ‘unnecessary’ – does he, like those who speak of ‘openly gay’ prefer the to keep them in the closet? Then he also seems to have little understanding of what the Anglican Communion is or how it works, since he suggests… Read more »
” Can it be that those caught in the Roman dragnet do not see that they will never be more than second-class priests in the Roman church, that other Catholics are not meant to take part in their liturgical celebrations?” – Hans Kung – And this point made by Hans Kung – about the lack of interaction between the Roman Catholic and Ordinariate congregations – is something that should exercise the minds of those Anglicans who might seek to be a part of the new so-called Anglican/R.C. Ordinariates offered by Rome. Don’t imagine that – under the present Pope certainly… Read more »
Which actions of the bishop need explaining? Those he took before becoming bishop or those he has taken as bishop? It was my understanding that his election was by a large majority of all houses?
Hadjie the RC Diocese of Cleveland (Ohio, USA) has closed 16 parishes and is planning on closing another 34, so what’s your point? The latest stock market crash decimated endowment funds, not to mention individual discretionary income. Couple that with less people working more hours to make less money, it’s a wonder anybody has any time to worship in this corporate god world.
Good grief, your types are truly going to make the poor man a martyr.
I am only speaking of members of the Diocese of N.H.. As most people in local parishes pay scant attention to what is happening at the diocesan level, the difficulties only began after the diocesan election, that is the morning after at coffee hour.
The diocese of New Hampshire is alive and well and +Robinson is doing a good job here.
Hadjie, “Many others have lost members and revenue for the same reason. Parishes and the diocese have had to make program and budget cuts.” How disgusting! That people would withhold funds from worthwhile projects over Church politics. It says what their priorities are, eh? This is all about punishing the Church they are angry with and if a few poor people have to go hungry, or a few Third World kids don’t get educated, what does that matter? As long as the righteous conservatives get to punish the Evil Hell Bound Liberals, the work of the Gospel really doesn’t matter,… Read more »
My cousin Alice Roberts is a priest in New Hampshire and would agree with Walter.
There are obviously objectionable elements in H. Kung’s piece. Nevertheless, it is a powerful attack on the present wretched Pope from a great RC. Why, of why (I keep crying) are Anglican leaders so deficient in the ‘cojones’ department, espeically in relation to this Pope? Similar observations apply to the Richard Dawkins piece referenced elsewhere on this blog. Crude as it is in some respects, the following is an absolutely great sentiment: ‘Whether one agrees with him or not, there is a saintly quality in the Archbishop of Canterbury, a benignity of countenance, a well-meaning sincerity. How does Pope Ratzinger… Read more »
Yes, I was shocked and disappointed by Kung’s ignorannt words on Bishop Robinson and the place of lesbian and gay Christians in the churches.
You do not know nearly enough about me to typecast me as “your types.” I rejoiced at Gene’s election and celebrated at his consecration. I have no problem having a gay bishop.
Please do not jump to conclusions and stereotype me.
“Which actions of the bishop need explaining?”
Considering how (defensively) chatty you are on this thread, Hadjie, I wonder why you’re not answering this question…
Kung is scapegoating gays in his ecclesiological campaign. As we all saw last year, Gene Robinson is an extraordinary bishop, and a figure of prophetic courage, parrhesia, exceeding even that of Kung himself.
Hans Kueng sure doesn’t cut much mustard on this board! Father Kueng and Pope Benedict are the two most prominent 20th century German Catholic figures (at least to non-Germans). They have been in intense debate with each other most of their lives. In fact, it would be great if after their deaths someone were to write a joint intellectual biography of them. Father Kueng’s passionate disappointment with the Pope’s blow to the established ecumenical process leads him into a couple of unexpected positions, one his dogmatic support for traditional strictures on homosexuality, analyzed by commenters above. The other, his seeming… Read more »
I think Hadjie’s merely trying to express his/her objective, but concerned, view of the situation.
That’s coming from someone whose been known to clear a ten-foot standing conclusion about anti-gays in one jump.
Anthony “Hans Kueng sure doesn’t cut much mustard on this board!” Hans Küng was a great moral authority in his time, but times have moved on, the moral issues we are now debating have moved on, and he has not followed. His stance on the new hot button issues can only be seen as ill-informed at best. And as long as people are being marginalised, abused and killed while the church of Christ does not speak out loudly and act visibly against homophobia, misogyny etc and remains trapped in outdated, positively dangerous sexual morality (AIDS, condoms), whatever debates Hans Küng… Read more »
“This is all about punishing the Church they are angry with and if a few poor people have to go hungry, or a few Third World kids don’t get educated, what does that matter?”
