April 1, 2011
Benedict XVI, Hans Küng and Fr. de Lubac
Is contemporary Europe a religiously-barren place? Maybe, maybe not. What is certain is that two books, written by two Catholic theologians, recently rocketed up Germany’s best-seller list. One of the theologians is Benedict XVI. The other is Fr. Hans Küng, whose text, Ist die Kirche noch zu retten? (Can the Church Still Be Saved?), was published the same week as volume two of Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth. In his Vatican II diaries, the great French theologian Henri de Lubac entered pithy observations about his two colleagues (as well as all those he encountered). Joseph Ratzinger is portrayed as one whose powerful intellect is matched by his “peacefulness” and “affability.” Hans Küng, by contrast, is denoted as possessing a “juvenile audacity” and speaking in “incendiary, superficial, and polemical” terms. Read this piece by Samuel Gregg, Research Director at the Acton Institute, to further explore the differences between the two theologians and their respective visions of the Church.