(Tübingen) In an interview with the Südwestpresse, the heretical Swiss theologian Hans Küng is thrilled by Pope Francis. "He has already achieved some things that can no longer be withdrawn," Küng is convinced. "It can not even be foreseen what the changes already initiated mean."
Even for Hans Küng there seems to be doubt as to what course is actually being pursued by the Argentine Pope. He has "joy" about the new Pope, but this is not detrimental. Although "not yet decided upon which course he will really strike out upon" but "to think that he was not a reformer, would be to close our eyes to the facts." The fact that Francis is a reformer, Küng is points directly to form. Rightly, he notes, "There is control over the content. But if a Pope greets the people with "buona sera", that is a signal. "
The Pope "Is a Jesuit Priest and Therefore One Who Can Prevail"
The papal election was for him a "positive surprise", and he was "delighted," reported Küng. Francis "is a Jesuit priest and therefore one who can prevail." Francis set the tone "even with his clothes - the abandonment of gold, lace and precious stones". New he uses "simple, direct language." "People understand him, and feel cared about," said Küng, convinced, given the deliberately ambiguous, vague language of the Pope. "I have made many proposals for reform in the course of my life. But that a Pope could leave the papal palace in such an elegant way. I could not imagine. "
On Remarried Divorcees Followed Pope "a great strategy"
In terms of remarried divorcees Küng is convinced that Francis has pursued "a great strategy." "First of all he surveyed the group of eight cardinals, then the whole College of Cardinals. In the fall there will eventually be a synod on the family. Of course, every step is a risk. But if Francis has the College of Cardinals behind him, he is no longer alone. He lays total emphasis on collegiality. "Küng is convinced that "the admission of remarried divorcees to the sacraments" will be implemented, most of all desires of the Progressive reform. "There he is performing the mercy of which he so often speaks, and putting it into practice." On the question of how large "is resistance within the Church to reform" Küng replied. "This is not easy to judge because there are hardliners in Curia and Church. There are also among the laity resistance groups such as the conservative Catholic forum. But this Pope has amazingly managed to win over many people of all stripes in virtually no time for himself and his course."
Küng stresses himself to be for women priests, but he sees its introduction as "more difficult" than the "overcoming of celibacy." For Küng, "women's ordination" affirms the "justified appreciation" that Jesus "gave to women." The Swiss theologian notes at the same time, however, that the question "controversial". The "pastoral need of communities" considering the shortage of priests might "force" its introduction.
"Hardliners" Try to Prevent "reforms"
Küng described opponents of his theories as "hardliners" and "resistance groups", referring to among others, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller and the Forum of German Catholics. He puts them in direct opposition to Pope Francis, it was "astonishingly successful" that "many people are taking stock in no time at all for himself and his course."
The elevation of the Prefect of the CDF to the Cardinal's position was regarded by Küng as "inevitable." A non-survey "would have conjured up a confrontation that would serve no one." Apparently Küng sees the possibility that a "reform" will be endangered in the "confrontation" of Pope Francis, which he's identified with himself. So Küng emphasized immediately that Francis entrusted the introductory speech "not to Müller", but Cardinal Walter Kasper in a"significant way" at the Cardinal Consistory on the Family.
Kung's "Concern" in Front of a Shadow Pope Benedict XVI. "Reduced"
At the same time Küng warns against "false compromises". The Swiss theologian seems worried that a year after the resignation of Benedict XVI., this "could be a shadow of Pope." In his "recent letter I wrote Joseph Ratzinger," that he "sees his only job as to help Francis by his prayer." This statement has "reduced" Küng's worry just a little.
Küng concludes the interview by saying, is "happy" about Pope Francis. He had "always said his profession is not as a critic of the Pope." . "So I'm delighted that I no longer have to act as a critic of the pope." But that all stays in place, he added immediately: "However, I stress: if there were a restoration again, I would be back to Pope critic" .
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
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