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If you haven't already gotten to know Hans Kung, it is a good time to do so.  He is like the Howard Dean, the Bernie Sanders, of the Catholic Church.  It is he who truly deserves to be pope.  And that being more than unlikely, his words are the most reliable and trustworthy guide that we have today about what is going on in the Catholic Church, and more importantly what needs to happen and why.  Fortunately for us, he giving us his analyses as we go forward to a papal change.

Hans Kung, the leading progressive voice in the Catholic Church, has written an oped contribution for the New York Times in which he asks whether it might be possible to have a "Vatican Spring," like an 'Arab Spring,' reforming the catholic church?

He answers his own question by noting that the Catholic Church does not resemble the governments of the countries of the Arab Spring,

so much as an absolute monarchy like Saudi Arabia.
He then brings 'fact check' information to bear on the catholic church's insistence of maintaining a 2000 year old absolutist monarchist tradition, by noting:
It was not until the 11th century that a “revolution from above,” the “Gregorian Reform” started by Pope Gregory VII, left us with the three enduring features of the Roman system: a centralist-absolutist papacy, compulsory clericalism and the obligation of celibacy for priests and other secular clergy.
So, the claims of the church on the length of its 'traditions' are inaccurate.  These were not 'made by Christ', but by popes, quite a few years after Christ.  In fact the current structure and traditions are the product of the 11th century!

He describes how efforts to roll back these 'reforms' met with little success, noting that the Second Vatican Council was trying to address several of them, which was blocked by those in the curia intent on maintaining the 'absolute monarchy' model of the church.  He notes that under the papacy of John Paul 2 and Benedict 16, there

has been a fatal return to the church’s old monarchical habits.
 Hans Kung should know about this, since he served in the Second Vatican Council with Josef Ratzinger and later suffered under Ratzinger's role to block him from teaching theology, over Kung's questioning the doctrine of papal infallibility.  He details in this article, the recent meetings between the two, and his continued disappointment at the entrenched reactionary position of benedict.

He notes the many scandals of Benedict's reign and then comments on the handling of

the widespread sexual abuse of children and youths by clergymen, which the pope was largely responsible for covering up when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
  And then considers that Vatileaks may have been the eventual reason Benedict resigned, concluding that the church itself is falling apart.  

He is very clear about what he thinks is the solution.  No half measures here; he addresses several major concerns, including the way that those in the church have been muzzled in order to fall into line and spout the 'talking points' of the Vatican:

In this dramatic situation the church needs a pope who’s not living intellectually in the Middle Ages, who doesn’t champion any kind of medieval theology, liturgy or church constitution. It needs a pope who is open to the concerns of the Reformation, to modernity. A pope who stands up for the freedom of the church in the world not just by giving sermons but by fighting with words and deeds for freedom and human rights within the church, for theologians, for women, for all Catholics who want to speak the truth openly. A pope who no longer forces the bishops to toe a reactionary party line, who puts into practice an appropriate democracy in the church, one shaped on the model of primitive Christianity. A pope who doesn’t let himself be influenced by a Vatican-based “shadow pope” like Benedict and his loyal followers.

As the last active theologian to have participated in the Second Vatican Council (along with Benedict), I wonder whether there might not be, at the beginning of the conclave, as there was at the beginning of the council, a group of brave cardinals who could tackle the Roman Catholic hard-liners head-on and demand a candidate who is ready to venture in new directions. Might this be brought about by a new reforming council or, better yet, a representative assembly of bishops, priests and lay people?

If the next conclave were to elect a pope who goes down the same old road, the church will never experience a new spring, but fall into a new ice age and run the danger of shrinking into an increasingly irrelevant sect.

(Hans Küng is a professor emeritus of ecumenical theology at the University of Tübingen and the author of the forthcoming book “Can the Church Still Be Saved?” This essay was translated by Peter Heinegg from the German.)

His article is well worth the read for the understanding of an open minded, highly informed critical thinker about the Catholic Church.  His criticisms are sourced on Truth, not propaganda.

