Monday, February 09, 2009

An Intriguing Thought

Hans Küng reflects on what would happen
if the Pope were to act in
the spirit of Obama

Joseph O’Leary has posted an article by renowned Catholic theologian and author Hans Küng (pictured at right). It’s an article that has the intriguing title, “If Obama Were Pope.” I’m not sure were this article was originally published, but it can be read in its entirety, here, on Joseph’s site.

Following is an excerpt:

Whereas President Obama, with the support of the whole world, is looking forwards and is open to people and to the future, [Pope Benedict XVI] is orientating himself above all backwards, inspired by the ideal of the mediaeval church, skeptical about the Reformation, ambiguous about modern rights of freedom.

Whereas President Obama is concerned for new cooperation with partners and allies Pope Benedict XVI, like George W. Bush, is trapped in thinking in terms of friend and foe. He snubs fellow Christians in the Protestant churches by refusing to recognize these communities as churches. The dialogue with Muslims has not got beyond a lip confession of ‘dialogue’. Relations with Judaism must be said to have been deeply damaged.

Whereas President Obama radiates hope, promotes civic activities and calls for a new ‘era of responsibility’, Pope Benedict is imprisoned in his fears and wants to limit human freedom as far as possible, in order to establish an ‘age of restoration’.

Whereas President Obama is going on the offensive by using the constitution and the great tradition of his country as the basis for bold steps in reform, Pope Benedict is interpreting the decrees of the 1962 Reform Council in a backward direction, looking towards the conservative Council of 1870.

Thankfully, Küng just doesn’t highlight what he sees as the negative aspects of Benedict’s papacy (one that he compares to the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush), but also offers a number of proactive measures that the pope, acting in “the spirit of Obama,” could take in order to adopt a much needed “change of course.”

To read Hans Küng’s “If Obama Were Pope” in its entirety, click here.

Recommended Off-site Link:
“It’s Up to the Pope to Apologize” - An Interview with Hans Küng -, February 6, 2009.

For more of Hans Küng at The Wild Reed, see:
Hans Küng: Still Speaking from the Heart of the Church
In Search of a “Global Ethic”
Casanova-inspired Reflections on Papal Power – at 30,000 Ft.
Thoughts on Ordination, Intellectual Dishonesty, and the Holy Spirit of which the Prophet Joel Speaks

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Benedict’s Understanding of the Church
“A Cultic, Fundamentalist Hue”
“The Real Battle”
The Pope’s “Scandalous” Stance on Homosexuality
Beyond Papalism
Thoughts on Authority and Fidelity
It’s Time We Evolved Beyond Theological Imperialism
“Uncle Vince” Is At It Again!
Beyond a PC Pope
Genuine Authority
A Catholic’s Prayer for His Fellow Pilgrim, Benedict XVI

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