Tuesday 27 September 2005

Hans Küng and Pope Benedict XVI

On Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI met with Hans Küng and they engaged in friendly discussion for several hours. In particular they discussed Küng’s new book on faith and science, as well as his recent efforts to develop a global ethic (Weltethos). Küng and Ratzinger had not met since 1983, although they had been colleagues at Tübingen in the 1960s.

Küng is one of the world’s greatest living theologians; notoriously, the Vatican banned him from teaching in 1979. He has long been an outspoken critic of the Vatican, and back in April he lamented Ratzinger’s election as “an enormous disappointment for all those who hoped for a reformist and pastoral pope.”

But Küng described Saturday’s meeting with the pope as “extraordinary” and as “a very significant event”—especially in contrast to the fact that he had unsuccessfully sought an audience with the previous pope for 25 years!

For news reports, see here, here or here.

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