Did you know that his book, "Can the Church Be Saved?",  which was published in March 2011 (March,) in Germany has yet to be published in the English speaking world?  Apparently English publishers are afraid to touch it because of the control of the Catholic Church.....  Talk about muzzling dissent!  An English
review of his book, summarizes Kung's challenges in this book to the absolutist monarchy of the papacy.  

On Oct 2012, The Guardian printed another English speaking article which described the contents of his book: Catholic theologian preaches revolution to end church's 'authoritarian' rule.

Basically, Kung is advocating a grassroots revolt against the church from its members; sort of an "Occupy The Hierarchy" movement.  Any wonder his book wasn't and to this date, hasn't been, translated into English?

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.

"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."

Here is a man worthy of being pope.  A true prophet in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr.  It is heartening to read the words of truth when so much propaganda is aimed at drowning it out by this vast absolutist monarchy corporation.

And certainly in all the pomp and circumstance that we are about to witness in the papal selection, with all the propaganda that will come from it, knowing the facts can help illuminate what is really going on.  Because the body of cardinals has been 'gerrymandered' to a fare thee well, and stacked with 'ditto heads' by both John Paul 2 and Benedict 16, no one expects a reformer to emerge.  In fact, the opposite.

It may take the Church global corporation another generation to implode.  But Kung is the lonely prophetic voice who has refused to be silenced since Vatican Two and continues to speak for truth.

Know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.

Originally posted to SeaTurtle on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:10 AM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Don't need the CT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, 57andFemale, DJ Rix

    The Catholic Church has prevented publishers in the English speaking world from translating and publishing this book?

    Yes, because the Church has total control over Random House, Houghton Mifflin, Penguin, etc.  Ridiculous CT.

    The book has not been translated because they don't think anyone will buy it, which is the usual reason that a publisher won't spend money to publish a book.

    He is a priest in good standing, but he's 85 years old, same age as Benedict. Besides his heresy against papal infallibility, he's a proponent of euthanasia. Moreover, pretty much all of the 115 cardinals that will be electing the next pope were put there by Benedict or John Paul II in his later, more conservative years.

    However, I do agree with much of his letter from April 2010 regarding reforms that need to be made. Benedict's reign as pope has been an abject failure - the Vatican is a complete mess, scandals continue, the church in the U.S. a totalitarian bureaucracy that has stifled the people of God.

    It is up to the Holy Spirit to step in more directly in this election and find a way to bring the church back to Jesus and away from its own institutional focus.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:56:26 AM PST

    •  One need not describe this as CT (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeaTurtle, corvo

      First, the major publishers are all out to maximize profit; I believe we can all agree to that. Second, the Catholic Church would rather not have an English translation of Hans Kung's book; I believe we can all agree to that, too.

      Any decision for a commercial publisher to release a translation of Kung's latest book would require calculating the expenses of fighting the pushback from the Catholic establishment to this book as measured against any revenue it would bring in. Kung definitely has an English-speaking audience, but one could argue the pushback would make it hard for the book to be profitable; & the conventional wisdom is that 8 out of 10 books lose money.

      So it's far easier for each major publisher to decline bringing out an English translation than to assume its risk. It's simply a matter of explaining inaction, & inaction is often the simplest response for any corporation.

      Now an academic press might be interested in this undertaking -- Harvard University, for example, publishes books on religion -- but the trick would be to find someone at an academic press to champion getting the book through the process of translation & publishing. Maybe Kung simply doesn't know anyone he could convince to take on this project & see it through. (Both writers & academics are notoriously bad businessmen.)

      Damn, I wish my German were strong enough to consider taking on the challenge of reading this book.

      •  The push back? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llywrch

        The push back would be free publicity.  See Kevin Smith's movies - Dogma, etc. - where the Catholic church's protests of the film brought out 10x more people to see it than otherwise would have.

        I agree - 8 out of 10 books do lose money, and given the narrow audience for the book, this would explain the lack of a publisher.

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

        by absdoggy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:57:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  you are, llywrch, 100% correct (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch, llywrch

        according to what I have read.  

