Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hans Kung On Benedict The Schismatic Pope

Archbishop Fellay of SSPX has plenty of reason to smile, given that Pope Benedict has come so far in their direction that Hans Kung thinks Benedict is the schismatic.

Swiss theologian Hans Kung has denounced Pope Benedict as a schismatic pope if the Pope follows through on his invitation to SSPX---and he's using traditional argumentation for his point of view.  I don't know if Benedict would make himself a schismatic pope if the SSPX are taken back in the arms of the Church, but I know for certain he would be a first class hypocrite.  This is especially true since Archbishop Fellay has recently stated that Benedict is taking Catholicism to the SSPX position and rectifying the schismatic teaching of Vatican II.  In Fellay's view, SSPX is not conceding anything, Pope Benedict is conceding everything.  The following article by Andrea Tornielli is from Vatican Inisider.  I have edited a few things by using parenthesis because I think the English translation is a tad bit garbled.  Not unusual on Vatican Insider.

Hans Küng claims Pope is provoking disobedience

Andrea Tornielli - Vatican Insider - 6/9/2012
The dissenter theologian says he will hold Benedict XVI responsible for the schism that would be created if he signs an agreement with the Lefebvrians

The Pope has been calling for unity since the beginning of his Pontificate and in the last Chrism Mass he dealt with the issue of the disobedience of Austrian priests belonging to the Pfarrer-Initiative movement. And yet it is Benedict XVI himself who is being accused by his lifelong dissenting colleague, Hans Küng, of “provoking” disobedience. Küng goes as far as to call the Pope “schismatic” if he goes ahead and gives canonical recognition to the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Mgr. Lefebvre.

Küng’s harsh accusation was recently published in German newspaper Südwestpresse. He writes that preparations for the “final recognition” of the Lefebvrians (which he wrongly predicted would take place by Pentecost) are already underway and that recognition would be granted “even at the cost of integrating them into the Church using canonical subterfuge.” He recalled that the members of the Fraternity “continue to reject fundamental documents of the Council.”  (Archbishop Fellay is saying this will most likely occur in July and be issued from Castel Gondolfo.)

Küng claims that “The Pope would be definitively including in the Church bishops and priests that are invalidly ordained.” The Swiss theologian backed up his claim by referring to the Apostolic Constitution of Paul VI Pontificalis Romani Recognitio of 18 July 1968 and the positions of an “influential member of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, Karl Josef Becker SI, currently a cardinal.” In truth, while everyone agrees about the fact that the priestly and Episcopal ordinations carried out by Lefebvre after his suspension a divinis and his excommunication in 1988 are “illicit”, practically no one expressed any serious doubts over their “validity”: the ordinations were celebrated by a bishop who was in apostolic succession and according to the rite used by the Catholic Church up until the post-conciliar liturgical reform.

But Küng goes further, inaugurating a sort of potential liberal “sedevacantism”. According to Küng, by welcoming the Lefebvrians, the Pope “would distance himself further from the people of God.” Küng writes that Benedict XVI should remember that “there is a schism in the Church when one separates themselves from the Pope, but also when one separates themselves from the entire Church body.” “According to canonical doctrine, a schismatic pope - the Swiss theologian writes - loses his ministry and can certainly expect (dis)obedience. As such, Pope Benedict XVI would encourage the “disobedience” movement - which is on the rise everywhere – as opposed to a hierarchy that shows disobedience to the Gospel. He would be exclusively responsible for the serious discord and quarrels that he would bring into the Church” by accepting the Lefebvrians.

“Instead of reconciliating the ultraconservative, ultra-(un)democratic and anti-Semitic Society of St. Pius X with the Catholic Church - Küng concludes – the Pope should focus on the majority of Catholics who are ready for reform and reconciliation with the reformed Churches: by doing so he would unite and not separate.”

This tough accusation is a first for Hans Küng, who has never before attacked the Pope using traditional arguments. In so doing he introduces a liberal form of “sedevacantism”, using the same arguments used by the traditionalist anti-conciliar sedevacantists, but reversed.


Hans Kung articulates my own thoughts on this pending reunification.  How can the Vatican accept into the ranks of the Church a sect that denies the validity of Vatican II over doctrinal issues, who has not given one inch on their dissent after years of dialogue and negotiations,  while at the same time attacking the LCWR over other doctrinal issues without any dialogue, and directly taking over their leadership.  This does appear to be a double standard of epic proportions.  

