Skip to comments.Dissident theologian criticizes pope's opening to Anglicans
Posted on 10/28/2009 4:19:53 PM PDT by NYer
ROME (CNS) -- Dissident theologian Father Hans Kung criticized Pope Benedict XVI for his recent opening to discontented Anglicans, charging the pope was "fishing" for the most conservative Christians to the detriment of the larger church.
Father Kung said the invitation to traditionalist Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church went against years of ecumenical work on the part of both churches, calling it instead "a nonecumenical piracy of priests."
The pope's basic message is: "Traditionalists of all churches, unite under the dome of St. Peter's!" Father Kung wrote in an editorial Oct. 28 in the Rome daily La Repubblica.
"Look: The fisherman is fishing above all on the 'right' side of the lake. But the water is muddy," he said.
The Vatican announced Oct. 20 that the pope was establishing a new structure to welcome Anglicans who want to be in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church while maintaining some of their spiritual and liturgical traditions. Many of the Anglicans who have asked the Vatican for such a provision are dismayed by the ordination of women and by the blessing of homosexual unions and the ordination of openly gay bishops in some provinces of the Anglican Communion.
While emphasizing the importance of celibacy for priests, the Vatican said a dispensation would be made for former Anglican priests who are married to be ordained Catholic priests. However, they will not be able to become bishops.
Father Kung, a Swiss theologian who has taught in Germany for decades, warned that married newcomers will cause resentment on the part of celibate Catholic clergy.
In 1979 the Vatican withdrew permission for him to teach as a Catholic theologian, although it did not restrict his ministry as a Catholic priest.
In the editorial, Father Kung also lambasted Pope Benedict's recent efforts to bring back into the fold members of the Society of St. Pius X, a group of breakaway Catholics opposed to the changes in the church following the Second Vatican Council.
"After reintegrating the anti-reformist Society of St. Pius X, now Benedict XVI wants to flesh out the thinning ranks of Roman Catholics with like-minded Anglicans," Father Kung wrote in the editorial.
He also criticized Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, head of the Anglican Communion, who "in his desire to ingratiate himself with the Vatican apparently didn't understand the consequences of the papal fishing trip in Anglican waters."
I don’t see how conservative, orthodox Anglicans are going to want to join the Roman Catholic Church. It is preposterous. This was more an invitation to Anglo Catholics ,who operate in the Episcopal church almost identically to Roman Catholics, to stop pretending to be Protestants and come into the fold.
the 'larger church' needs more anglican types and fewer progressive cradle catholics hell-bent on following the example of the Episcopal Church.
This Kung character is trouble. I read some of his material while in the process of converting to the church.
Such as Hans Kueng.
High time Hans was summoned before that Big Curia in the sky.
You are right to make the distinction between “conservative” and “Anglo-Catholic”. But, do not confuse liturgy with patrimony as it is the latter that is being offered. Once you understand the ethos of the Anglo-Catholic, then you will begin to see how more important this move is.
This is an incredible gesture by Pope Benedict XVI. I suggest you start looking eastward to get an idea of how much God’s hand may be involved in his pontificate.
Sorry, wrong recipient.
You are right to make the distinction between conservative and Anglo-Catholic. But, do not confuse liturgy with patrimony as it is the latter that is being offered. Once you understand the ethos of the Anglo-Catholic, then you will begin to see how more important this move is.
This is an incredible gesture by Pope Benedict XVI. I suggest you start looking eastward to get an idea of how much Gods hand may be involved in his pontificate.
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Most Roman Catholics have no clue what that Anglo-Catholic ethos is. But then a little leaven leaventh the whole lump.
It’s being polite to Hans Kung to call him a dissident. A better term would be heretic. He is still trying to peddle his garbage, but there are fewer and fewer takers.
As it happens, I grew up Episcopal, and had the good fortune to go to a Church School where the Headmaster was High Anglican and the chapel was indistinguishable from a Catholic chapel. I haven’t been back in many years, but I’m afraid things changed. They brought in women priests, gave away the beautiful, life-sized Crucifix that had been behind the altar, and even organized a pro-abortion march on Washington which brought letters of protest from some of us alumni to the school newspaper.
But it was a wonderful education. Even the Sacrament of Confession—technically not a Sacrament in the Anglican Church, but permitted (though not encouraged) by the Book of Common Prayer, where it is mentioned in two places: before the service of the Lord’s Supper, and before the rites for the dying.
I subsequently became Catholic, not so much because I thought that Anglican teaching was false, but because it did not seem to me to represent the Universal Church, and because it was so clearly a niche in a Church that also included a lot of strange doings.
In fact, when I assisted at services with the Cowley Fathers in Cambridge, they spoke of the service as “the Mass,” and they genuflected to the Sacrament. But they had to remove the Sacrament from the sacristy and hide it when their bishop visited their chapel from Boston, because he refused to genuflect. Rather than argue with him, they just hid it away.
Probably a good thing as Anglicans have a tendency to publish introspective “who we are” treatises more than the rest of Christian denominations combined!
The simple answer (with many holes) is an Eastern theology with a Western liturgy.
The Oxford Movement in general and a comparison of John Keble, Edward Pusey and Cardinal John Henry Newman in particular will give you a wealth of understanding of the Anglo-Catholic ethos and why so many RC Seminaries have a “Newman House”.:)
Since you said with many holes, I agree. The Easter Orthodox element is unmistakable, assuming the examiner is willing to see what is before his eyes.
Oy, Hänsli, du hirnlose Sabbelheini:
Go over there, like a good boy, and bother them for awhile, k?
One of the huge stumbling blocks to conversion for me was the execrable ICEL translation. It's going to improve with the amendments . . . but not enough.
I hope the Tiber-Crossers get together and have a couple of good 16th century scholars re-translate the Words of Consecration for the AU Rite. Talk about a new patch on an old garment!!!!! Send forward the reweavers!
Your story is emblematic of the last 30 years. Many Episcopalians have used their heretical teachings to leave the church altogether: Blame the church and stay home to sleep in and read the paper on Sunday mornings. Many others have sought the safety of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Moscow or some combination of the same :).
We must appreciate the problem of geography when the faithful of the Anglican Communion found themselves with nowhere else to go during the radical changes. In the same way, in my area, many drive 40 miles past the local Vatican 2 RC Church to get to the nearest Trinitine Church.
I was recently on vacation and, as an Anglo-Catholic, attended the nearby RC Basilica the Sunday I was away (no, I did not take communion). I remember thinking, Wow, this is a Mass?? In short, everything Vatican 2 has done to the Mass that Anglo-Catholics have not was sad to see.
As to sacramental confession, the local RC Church offers 30 minutes of confession on Saturdays for a parish of 1000 family’s. Hmmm, that is one long stretch of mortal sin! The Anglican BCP has sacramental confession in both the 1662 and 1928 for the sick (not dying). The Anglican and American Missal has the Confiteor. The oils, the sacrament, and sacramental confession are the constant duty of an Anglo-Catholic priest.
It is time for the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to respond to our Lord’s call and His Holiness Benedict XVI is responding to God’s call for him.
So true, I would offer the Epiclesis as an influence from the East, and the Filioque as an example of the Western influence to our liturgy.
But both are modern arguments that ignore the united church of the first millennium. Anglo-Catholics can be nothing more than the grease that brings East and West together. Yet, can anything be more worth while?