>> Hans Küng: an ageing enfant terrible going nowhere
>> Samuel Gregg: Benedict XVI, Hans Kung and Catholicism’s Future
~ HANS KÜNG used to be a very big deal. I was wondering the other day if he was still alive. He is.
Younger Hans was the say-anything unorthodox enfant terrible of the mid-20th century Catholic Church revolution. He and his ilk were going to remake everything in sight: Church, society, culture, thought, truth itself. Utopia now: just one more change!
Now, the young radical celebrity is almost 90. I got his autograph once, in the mid-’80s. “Hans Kung, Not Infallible” it read. Daring.
Just Phone It In, Hans
His speech that day was a disappointing rehash of Thomas Kuhn’s “Paradigm Shift” theories.. from a book published in 1962, almost 25 years before he spoke to us at Acadia. Disappointing.
He brought nothing recent, relevant, nothing about Catholicism or post-1960s developments in theology, philosophy… just rehash. Regurge. Leftovers. Could’ve just sent along a polite note saying “Read this book. I like it.”
Yet he was a big deal, back in the day, truly one of the 20th century modernist tsunami-riders, wreaking havoc on the Catholic Church as she was torn from her true self and made a puppet for the passing Zeitgeist, and radical politics. In 2018, we are still floating amidst the wreckage, corpses, dirt, and chaos of that time.
A Band Of Busy Clevers
There was a whole cadre of such clever modernizers as Küng, who had schemed amongst themselves and with the modernist Pope John XXIII and his protege Montini (later Pope Paul VI) to subvert the original plans for the ecumenical council which became known as Vatican II. You can even read some of what was supposed to be discussed in the Council that never was allowed to take place, now that the revolution happened.
That crucial moment was all about power: seizing it, keeping it, imposing it, and remaking the Church in their image. The book-series and TV-show Game Of Thrones looks mild by comparison. The break was with the past, personified by a ‘Medieval’ Pius XII: as he aged, he was minimized, shown in newspaper photos on his death-bed, displayed at the funeral after a (deliberately?) bungled embalming, and all but forgotten in the predestined scheme to elect the stealth-modernist, progressive socialist, & likely freemason Roncalli (John XXIII) to the papal throne.
They Didn’t Start The Arson
From the 1750s onwards, a spirit of revolution, change, utopianism, and anti-Christianity arose in Europe. Promoted by the Masonic Lodges, “new-thinking” intellectuals in France and England and elsewhere, that idea of suddenly remaking everything broke out in France in that blood-soaked Revolution; less catastrophically in English legal and political reforms in the early 1800s, yet again in the Communist-inspired 1840s and 1850s, and on into the 20th century.
“Bad things happen; we’re the ones who can & will fix it! We will do things to others for their own good, and throw down the bad people, and make a better future for mankind! Away with priests and superstition and kings and old ways!” Hence Robespierre, Marx, and all the others. Revolution now, then utopia!
Striking The Roots, Replacing The Tree
The Vatican II Council was the mature fruit of that revolutionary spirit, and– within the Church– of over 80 years and more of bubbling ferment and subversion, promotions and mutual protection, denial and deceit, of the restless gnostic Catholic progressive modernists– the superior special ones who know the special things– planning to overthrow both the substance and appearance of the great enemy of Europe’s turbulent revolutionary spirit– the Catholic Church.
Once, perhaps, Hans Küng thought a glorious future lay just ahead, a churchly utopia of spirit and world cooperating to make a bright New Age for humanity. Surely this was the true motion of the Holy Spirit!
Sadly, such revolutionized ‘Christian’ leaders forgot the basic truth: don’t immanentize the eschaton. That is, don’t try and make heaven on earth in man’s image, for it will be hell. Such Marxism is a shallow shadow-faith leading to lies, gulags, and bleak fields of broken bones.
A Sad Shallow Failed Utopia
Sadly, and in retrospect, the brief pause in the revolution represented by Benedict XVI now leaves us in 2018 with the spectacle of two popes, one bullied out of office by nefarious means and whispered threats, and the other bent on remaking everything in his own image, and according to a singular and imposed modernist interpretation of both Vatican II, and his own ideas. Oh yeah– and Pope Benedict XVI was pushed. He did not jump.
The glorious revolution in the Church has– by its own internal logic– collapsed into mere power, a cult of personality, a marginalizing and dividing force, not a unifying and building principle, in which the “winners” endlessly repeat themselves, cheating the Church into fresh compromises and radical lies, collecting power and fame and money and more control. Doing things To people, and not For them, as Christ’s own precious flock, for whom he died. Even, helping souls onward to Hell, and not Heaven.
Not a very inspiring utopia. Not exactly a very healthy or happy Church. The more they ‘succeed’, the more they fail– failing God, and his people, and the true Kingdom.
Turn Or Burn, Buddy
I do hope Hans repents and recants before he dies, though it will take long years before ever the wounds and damage he and his ilk did to the Church will be healed or repaired. Surely 1789 to 2018 is enough time to observe that revolutions go rogue: once things start falling apart, there’s no easy way to say “Whoa! That’s enough, and no further!” Surely the arrogance and pride of the long line of revolters is from Lucifer The Lying Proud Murderer, and not of Him Who came to serve, and not be served?
The way forward is not more revolution, but rather remembrance, rebuilding, rebuke, repentance, re-commitment, resistance, contemplative and prayerful obedience to Christ The King, and not to the spirit of the world, or the dark gods of worldly power, control, and proud sin.