Swiss-born theologian attacks papal authority in new book
Mar 9, 2011, 15:36 GMT
Tuebingen, Germany - Controversial Swiss-born Catholic theologian Hans Kueng on Wednesday launched a new book attacking papal authority and calling on rank-and-file Catholics to seize control of the church from its clerical masters.
The book Can the Church Still Be Saved? was set to go on sale in Germany Thursday, coinciding with the worldwide release of a book by Pope Benedict XVI titled Jesus of Nazareth - Part II.
Kueng, who has lived most of his life in Tuebingen, Germany, tangled with church authorities in the 1970s. His 1983 book Infallible? attacked the 1870 proclamation of papal infallibility. He was stripped of his licence to teach but remains a priest.
Speaking at the book launch in Tuebingen, Germany, Wednesday, the 82-year-old said Jesus Christ would not like today's Catholic Church.
'If Jesus of Nazareth returned, he would not prohibit contraceptives, he would not shut out divorced people, and so on, Kueng said.
He charged that the curia, or Vatican bureaucracy, had come up with a long series of rulings over the centuries that opposed the teachings laid down in the Christian New Testament.
He said Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II had reinforced this.
In the book, he argues that resistance to church doctrines that are 'obviously against the Gospels' is a duty.
Kueng said this included Catholic parishes insisting on keeping their priests after they marry, even if church law declares the man is no longer a priest. He said the church could only saved by the faithful taking over responsibility for their church.
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