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Desperate Buzzing from Dying Bees

(More on Hans Küng’s Open Letter to Catholic Bishops)


Brian M. McCall

Remnant Columnist, Oklahoma

Hans Küng: Poster Boy for an

Obsolete Revolution
(Posted 05/10/10 As autumn approaches and the natural instinct of bees tells them they have not long to live, they become more vicious and will attack with less provocation.  With the pontificate of Benedict XVI we have seen some signs that the deadly “Springtime” of Vatican II might be drawing to a close. 

The long hot summer is certainly not over but the dog days of Modernism appear to be at hand.  Like the bees, then, the Modernist insects that have been swarming since the false Spring have begun to sense their mortality.  They still dominate the hive, of course, but seem to recognize their hour is at hand.  They are lashing out in desperation. 

A prime example of this occurred on April 16, 2010, when the notorious Modernist Professor of Ecumenical [i.e. not Catholic] Theology, Hans Küng, fired off a ranting open letter to the bishops of the world.  It reads like a call to arms to a dying revolution. 

Who are the beekeepers approaching to clear the hives?  Early in the letter Küng identifies two of them: The Mass of All Ages and the Society of St. Pius X. He laments the fact that “the pope has reintroduced into the liturgy a preconciliar prayer for the enlightenment of the Jews, he has taken notoriously anti-Semitic and schismatic bishops back into communion with the church.” 

Aside from offering blatant calumny, Küng also catches himself in a moment of honesty. The dissident Modernist is more honest about the situation than the bishops to whom he is writing. Despite Pope Benedict’s January 2009 decree nullifying the unjust decrees of excommunication against the SSPX bishops—as well as the Society being invited to participate in theological discussions with the Holy See on the orthodoxy of Vatican II, and even Society priests being permitted to offer Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica—many bishops still beat the old drum that the Society is not “in communion” with the Church.  Küng, on the other hand, chastises the Pope precisely for bringing the SSPX into communion. 

Truth is stranger than fiction. 

Küng’s position offers further proof of the unjust way in which disciplinary measures have been exacted in the post-Vatican II Church.  The bishops and priests of the Society of St. Pius X—men who’ve affirmed every article of the Faith and been willing to suffer persecution for doing so—are still denied the overt legal status of written faculties and need to function in the world of supplied jurisdiction. Yet, Küng, a man who has denied too many articles of Faith to count, remains to this day “a professor of ecumenical theology and a Catholic priest in good standing”[1]  Even the Vatican of Paul VI, infatuated as it was with the novelties of Küng’s teaching, recognized that he had denied the Faith.  What did they do about it?

A few years after “suspending” Archbishop Lefebvre for refusing to deny the Faith (and for refusing to abandon the Mass we know now had “never been abrogated”) they merely withdrew Küng’s permission to teach in a Catholic faculty.

That’s it!  

To this day, Küng laughs it off: “Notwithstanding, I retained my chair and my institute (which was separated from the Catholic faculty) [and] . . . to the present day I have remained professor of ecumenical theology and a Catholic priest in good standing.”[2]  More recently, however, the dissident theologian has begun attempting to rally the dying generation of liberals that currently occupy the Episcopacy. Why? Largely it would seem because his old colleague at the University, the Pope, is making gestures to undue the injustice done to Archbishop Lefebvre.  For Küng these gestures constitute signs that the days of conciliar “springtime” may be numbered.  He is panicking because almost fifty years after he and his Modernist cronies from the Rhinelander began dumping their toxic waste into the Tiber, there is some scrutiny of their agenda now being proposed in Rome and in light of pre-conciliar teaching.  The freeing of the Mass of All Ages from the conditions of the “indult” and similar efforts are quite obviously threatening to derail the Revolution.  

In his letter to the world’s bishops, Küng laments that “Missed is the opportunity to make the spirit of the Second Vatican Council the compass for the whole Catholic Church, including the Vatican itself.”  Rome and the bishops he writes to are a long way from making Tradition once again the compass of the Church but they have at least begun to acknowledge (or at least tolerate the argument) that the “spirit of Vatican II” is a compass that spins like one caught in a magnetic field rather than as a sure guide to our destination. 

Proof of the folly of the direction chartered by this broken compass is offered by none other than Küng himself.  In his April letter he condemns the entire Vatican II experiment with facts well known to Traditionalists:

·         “Pope Benedict XVI seems to be increasingly cut off from the vast majority of church members who pay less and less heed to Rome and, at best, identify themselves only with their local parish and bishop.”

·         Benedict has “failed to influence the opinions of most Catholics on controversial issues. This is especially true regarding matters of sexual morality.”

·         The “papal youth meetings, attended above all by conservative-charismatic groups, have failed to hold back the steady drain of those leaving the church or to attract more vocations to the priesthood.”

·         “Tens of thousands of priests have resigned their office since the Second Vatican Council. Vocations to the priesthood, but also to religious orders, sisterhoods and lay brotherhoods are down – not just quantitatively but qualitatively.”