        I wondered, in particular, if it would be 'inconvenient' to have it published prior to a presidential election, since the rcxch is still a big republican player.  Color me cynical.

        I still hope that it can emerge in English.  And yes, I wish that your German were good enough to not only read the book, but translate it!  :-)

        We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

        by SeaTurtle on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:08:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  absdoggy... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, llywrch

      "It is up to the Holy Spirit to step in more directly in this election and find a way to bring the church back to Jesus and away from its own institutional focus."

      As long as you are pinning your hopes of change on a ghost, you will not likely get your wish.

      •  Especially since "God has been sleeping", (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishtroller01

        at least according to Ratzi.

        It sounds like he really was counting on God to clean up all their karma for them.

        •  I found that comment similar to the ones (0+ / 0-)

          "mother Teresa" made before her death. I think it dawns on these people when facing the end that they may have been living a life based on an illusion.  In my view, they have.

          •  huh, did not know about that, ft, do you happen (0+ / 0-)

            to know where I could search for it?  Do you remember what she said.

            Funny, that comment of his (xt was sleeing,) has caused me to think.  And what I think about is that it sounds like the complaining of an entitled 1% who is not getting his way throwing a temper tantrum.  

            Sort of, "if I don't get my way, then christ must be sleeping"....  Because of course, MY view of reality is the RIGHT one and is the one that christ would have....

            Rather than, maybe his way doesn't work and that the world is a LOT more complicated than the simplistic, black and white world of the hierarchy.

            It truly left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

            What I want to know is why this man isn't retiring into a life of poverty?  Why does he need a friggin castle?  or a 4+k ft residence renovated just for him?  why did he need his own piano taken to Castel Gandolfo?  He is living the life of a literal prince.  

            The arrogance of the elite - and believe me, the spiritual elite are the worst of the bunch (think gazillionaire Pat Robertson.)  

            Talk about living in a Bubble?  Ugh!  Just disgusts me all the way to Sunday.........

            Sorry for the rant, but this gets under my skin.

            Grrr!

            We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

            by SeaTurtle on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 10:34:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you google anything on Mother Teresa's doubts (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SeaTurtle

              or her confessions in her letters that she didn't not feel God for the second half of her life and doubted his existence, you'll come up with lots of articles.

              Don't apologize for a rant about the Pope or the Vatican..I'm right there with you.

              I remember seeing him on a news program about a speech he gave in Australia lambasting the world for its "materialism".  This from a guy who wears gold and lives in a castle filled with art and wealth so vast the insurers can't put a dollar figure on it all.  Plus, a good part of the loot came from the decision to require celibacy of the priests and bishops. The church figured out that all the wealth of these men would revert to the church instead of their families. Women and children were literally put out on the streets and lost their inheritance.

              Such a lovely institution with such a lovely history!

  •  Kung was a hero of my college theology teachers (9+ / 0-)

    45 years ago, teachers who were, to say the least, not big fans of Herr Doctor Ratzinger.  

    One thing not emphasized in the diary.  It was the Council of Trent -- the font of the "Counter-Reformation" -- that froze the intellectual development of Catholic theology into its centuries-long medieval catatonia, whereas the pre-Reformation Church had usually been a lively arena for intellectual debate and progress (the occasional genocide against blatant heretics aside, of course).  Famously, the now semi-deified Thomism that still dominates the thinking of "traditional Catholics" (e.g., see the idiots on the Supreme Court or my brother's having to memorize Aquinas word-for-word in college in the late '50's) was originally extremely controversial and considered heretical by more than a few church authorities.     By the time of the Reformation, philosophers generally considered the previously revolutionary scholasticism a scelorotic, outmoded approach to philosophy; but since the Church identified newer approaches with the Reformation, the Church doubled down on the already 300-year old Thomist thinking and is still doing so another 450 years later (e.g., the "natural law" argument against "artificial" contraception.)

    It's the same refusal to admit a mistake and the resulting persistence in self-destructive policy that we see with today's economic "austerians" and that Barabara Tuchman identified as the source of so much folly in human history.  

