Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Weigel rips Hans Kung on Pope attack, waits for real response

Thanks to Catholic News Agency for this story.

George Weigel, who recently took the dissenting theologian Fr. Hans Kung to task for his attacks against Pope Benedict, said he would welcome a response from the priest “in which the issues were truly engaged.” But, the scholar qualified, “another Swiss volcanic eruption wouldn't serve much purpose.”

In an April 16 open letter to the Catholic bishops of the world, published in the Irish Times and other venues, Kung criticized Pope Benedict’s engagement of Protestants, Jews and Muslims; his support for Catholic teaching on birth control and condoms; and his approach to the Second Vatican Council.

Kung also commented specifically on the sexual abuse controversy, saying:

“There is no denying the fact that the worldwide system of covering up sexual crimes committed by clerics was engineered by the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger (1981-2005).”

George Weigel responded to this in an April 21 letter of his own, published on the website of the journal First Things.

When asked by CNA last Friday why he felt compelled to respond to Kung's letter, Weigel said that he was “struck by the extraordinary vitriol of the article and by its misstatements of fact, both of which required a response.” Weigel added that he would welcome a response from Kung “in which the issues were truly engaged,” but that “another Swiss volcanic eruption wouldn't serve much purpose.”

On April 21, he called Kung’s charge against Pope Benedict “a tissue of falsehoods.” The theologian’s comment, Weigel said, was “manifestly ignorant” of the fact that sexual abuse cases were not under then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s oversight until 2001.

This ignorance forfeits “any claim to be taken seriously on this, or indeed any other matter involving the Roman Curia and the central governance of the Catholic Church.”

Weigel noted his own criticisms of the mishandling of abuse cases by individual bishops and by Vatican authorities before then-Cardinal Ratzinger began to press for reforms.

Judging from this experience, Weigel said Kung’s description of Cardinal Ratzinger’s role was “ludicrous to anyone familiar with the relevant history.”

That description was also belied by “the experience of American bishops who consistently found Ratzinger thoughtful, helpful, deeply concerned about the corruption of the priesthood by a small minority of abusers, and distressed by the incompetence or malfeasance of bishops.”

He especially criticized the Irish Times editors who subtitled Kung’s letter with the claim the Pope was “directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests, according to this open letter to all Catholic bishops.”

Weigel said this was a “grotesque falsification of the truth” and “shameful.”

He suggested that Kung owes Pope Benedict XVI a public apology for “a calumny that I pray was informed in part by ignorance (if culpable ignorance).”

“I assure you that I am committed to a thoroughgoing reform of the Roman Curia and the episcopate,” Weigel’s letter concluded. “But there is no path to true reform in the Church that does not run through the steep and narrow valley of the truth. The truth was butchered in your article in the Irish Times. And that means that you have set back the cause of reform.”

Fr. Hans Kung served as an expert at the Second Vatican Council with Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI. He is now a well-known dissenter from Catholic teaching on many points and has been barred from teaching Catholic theology.


  1. Things to be grateful for, at least Kung has been barred from teaching Catholic Theology! Mr. Weigel we thank you for taking a public stance on "things that matter most!"

  2. Thank you mr weigel for your continued protection and support of the hiarchy that abused and participated in the abuse of minors for decades.Thank you mr weigal for your promotion and protection of right wing lip-serving pro lifers who sponsor war,torture,and bombing raids on innocents.Thank you ave maria radiocensors for your continued censoring of anyopposing voice.You make my case that you are dictatorial in nature....rob

  3. Rob,
    I'm beginning to feel a bit adolescent. I get that way around absurd things and I just finished watching SAndlot with David, my eight year old earlier tonight. I've decided to take your taunt seriously and respond in kind.

    That we let you use this page to post your predictable cant belittling faithful Catholics and then for you to accuse us of censoring is a little out of touch with reality.

    If I remember correctly we finally said, "Come on the air and make your case." You backed down.

    In the words of the Sandlot kids is it because you "can't hack it you panty waist who wears your mother's bra."

    In the spirit of the Sandlot kids, I'll issue you a challenge and try to goad you into the game in a serious way through an adolescent means which is in accord with many of your cheap shots.

    "It's easy when you play with a bunch of rejects and a fat kid, Rodriguez.
    - Shut your mouth, Phillips. - What'd you say, crap face?
    I said you shouldn't even be allowed to touch a baseball.
    Except for Rodriguez, you're all an insult to the game.
    Come on! We'll take you on right here, right now!
    - Come on! - [ All Shouting In Agreement ]
    We play on a real diamond, Porter.
    You ain't good enough to lick the dirt off our cleats.
    - Watch it, jerk. - Shut up, idiot!
    - Moron! - Scab eater!
    - Butt sniffer! - Pus licker!
    - Fart smeller! - [ Sniffing ] Ah!
    You eat dog crap for breakfast, geek.
    You mix your Wheaties with your mama's toe jam!
    [ All ] Yeah
    You bob for apples in the toilet and you like it.
    - Ooh. - You play ball like a girl!
    [ Laughing ]
    - What did you say?
    - You heard me.

    Noon. At our field.
    Be there, buffalo-butt breath.
    Count on it, pee-drinking crap face!
    [ All ] Yeah!
    Let's go!
    [ Chattering ]
    We're gonna kick their butts tomorrow.

    You know, if I had a dog as ugly as you,
    I'd shave his butt and tell him to walk backwards.


    I've never thrown such a low ball... take a swing, call Nick and tell him you want to nail the fat guy in the name of Christ because he's a neocon defending destroyer of Iraqi children, lip serving dictatorial prolifer who eats barf in his breakfast.... Well maybe you didn't put it quite like that. But I am calling your bluff Mr. Rob. You think we censor you. How about a microphone?