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Friday, August 12, 2005


Michael McLaughlin

The analysis seems to be substantially accurate. The whole thing is fairly sad. Yes, Kung who started with Hegel, seems to become more Unitarian each year. A look at the National Conventions of major Protestant groups is enough to understand why we are Catholic. Factionalism is unending and divisions unceasing. It is theology are politics and marketing. God save us from Gene Robinson and the boys.


Twenty-five years ago, his book jackets called Father Hans Küng "the most prominent Catholic theologian living today."

Wouldn't JPII have been the most prominent Catholic theologian living 25 years ago? Wasn't that when he started writing the Theology of the Body?

Will anyone even know who Hans Kung was a hundred years from now?

David Deavel

A liberal Protestant colleague of Jurgen Moltmann's once told me, rather knowingly, that he had just spent a week in Italy with Dr. and Mrs. Moltmann and Hans Kung and his "mistress" (my friend approved of "mistresses"). If my friend was not inaccurate, I wonder how long that relationship had been going on.

Often, heterodoxy follows "heteropraxis," or to use the old-fashioned language, "sin."

Carl Olson

Billy: The key word is "his," as in "HIS book jackets..." However, twenty-years ago, Kung had sold a lot more books than JPII. And I think it's safe to say that in 1975 or 1977 far more people knew about Hans Kung than knew about Karol Wojtyla. Thankfully, all of that soon changed...


Is it appropriate to be gossiping about Hans Küng's personal life?



Assuming it is appropriate, and assuming the report of your liberal protestant minister friend is accurate, I don't find that very surprising; in fact, I'd be rather surprised to find a very liberal priest who didn't have a mistress (or other paramour), considering that they think the celibacy requirement is oppressive and have a libertine view of sex generally. I also don't find it particularly useful.

I just don't buy that all heresies begin below the belt. The very idea is based on a heresy: popular Freudianism. Küng's alleged disregard for his priestly promise offers no useful evidence because a) orthodox priests do it too (as we know all too well from recent events), and b) even if there were/is a definite correlation between breaking vows and theological liberalism, correlation does not prove causality. Just because Küng (allegedly) has a mistress doesn't mean that his theology is built around his desire to justify having a mistress; it could be that Küng took a mistress because his liberal theology told him it was morally neutral or even laudable. It certainly isn't impossible for sex to influence a person's religious outlook; I've seen it happen. I do, however, think it can be, and is, overemphasized.

David Deavel


I wondered as I posted about the appropriateness of mentioning this detail, but as the friend of Kung in question said it openly to a group of people (namely my entire graduate class in Protestant theology) I decided to mention it, with the caveat that Kung's friend and not Kung himself had told me. If others think it was inappropriate, please let me know.

On the issue of "popular freudianism," I confess that you have read something into my post. I didn't say all heresy begins "below the belt," but that it begins with "sin." If you think sin=sexual sin, this is not my problem.

Even granted this distinction, it seems clear to me that sexual sin in this age is a great maker of heretics. I recall the English historian Paul Johnson's declarations a few years ago that women should be priests, etc., etc., blah, blah, followed within a year by the revelation that he had been keeping a mistress for the past twelve years. Is there causality here? I think that's tough to prove, but is very believable. Is sexual sin overemphasized in this matter? This is tough to prove, because I don't have a record of the sexual lives of prominent heretics handy. But I've known about enough of them through the years to think overemphasis is hard to come by. Theologians don't often have access to large sums of money to corrupt them. They do often have access to sexual partners.

That orthodox priests commit sins, even sexual sins, and keep their preaching and teaching orthodox is interesting, but so is it interesting that liberal protestants, unitarians, and even atheists keep to much of the moral law. The problem is that this is a difficult balance to keep and most people, given the opportunity to dump one of the first two tablets, eventually end up setting the other one a crashing too.



I cannpt find a list of all the foemal dissenters of Humanae Vitae that joined Curran in his protest. Could you find that for me and e-mail it. I would appreciate it so much. I have often read that there were 87, including Gabriel Moran, Gerard Sloyen, Berard Marthaler, Alfred McBride, and William May.

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