  •  Hans Küng writes: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle, Munchkn, irishwitch
    If the next conclave were to elect a pope who goes down the same old road, the church will never experience a new spring, but fall into a new ice age and run the danger of shrinking into an increasingly irrelevant sect
    to which I can say only
    1. ut eveniat! (May it happen!)
    2. eveniet. (It will happen.)
    •  it does seem that it is heading that way, doesn't (5+ / 0-)

      it?  And I am not sure that it would be such a bad thing, given what it is.  I don't think the current structure can be reformed.

      I think a new structure needs to emerge from the rubble.

      We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

      by SeaTurtle on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:38:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I realize Pope choices are slim (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SeaTurtle, irishwitch

        given who gets power in the church by following the status quo line. But if Küng had a chance, at 84 he's too old for the job. Surely there are younger candidates who might be semi-reformers at least, and whose relative youth would ensure a long enough period of leadership to get something done.

        •  J, the college of cardinals has been packed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, irishwitch

          with only arch conservative, homophobic, misogynist, reactionaries.  Not a semi-reformer in there.  As Kung explains, all have been carefully screened with loyalty oaths and the minute they don't pipe the party line, they are gone.  (Reminds me of another white old boys organization...)

          A reformer to emerge from this group would stand as much chance as a 'snowball in hell.'  

          Yes, of course Kung is far too old; though he has 'kept' far better than his buddy, Benedict.   But maybe one day, someone who has carried on his tradition will.

          We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

          by SeaTurtle on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:39:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Truth be told, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SeaTurtle, irishwitch

            the Catholic hierarchy at/attached to 'Rome' may be at the end of its ~1600 year reign. As thoroughly corrupt as it has proven itself to be throughout that history right up to Ratzy at Gandolfo right now, it may well be time.

            Worse, it probably won't be the longstanding sexual abuse of minors that takes 'em deservedly down. Instead, it'll likely be financial shenanigans. Whatever works.

  •  Thanks, Sea Turtle, for this information on Kung. (6+ / 0-)

    The man has devoted his life to peace and understanding among the world's religions and deserves to be heard.

  •  Democracy Now had Matthew Fox on last night. (5+ / 0-)

    I would have liked to have more time to hear a more focused speech from him.

    •  As you may know, allergywoman, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, allergywoman

      MF's career was also cut short by B16 when he was Ratzinger, which he wrote about in his 2011 book
      The Pope's War

      The Pope's War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI.
      Matthew Fox presents insights from his 12-year, up-close-and-personal battle with Ratzinger, tracing the historical roots of degradation in the Church and offering a new way to understand why Benedict XVI is now mired in crisis as Pope. Fox then outlines his vision for a new Catholicism-one that is not Vatican-based but truly universal, celebrating critical thinking, diversity, and justice.
      It would be interesting to hear what MF had to say.  He is one of the good guys, imo.

      We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

      by SeaTurtle on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:15:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope they elect a reactionary who kills the RCC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle, corvo

    The last thing the world needs is someone to put a happy face on a fundamentally conservative institution.  Remember JP2: he was also supposed to be the RCC's bright young future.

    •  I don't think that it will be possible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch
      to put a happy face on a fundamentally conservative institution.
      at this point, with the Vatican finances and vast corruption re. sexual abuse.

      Those who don't want to inform themselves and who choose to march to the tune it continues to pipe without questioning any of these major problems, well, they will just accept what they are told.  

      I think that we are going to see another arch conservative reactionary crowned, because that's all that's left in the college of cardinals.  I don't know how it could be otherwise.  It will be a question of HOW conservative?  HOW homophobic?  HOW misogynistic?  etc., etc.

      We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

      by SeaTurtle on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:53:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have admired Kung for decades. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle, DJ Rix

    He spoke at Catholic U  when I was a student there around 68.  I also attended a small Mass he presided at.  He was an unbelievably handsome and charismatic (I was a 19 year old female; we notice things like that). And he had an aura of holiness I imagined would belong to someone like ST. Francis--but not the Pope.

    The reason he teaches at a secular college is because he is no longer permitted to do so at Catholic institutions.  I am actually surprised Ratzinger didn't excommunicate him.

