Monday, September 26, 2005

"Hands Across the Church"

One of the initial fruits of the B16-Hans Kung Summit was the Pope's expressed "appreciation of the efforts of Prof Kung of contributing to a renewed recognition of the essential moral values of humanity in regards to the dialogue among religions and the encounter with secular reason."

I just spoke with an alumnus of Kung's from Tubingen who remains a great admirer and friend of his Doktorvater. He was thrilled to hear about the meeting. As he told me -- "They probably had supper, as they used to do every week. [Kung] always referred to [Ratzinger] as "Du" [the familiar "you" in German]. That probably didn't change either."

But this is a good kickoff to a much-needed "Hands Across the Church" initiative. By placing doctrine aside for their evening together, it could be said that Benedict XVI is sending a powerful message that only once a human engagement rooted in dialogue and goodwill is established can a teaching moment be pursued.

I can picture it now... Dom Bettinelli sharing Christian fellowship with Walter Cuenin.... Clayton and Quintero breaking bread -- in peace and charity -- with Cardinal Mahony.... Bruskewicz and the Review Board enjoying good times and sharing laughs.... The SSPX and Call to Action, all coming together.

Oh, wait -- the SSPX are objectively "out." I almost forgot about that. So let's make that the FSSP.

Who said "Catholic Common Ground" was only a Bernardin-esque project? The Pope has signed on, and everyone else would be wise to stop the screaming and follow.

-30-

3 Comments:

Blogger John Bianco said...

I think people are making far too big of a deal abaout this. Kung Hand Kung and Ratzinger have had a long history together on a personal level. That said, though his volumes of writings as Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benidict has made it crystal clear where he stands, and likewise for Kung, and this certainly will not change.

Another factor is the influence Kung used to have has been dramatically reduced since he was censured back in 1979, while the writings of Ratzinger have only increased in terms of influence, very few Catholics under 40, to be blunt, take Kung seriously anymore.

26/9/05 17:41  
Blogger Peccatrix Miserabilis said...

They used the 'Du', did they? That's remarkable. I've known German professors who've been together in the same faculty for together for more than 20 years without ever, as the Germans call it, 'becoming intimate'. I think there's a lot going on here that is personal. Both men are Very Old, and must be feeling their mortality. I don't like second guessing a Pope, but I wouldn't be surprised if HH has a desire to rid himself of an apparent enmity and, so far as possible, restore an old friendship while there's still time this side of the Hereafter.

26/9/05 18:27  
Blogger Todd said...

Does this mean I have to invite Jeff over for a KC barbecue? Ah well; anything for ecumenism!

27/9/05 00:45  

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