If readers follow the link and read Archbishop Fellay's interview it's hard not to be struck with how utterly entitled Fellay comes across.  Fellay makes no bones about his belief that Benedict is taking Roman Catholicism in the SSPX direction as preparation for utterly repudiating Vatican II, especially Vatican II notions of priesthood.  In Fellay's opinion this is why Benedict needs all the SSPX traditionalist priests so that we laity who have gotten too big for our lay britches will give up our silly notions of any kind of priestly status. This apparently would include those lay women otherwise known as consecrated religious and who belong to LCWR congregations.  Women, in the 'reformed' Catholic Church of Latin, incense, and total male domination, won't have much of a role other than on their knees or in labor with child.

Hans Kung is certainly not out of line to state that Pope Benedict risks a whole lot more disobedience from the greater church if Benedict incorporates SSPX , and it will be precisely because in doing so Benedict will be affirming what Fellay states, the reform of the reform is just smoke and mirrors on the way to total repudiation of most of Vatican II. The other ironic thing to me is that in bringing back SSPX, Pope Benedict will be directly contradicting a ruling of his predecessor, something none of the popes in my lifetime would do when it came to birth control.  All of which says to me, the Roman Catholicism of Pope Benedict has stopped being about the Way of Jesus, and has become mired in defending it's antiquated sexual teachings as an adjunct to protecting it's priestly prerogatives and institutional wealth.  SSPX fits right in with that agenda. The LCWR does not.


  1. Hans Kung is truly on the right track with calling Pope Benedict a schismatic if the Pope incorporates the SSPX back into the fold while the SSPX holds the very same notions it had when they were initially excommunicated from the Church. Otherwise, why were they excommunicated? Did the very basis for their removal change?

    If Pope Benedict's Vatican wants to play hard right ball in the political realm, while chopping away at Vatican II and dumping all that looks and/or sounds too leftish until it is obliterated, I think what Hans Kung says is correct. It's high time that the wrecking ball roll in like the sound of thunder to put this highly politicized right wing Vatican leadership out of business and/or put on notice. Enough is enough!

    As well, this kind of thing must be countered or everyone is enabling this sinister type of degradation to permeate its disease throughout the Church.

    Also, to not declare the Pope schismatic allows the Pope and Opus Dei and all the other rot to thrive and coordinate their missions of doom and gloom. What responsible Catholic and/or Christian could allow this?

    In addition, declaring such an Act by the Pope as what it truly is, a schism, the real pastoral arm of the Catholic Church can elect their own Pope. Otherwise, we who know wiser are just waiting around like ducks to be shot at, imo.


  2. Also, there are numerous reasons to ban and not allow the SSPX in the Church for they symbolize all that is not pastoral and so not like Christ that it isn't even funny. This blog has been writing about it for years now. The Bishops are getting bus loads of people to go to rallies all across the US against Health Care, against our freedom, and they will create the conditions for all that is evil to flourish, including wars, economic strife for millions. The notions of SSPX are the very notions that drive the Bishops to rally people against their own interest in devious and cunning ways.


  3. Crazy! It's hard to know where to start...

    > Kung asserts invalid orders based on...apparently nothing at all.
    > Kung assumes that Truth resides in popular opinion rather than in the Church.
    > Kung misleads with the notion that SSPX would be allowed canonical staus whilst still rejecting the documents of the Second Vatican Council.


    1. As to your point 3, that is precisely what Archbishop Fellay himself maintains.

      As to point 1, Kung is arguing for invalid orders based on the exact same logic Pius X invalidated Anglican orders---SSPX priests were ordained by excommunicated schismatic bishops.

      As to point 2, Kung is including all those reformed protestant churches who were in ecumenical dialogues with the RCC which had made great progress in unifying certain aspects of liturgy and dogma during the pontificate of Paul VI and the early years of JPII. He wasn't just talking about progressive Catholics or arguing from an historical vacuum.

      I sometimes wonder if you actually read these articles, or if your own background is actually pretty shallow in it's scope of knowledge.

    2. In order;

      1. Anglican orders were invalid for a number of reasons, of which I don't remember that being key. AFAIK, excommunicate bishops ordain illicitly, not invalidly, unless the proper form and intent is not present.

      2. People can move closer to truth, as you say, and as I agree, and as ecumenism demonstrates; this is not the same as truth residing in popular opinion, which rather seemed to be Dr Kung's assumption.

      3. Then for as long as he maintains it, he will presumably have to stay outside of the Church! Ecumenical Councils are not pick-and-choose.

      (I don't pretend to any deep knowledge. I'm no priest or Canon Layer, for sure.)