·         “Resignation and frustration are spreading rapidly among both the clergy and the active laity.  Many feel that they have been left in the lurch with their personal needs, and many are in deep distress over the state of the church.”

·         Diocese all over are witnessing “increasingly empty churches, empty seminaries and empty rectories”

·         “In many countries, due to the lack of priests, more and more parishes are being merged, often against the will of their members, into ever larger ‘pastoral units,’ in which the few surviving pastors are completely overtaxed.”

·         There is “a scandal crying out to heaven – the revelation of the clerical abuse of thousands of children and adolescents.”  

·         The “handling of these cases has given rise to an unprecedented leadership crisis and a collapse of trust in church leadership.”

These indicators of a massive crisis—rather than renewal!—in the Church could have been cited by Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop Fellay, Michael Davies, Michael Matt or Christopher Ferrara.  Yet, they come from one who himself injected the Modernist poison into the lifeblood of the Church. 

Küng pens a conclusion that all Traditionalists would endorse: “This is Church reform in pretense rather than in fact!”  He asks the bishops to “face up to the question: What will happen to our church and to your diocese in the future?”

Remembering that Modernism is the marriage of contradictions, truth and error, Küng shows he is still a card-carrying Modernist. Having truthfully identified the symptoms of a severe crisis in the Church, he prescribes as a cure more of the same.  He offers a six-point plan to solve the crisis, and here is my summary of his plan:

1.      Join the media frenzy attacking the Holy Father.  Stop defending the Pope and join the secular enemies of the Church in full public attack mode. 

2.      Support local acts of disobedience. This technique worked throughout the early days of the Revolution. They just started giving communion in the hand and eventually the disobedience was legalized. 

3.      Band together and collegially disobey the Pope when he will not allow radical liberal changes. 

4.      Pressure the Pope for more Vatican II-like changes. Küng reminds the bishops how successful this tactic was in the past.  “The use of the vernacular in the liturgy, the changes in the regulations governing mixed marriages, the affirmation of tolerance, democracy and human rights, the opening up of an ecumenical approach, and the many other reforms of Vatican II were only achieved because of tenacious pressure from below.”

5.      When the Vatican thwarts more revolutionary changes get together with other bishops and make up your own rules.  Specifically, he says when a priest decides he wants to get married (i.e. like Martin Luther) and break the “rule of celibacy, which was inherited from the Middle Ages” don’t make him resign his office. He won’t have to quit if “his bishop and his parish stand behind him.” Just let the partner move into the rectory.

6.      Call for a Third Vatican Council. He reminds the bishops: “Just as the achievement of liturgical reform, religious freedom, ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue required an ecumenical council” so now a council is needed to save these viruses from falling into the oblivion they deserve.  It worked for Kung fifty years ago, so why not breathe new life into the putrid Springtime by doing it all over again?  When the sensus Catholicus finally alerts the few remaining Catholics to the new hoodwink being pulled by the subversives, make use of the same old technique: subterfuge a council.  They will never expect the same thing twice!

In essence, Küng’s plan is a new “Tennis Court Oath” designed to stay the course until the Reign of Terror is complete: Resist the Holy Father in whatever efforts he makes to acknowledge the real causes of the crisis Küng readily admits exists.   His call to arms reads like a doctor diagnosing a patient with malaria who then prescribes an injection of more live malaria to cure him.  The fact is that Küng is panicking.  He sees the writing on the wall.  The game is up.  Even his old liberal colleague at the University and the Council, Joseph Ratzinger, is beginning to admit that maybe Pope Pius XII prescribed the cure before the disease had even fully manifested itself. Restoration of Tradition! Here is the prediction Pius XII made when Küng was a boy in lederhosen, too young to yodel:

I am concerned about the confidences of the Virgin to the little Lucia of Fatima. The persistence of the Good Lady in face of the danger that threatens the Church is a divine warning against the suicide that the modification of the Faith, liturgy, theology, and soul of the Church would represent.

I hear around me partisans of novelties who want to demolish the Holy Sanctuary, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her adornments, and make her remorseful for her historical past. Well, my dear friend, I am convinced that the Church of Peter must affirm her past, or else she will dig her own tomb.”[3]

Küng is afraid that in the wake of the Vatican/SSPX doctrinal discussions and the over 19 million rosaries offered for the fulfillment of the request to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Church might actually stop digging her own grave with the shovel of Vatican II.   His panic should reinvigorate our own adherence to Tradition.  His attempt to rally the few remaining true believers is a sign that the old bees of Modernism are buzzing their last.  Let us be encouraged by this, and let us stay the course.

[1] Küng, The Catholic Church: A Short History (2002), Introduction, p. xviii:

[2] Id.

[3] Georges Roche & Philippe Saint Germain, Pie XII devant l'Histoire, Paris: Robert Lafont, 1972, p. 52-53.

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