    Sadly from the talk I've been hearing, one of the major issues they want the Pope to deal with is "growing secularism in the West".  Which translates as the Western church is too well-educated and free-thinking and tolerant to just lie down and allow the tanks of the Vatican to roll over them.

    Oh, and the celibacy requirement only goes back to the 11th century.

    My other suggestions for Pope would be Dan Maguire, who taught at Catholic U and was laicized at his own request and married. Brilliant mind and brilliant teacher--I was lucky enough to have him for a theology class.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:04:12 PM PST

    •  thanks for sharing personal memories....irishwitch (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch

      Yup Hans Kung has rock star status to me also.....

      I can imagine how a 19yr old would have noticed the handsome and charismatic Dr. Kung!

      I am expecting an uber conservative hard liner to emerge from this selection.

      Then when the bells in St. Peter's Square ring to announce the new pope, they will be tolling a death knell for the church!  Sic transit mundi, as they say.

      We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

      by SeaTurtle on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:19:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In the fast food restaurant business... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    when a building gets old and tired and needs to be modernized, the powers that be order a "scrape and rebuild".

    That is the only way to remedy the Catholic Church as an institution. Start by having everyone walk out the doors and withdraw their financial support. Then go build a totally new institution.

    However, as an atheist, I must make the observation that as long as the old tired ideas of gods and saviors, resurrections and salvations come with the new building, it will eventually be irrelevant as well.

  •  Kung was widely read in the Sixties (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    as were a number of other theologians capable of simplifying their ideas to reach dummies like me. I was raised Methodist but had been close to Roman Catholics all my life (I was baptized in a Roman Catholic Church to alleviate family fears of Limbo).  Kung strongly influencied my thinking on Cathoicism: He helped me become  a lot more tolerant,  & to discern the differences between institutional clericialism & Roman Catholicism as a practice. Of course, there was more hopefulness back then that the Church was on a generally progressive path. When fear became less of motivating factor after Vatican II, & parish priests lost much of their dictatorial authority over the personal lives of parishioners, naturally many Catholics became less strictly observant, many drifting away altogether (my dad had quit outright thirty years earlier, trained by Jesuits to question everything, so he did).  But the institutional  Church failed to take advantage of this lifting of oppression. Nearly everyone I know  knows an ex-priest who would have remained a priest had he been permitted to marry & have a family life like his protestant counterparts. Because it no longer made any sense.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:28:06 PM PST

    •  interesting observations, DJR, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DJ Rix

      It seems to me that fear/dictatorial authority has become in vogue again and institutional suppression of its members is de riguer in the church again.  'Obedience to the hierarchy' is considered more important than 'love of neighbor.'

      We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

      by SeaTurtle on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:58:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  actual American Catholic here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    I certainly have no wish to destroy the Catholic church as some posters have expressed, but rather I see the upheavals and scandals as in some ways parallel to what is happening to conservatism in the US politically. The shameless cabal of old white men, who invoke the argument of timeless and unshakeable moral truths when it is so transparently obvious that their only aim is to stay in power, the weary populace who just wants their own small needs to be met -- community, safety, spiritual solace, ritual . . .

    What is happening to the Republican party and its ideals? It looks more and more marginalized, more and more ignored, more and more it is reduced to bargaining and compromise and capitulation.

    The Catholic church is not a democracy in the slightest way -- but it is also not a dictatorship, because no one is forced to be an obedient Catholic, or a Catholic at all. One can always leave, or, as the majority of western Catholics do, ignore the stupid parts.

    It's kind of fascinating, watching this slow motion disaster.

    I love being Catholic, by the way. Nothing compares.

    •  thanks for your point of view, redheron, (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, of course you are right in what you say:

      The Catholic church is not a democracy in the slightest way -- but it is also not a dictatorship, because no one is forced to be an obedient Catholic, or a Catholic at all.
      At least, THAT IS THE WAY IT IS TODAY.  As the result of the JP2 & Ben16 conservative retrenchment of the xch since Vat2.  However, that is certainly not the way it has always been nor is that the original intent; i.e. it SHOULD NOT be that way.

