Is Hans Küng flirting with sedevacantism?

It seems that Hans Küng—who was famously declared by the Vatican to have “departed from the integral truth of Catholic faith, and…can no longer be considered a Catholic theologian nor function as such in a teaching role”—has taken it upon himself to “warn” Pope Benedict that the Pontiff is in danger of falling into schism.

Writing in the German newspaper Südwest Presse (English translation via Rorate Caeli), Küng expresses his concern over the possibility of reconciliation between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X, warning that should such reconciliation take place, “Pope Benedict would, in his overall regretted isolation, be even more separated from the People of God.”

Küng continues: “The classical doctrine regarding schism should be a warning to him. According to it, a schism of the Church happens when there is separation from the Pope, but also when the latter separates himself from the body of the Church.”

Küng then floats the possibility that should the Holy Father so separate himself from the Church, he would “[lose] his position.”

“At least,” says Küng, “he cannot expect obedience.”

Küng’s closes his brief piece by expressing his desire that Pope Benedict stem the tide of “disobedience against a hierarchy that is disobedient to the Gospel” and thus avoid “the grave rift and the strife created inside the Church.”

Instead of reconciling with the ultra-conservative, anti-democratic, and anti-Semitic SSPX, the Pope should rather care about the majority of reform-minded Catholics and reconcile with the churches of the Reformation and the entire ecumenical movement. Thus he would unite, and not divide.


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About Catherine Harmon 577 Articles
Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.