I think most of us manage quite well to withdraw funds from the church and give them to relevant charities instead.
My point is that problems are everywhere Hadjie. Now please explain what +Robinson’s DIRECT actions have had in his diocese and I’ll stop labeling “types” when they sound like it on this thread. Do you and Hans Kung have the inside dope on New Concord? You might have “rejoiced” at +Gene’s election, but by your defense of a muted theologian’s misgivings about a diocese he probably knows little about leads me to believe that you are merely airing (partially) dirty laundry from NH and doing no justice at all to LGBT folks in the communion.
“This will not end in what Pope John XXIII was looking forward to – the mutual recognition of our 2 Churches and their respective patrimony, with il Papa as First among equals.” Whatever the course of ecumenical events ought to be, I think we should be as cognizant of the historical facts regarding Pope John’s calling of Vatican II as of the actual outcome of the Council. As set out in his 1961 encyclical AETERNA DEI SAPIENTIA, “We are St. Leo’s successor in Peter’s See of Rome. We share in Peter’s See of Rome. We share his firm belief in… Read more »
“I think most of us manage quite well to withdraw funds from the church and give them to relevant charities instead.” Indeed. There are a huge number of conservatives who manage to do this quite well. I just think we can be better behaved than a bunch of narrow minded fearful people preserving their self declared purity from the taint of being seen supporting political causes they don’t believe in. The Church does more than just those particular things that “our” side, or “theirs”, don’t agree with. It’s odd that people don’t say “I’ll give them my money because they… Read more »
HKs comments, including his gratuitous rag on the queer folks (yet again, do conservative churches ever even talk about heterosexuals any more?) – is a case study in what makes believer responsibility and believer autonomy so difficult. HK can presume a deep-complex-nuanced rapprochement process; yet cannot at all think it applies to New Hampshire discerning VGR as their new bishop?
One process of correction, repositioning, change calls forth poignantly to the other. It may take a customary Via Media type Anglican believer to recall the call.
Erika, I could never agree that Father Kueng is “ill-informed”. If that is the “best case” then I have to say that Father Kueng’s case is not the best. If you wanted to claim that he is losing his marbles I might be more inclined to listen. It happens to the best of us. As for dismissing the value of theology, history, and all other academic disciplines, seemingly, in favor of limiting discourse solely to two contemporary justice issues, no, no. To me, that is a disturbingly Maoist approach. But no doubt I am misevaluating your rhetoric. I can speak… Read more »
How curious; trying to cut justice off from faith, from God, from religion.
Theology, history and all academic pursuits are nothing – less than nothing – without justice.
You can’t reason with people who separate justice from religious responsibility, because they are insane.
Mark, this is what Erika said that I was responding to: “And as long as people are being marginalised, abused and killed while the church of Christ does not speak out loudly and act visibly against homophobia, misogyny etc and remains trapped in outdated, positively dangerous sexual morality (AIDS, condoms), whatever debates Hans Küng and the present Pope have had can only be of some academic interest.” Your comments force me to read it more carefully. I previously misinterpreted it owing to its flamboyance. Looking closer, I see that when she says “the Church of Christ” she is referring specifically… Read more »
“I would not expect many posters here to agree with these sentiments. I note them only to suggest that the differences between Good Pope John and “Bad Pope Benedict” are not perhaps as great as some might suggest.’ – Rick Allen – Rick, I was privileged, in 1961, to be in St. Peter’s Rome, to witness Good Pope John XXIII, being processed down the aisle in his ‘sedia gestatoria’ after ordaining 14 missionary bishops. The Pope was in tears – and so were we. It was obvious that this good and holy man was embarrased by the indignity of having… Read more »
“Erika, I could never agree that Father Kueng is “ill-informed”.”
Even our own Rowan Williams seems to be ill informed about the way TEC comes to decisions and how it implements them. To call Hans Küng ill-informed on this matter is not to insult him. For anyone to state blithely that Gene Robinson’s consecration was “unnecessary”, he is either extremely morally biased or not well informed about the church that effected the consecration.
I prefer to think the latter, because I actually respect Küng very much.