      I think the meme,

      "the Catholic Church is not a democracy"
      , is one of the most interesting cabals that the rcxch has pushed, when invoking absoute obedience to the hierarchy.

      However, there is a sleight of hand in how the rcxch pushes this; because implied is that the 'rcxch SHOULD NOT be a democracy.'   Whereas the history of the rcxch suggests otherwise.

      This is absolutely not true in the history of the rcxch.  As Hans Kung states in above quoted material, we need a pope now:

      who puts into practice an appropriate democracy in the church, one shaped on the model of primitive Christianity.
      The monarchical, hierarchical, non-democratic church is not the way the early christians practiced; they based their structure on collegiality.  As the matter of fact the leader was called: 'primus inter pares' which means first AMONG EQUALS.  That is not the language of an absolute monarch.  This 'not democracy stuff' came from the establishment of the absolutist, monarchy form of xch govt. and perhaps had its seed in Constantine's imperialization of the xch.

      In short that meme ('not a democracy') is a propaganda tool used to shut people up and train them not to question.  

      Central to Kung's thesis, as I understand it, is the belief that 'collegiality' including representing all sexes, races, clergy and laity are, in fact, core to the original charism of the xch and has been abandoned.  

      This meme 'the xch is not a democracy' is also used to push another lie:  that the clergy has always been celibate....  Quoting from one of the referenced articles, Dr. Kung says:

      Referring to the celibacy debate that arose after the sexual abuse cases, Kung said, "the Roman Catholic church survived for the first thousand years without celibacy." He is strongly in favour of allowing priests and bishops to marry.
      So one lie is used as a basis to support others.

      It is very important that we challenge the false assumptions that the rcxch has perpetrated.  Much like the Republicans push the first lie of 'climate change is not man made, just part of a cycle.'  And then use that lie, to push other lies about how developing fossil fuels, fracking, etc. will not damage us.

      Truth can withstand questioning.

      We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 05:22:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I agree (0+ / 0-)

        The Catholic Church is very far from its original roots. But, gotta say, some of those churches who strive to get back to those roots the hardest, the single-celled evangelical churches, each with their congregation-appointed pastor and council of elders, in only loose communion with any other parish, haven't exactly brought the kingdom of heaven to earth either.

        Loathsome hierarchy to one side, Catholics have the advantage of being catholic small C -- what happens in those more democratic churches is people vote with their feet and everybody clusters in like-minded clumps. Us Catholics never know who the hell is going to sit next to them in the pew. I like that.

  •  A Baptist peeks in. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    Thanks ST for updating me on Hans Kung.  His book, "On Being a Christian" was the primary textbook in my  graduate theology class ca. 1977. That would be Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft Worth, TX.  

    Yep, back in the day, we were on the verge of thought.   We also read the Vatican Papers and hung out with priests. One of the best statements I ever read on Revelation was in those papers.  

    My best friend in my first pastorate in a small West Tx town was the Catholic Priest. He and I had a blast together.  His Mom was old school. He was "Father" and I was "Reverend." But,  he and I operated on a first name basis. Drove her crazy.

    We actually thought we were trying to accomplish the same thing.  I preached the community T-Giving service at the Catholic Church. Before it was over and it did end.  According to the religious powers, we got it wrong. According to us, they didn't know jack.  

    Let the record show. When the local Catholic Priest and the Baptist minister have coffee together with folks in town, things work a lot better in small communities.  Life is tough enough when you grow wheat and cattle ranch. The last thing anyone needs is a religious war thrown into the mix.  

    I won't live long enough to see the "days of old." Thanks for the trip down memory lane.  I'm going to dig out Kung's book and re-read the parts I underlined. :-)

    Cheers

    •  thanks for taking us with you 'down memory lane', (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dixie Dawg

      DD.

      Your experience and reflections on that experience certainly emphasize what is important, doesn't it?  Dealing as well and morally and ethically as we can with life and its challenges and giving hope to ourselves and others.

      Thanks for your story.

      We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 05:24:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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