Saturday, October 6, 2012

A rose by any other name

I cannot but feel considerable sympathy for Hans Kung as he seeks to stir up revolution from within the Roman Catholic church, making the important point that the hierarchy is bound to follow the lead of the pope because only those willing to follow that lead without publicly questioning it get to be part of the hierarchy. Power in the church has a habit of corrupting in subtle ways, not least because we have developed language around 'service' and 'servant leadership' which covers up a multitude of authoritarian sins.

Nevertheless, what Kung seeks already exists. It is called the Anglican Communion.

For directions to get there: swim backstroke across the Tiber! The grass on our bank is particularly green.

ON THE OTHER HAND Edward Norman, yes, that Edward Norman, famous Anglican writer, theologian, apologist, is swimming the Tiber towards Roman shores, via a channel called Anglican Ordinariate, as reported by Damian Thompson:

"Norman the conqueror
Dr Edward Norman, former Reith lecturer and Canon of York Minster, will be received into the Pope’s Personal Ordinariate for ex-Anglicans tomorrow. It’s a coup. The Ordinariate has had to put up with Anglican sneers and appalling condescension from liberal RCs. But now it can number among its members the sharpest apologist for Christianity in the country.
Sharp in every sense. Here’s Dr Norman in this week’s Catholic Herald: “The Church of England provides a masterclass in equivocation; it also, however, is the residence of very many good and faithful Christian people who deserve respect – for their perseverance in so many incoherent spiritual adventures.”
No doubt some Anglicans won’t be sorry to see him go. But orthodox Catholics will be delighted to welcome someone who cuts through throat-clearing ecumenical waffle. Edward Norman isn’t afraid of causing offence; that makes him a rare beast indeed in today’s Church."


Father Ron Smith said...

"The student revolts were a primal shock for Ratzinger and after that he became ever more conservative and part of the hierarchy of the church," said Küng."

- headline article -

Having read Kung's latest biography, in which he articulates the gradual rift that occurred between him self and Ratzinger, one understands the dynamic.

Kung invited Ratiznger to his university at Tubingen - as a fellow advocate of change in the Roman Catholic church. However, once Ratzinger established himself with the Roman hierarchy as a theologian he became enamoured of the chance to oppose Kung's Vatican II theology, and eventually presided over Kung's dismissal as an accredited Roman Catholic theologian.

The subterfuge involved in all of this is a pointer to the politics of Vaticanology.

I'm not sure the Anglican Communion is that much immune to provincial politics. Look at the 'Anglican Covenant' fiasco.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any subterfuge was involved. Ratzinger realized the empty and soulless nature of modernism and saw that Kung had, like so many of that generation, fallen under it's deathly spell, and Ratzinger realized where it would lead; tongue death of the West. Kung became stuck in a sixties time warp while Ratzinger saw the signs of the times and grew spiritually and theologically.

We have enough pied pipers of modernism as it is in the AC. We really don't need Kung as well.

Anonymous said...

well the Ordinariate gets another ( retired ) priest. So now they have 60+ with a flock of, 1300 is it? A friend of mine in a favella in Brasil says at his local RC Church the local priest aged 68 has over 1000 at mass each Sunday, so I hope some of them do the decent thing and give a helping hand where its needed.

Father Ron Smith said...

Further to Perry's news; I think that most ex-Roman Catholics would agree with Fr. Kung's dissatisfaction with the endemic conservatism of Rome. - Excepting, of course, for one we all know on this blog.