Ford there is nothing badly behaved in deciding not to give money to the church, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with stopping cutting the grass in the graveyard and working for a charity shop instead. You and I have a different understanding about what church is. I certainly don’t feel I owe the official body any loyalty, far less financial support, while it discrimminates against people like me. As it happenes, I personally do quite a lot in my local parish, but that is because it is a wonderful place to be and giving in kind directly to… Read more »
You are only insane if you believe justice and duty to God are two different things, dear anthony!
God is a just God. To worship Him is to work for justice. If He is not just, then He is not worth the time, and it would be insane to worship Him, as an unjust God will not care for His creation.
You cannot separate the two, justice and a Christian life, without splitting your own mind.
anthony, I’m sorry. I believe I see what I did. I took remarks of yours as a stepping-off point for my own observation, and, hurriedly and sloppily, launched into talking about some issues that had been bothering me in the whole debate *without* being clear that your remarks were merely a locus for my tangent. I wasn’t saying you were insane. Though, you may be if you separate justice and God. I don’t know. I’ve only seen a few of your posts and I have my own crazy to deal with. I *was* responding to you directly in another thread… Read more »
“I guess if Benedict had his way – as former head of the *Inquisition* under John Paul II – not only the Sedia Gestatoria, but the Triple Crown would be brought back into use, to support his ambitions to revive the mediaeval papacy.”
Benedict has had his way. Not only has he followed the practice of the last two popes in dispensing with the triple crown, he has removed it from the papal coat of arms, for the first time since the fourteenth century.
Anthony “Looking closer, I see that when she says “the Church of Christ” she is referring specifically to the RC church and not all churches.” Sorry, I must have expressed myself badly. The body of Christ consists of all members of all churches, not one denomination. And what I am saying, without meaning it to be sloganeering, is that moral authority is not arrived at by having clever theology, but by how you live out that theology. And if I find that high minded people with hugely intelligent ideas suddenly clam up and become ever so silent in the face… Read more »
“there is nothing badly behaved in deciding not to give money to the church, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with stopping cutting the grass in the graveyard and working for a charity shop instead.” As you say, I disagree. To me, you are saying that when conservative parishes withhold their givings because they don’t agree with homosexuality, that’s OK too. I don’t believe it is. As an example, I don’t think that children in a third world country should be deprived of a school because some conservatives don’t like that TEC is trying to redress centuries of oppression… Read more »
Justice is a cardinal virtue. Thinkers from Plato to John Rawls have labored to define it. But we all think we know it when we see it. If we didn’t know it when we see it, God would not require it of us. God also made us capable of thinking more than one thought, and of working toward more than one goal. Some of these goals are more limited than others, true. But one can, for example, strive for one’s children to be educated while at the same time trying to raise our consciousness over the welfare of gay people… Read more »
Ford There are church initiatives that are not doubled by other organisations, but there are also other charitable organisations that are involved in charitable projects not doubled by the church. The argument that some children in Belize will loose out is false to the extent that if I give my money to the group that supports them, I am not giving it to a group that might support equally needy children somewhere else. It’s not about leaving some in the lurch, it’s about deciding who best to support with the limited funds I have. Wish that I could do it… Read more »
I also think there is a difference between a parish making decisions to withhold funds from the church and an individual doing the same.
After all, the parish is inextricably a structural part of the organisation and should not be allowed to hold it to ransom or to withdraw funds from the body that sustain it.
An individiual not particularly tied to a church is in a completley different situation.
“it’s about deciding who best to support with the limited funds I have.”
An argument that applies equally to those conservatives who refuse to support the Church because of its stand on homosexuality, or who withhold a portion of their taxes because of legalized abortion. If you have the right to not support the Church because you disagree with their stand on homosexuality, so do they have the right to withhold their givings because they disagree equally as strongly as you but in the other direction.
“God is a just God. To worship Him is to work for justice.”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: God is manifestly NOT just. And thank God for that.
God is not just, and Christianity is not a system for putting justice into action. “Doing justice” isn’t God’s will: doing mercy is.
Thanks, Rick. The disinformation and hatred about and towards this pope are best quelled by actual information and love. Not that that always works with the hard-hearted, but thanks for trying. Viva il Papa.
Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD [is] a God of justice; Blessed [are] all those who wait for Him. – Isaiah 30:18
I’m not saying – I can’t speak for Erika and she’d give me a thick ear if I did – give up academics. They’re useful, but they mean nothing without the heart of justice.
It’s like those elaborate toy steam engines: they have a fire box, whistle, safety valve and turn a piston and wheel . . . but neither go anywhere or power anything other than itself. Fun to play with, fun to watch. A toy.