I. Hans Küng is an interesting fellow or, to be more precise, priest. You can't tell that by looking at him since he's always sporting Emporio Armani menswear. But neither does Ron Rolheiser outfit in clerics, and neither do both adjoin "Fr." to their names when formally presenting themselves in the public square, so I guess it's okay. Priests have to nondescriptly blend in these days. Well, at least those whose lifeblood flows solely from wellsprings of Vatican II. And it was from these nourishing waters that burst forth King Küng the megastar theologian and, soonafter, mega-heretic. Though the proper term is heresiarch, given his international apostatic following. You see, something strange happened to Hans whilst on the way to the forum. Being a peritus superstar must have really gotten to his head. Reportedly, during the Council he cruised around Rome in a red Mercedes convertible to showcase his awesomeness. Sophia Loren was also a hot number at the time so, logically, it wouldn't be outside the realm of reasonableness to wonder if together they did the Via Veneto thing or, perhaps, dined somewhere on the Mediterranean coast, dancing the night away to catchy Bob Azzam diddies...
Oh dear, that video shows Azzam to be a dead ringer for the young Hans.
II. Granted, conjecture in that last sentence there is, though what's not conjectural is that, as the groovy 1970s came along, it was very apparent that Küng was going to be one big pain in the ass. This became altogether manifest upon the 1974 publication of his book On Being a Christian which, until very very recently, was distributed by Novalis, Canada's allegedly "Catholic" publisher - but more on that later. It's a monster book, over 700 pages, and I'm ashamed to say once upon a time yours truly purchased it in softcover form. Don't know why, maybe it was the mesmerizing pasty yellow cover. Mod 70s cheese does have that je ne sais quoi appeal, albeit a shallow appeal, although one need not have the intellectual profundity of a peritus to understand that, in On Being a Christian, including his Infallible: An Inquiry?, Küng was attacking not just papal infallibility, but also the Church as an institution, Christ's divinity and bodily resurrection, Gospel miracles, and the Mass as the representation of Christ's crucifixion. That's pretty wicked stuff for a Catholic priest to do, especially a famous one and, indeed, the controversy surrounding OBC made international press in the few years following its publication.
III. By 1979 Rome was evidently fuming over all of the shenanigans, so the CDF clipped off Han's wings: his opinions "opposed in different degrees to the doctrine of the Church which must be held by all the faithful ...departed from the integral truth of Catholic faith, and therefore he can no longer be considered a Catholic theologian nor function as such in a teaching role". Just afterward Küng called a certain Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, an academic colleague, the "regressive grand inquisitor of the post-Vatican Council period". Obviously, the Tübingen Tornado was smarting from the Declaration. Now you'd think that such a severe penalty would prompt the Küngmeister into some mode of quiet reflection, a time of seclusion to re-evaluate, outside the spotlight, far away from the schmoozers and sycophants. You'd think... but nnnnnooooooooo. And you'd also think, given the Declaration, that Küng's worldwide adherents would reconsider his magnum opus haeresis... but nnnnnooooooooo. Signs of the times, baby! The smoke of Satan had, by 1979, thoroughly infiltrated the Vatican cracks and there was no way Hans and company was to submit to The Man. Excommunication, you say? Ha ha, we're talkin' about a bunch of scaredy cats, intimidated from going that far, plus those wolves within facilitating matters by wafting that satanic smoke throughout the loggia. Accordingly, the defiance remained unabated and they kept on truckin' as the years rolled along.
IV. By the 1990s delusions of grandeur had set in. It wasn't enough that Küng assailed foundational aspects of the Catholic Church; it wasn't enough that his acclaim within the intelligentsia assured widespread dissemination of dissent; it wasn't enough that, by the popularity of his heresies, scores of Catholics were hoodwinked, thus placing their souls in jeopardy. Küng wanted more. What, then, was to be done? Here's what: start your own religion. Hence in 1993 he conceived the "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic", presented in 1993 at the Parliament of the World's Religions. Today the Declaration (a retaliatory echo of the 1979 CDF Declaration against him?) forms the philosophical basis of the Global Ethic Foundation, to which Küng maintains the position of prez, or "Great Leader", which methinks is a more befitting title.
V. "No global order with a new global ethic!", proclaims DTGE. Humanity needs "a fundamental consensus on binding values, irrevocable standards, and personal attitudes", not a "global ideology" nor a "single unified religion". It's mindboggling how the concept of a "single unified religion" is negated while at the same time affirming a "global ethic... binding values, irrevocable standards". Same thing. Perhaps Küng the student missed that philosophy class on Aristotle's Principle of Contradiction. Catholicism is denatured, though the "Global Ethic", like all religions, is still a worldview, albeit democratized, which reflects a political ideology. Still, it's like that old time religion, only dressed up in quasi-secular humanist language. Which is why imprecise, impersonal abstractions like "Ultimate Reality" are substituted for God: "As religious and spiritual persons we base our lives on an Ultimate Reality and draw spiritual power and hope therefrom". Or, as Yoda would put it: "Mmmmmmmmm, may The Force be with you, Hans Solo... errrrr, Küng". DTGE presently has a few thousand of signatories from nearly 50 religions, including academic jet setters, UN/NGO conference mongers, CEOs, humanists, big media and human rights reps, including - check this out: "Billy R. Maynard, Theologian and Management Consultant". Now that's an interesting meal combo. Hold the cheese, please.
VI. Moving on to the new millennium, specifically the date April 19, 2005, when Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI and, likely, the day Küng went crackers. Critical mass reached. That must have enraged Hans, given not only their association during the Tübingen days, but also their parting of ways after Vatican II. Ratzinger went one way, along Orthodox Road, whereas Hans, driving his red Mercedes convertible, turned Left onto Heresy Drive. Just imagine the look on Küng's face when - with the bells of St. Peters piercingly chiming and the roaring crowds in the piazza - he saw on TV his arch-nemesis perambulate onto the gondola as el número uno católica. There was Pope Benedict XVI, successor of St. Peter, Holder of the Keys of Christ, Vicar of the 2-millenia-old One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church, with 1.2 billion members coming from every country, class, culture, ethnicity and race around the globe. And over there, perhaps at some posh pub in Zurich whilst nursing an Eichhof, was Hans Küng, President of the 2-decade-old Global Ethic Foundation, with maybe a few thousand elitist Eurotrash signatories. As Charlie Sheen so eloquently used to say: "winning".
VII. Anyway, Hans still wanted in on the action down Vatican way. So, evidently still having the clout, in September 2005 he requested a meeting with B16. The Pope kindly granted it. The meeting took place Castel Gandolfo whereat they reportedly discussed religion, ethics, science and secularization in Europe. Was the solicitation a sign of departure from past heretical conduct, a roundabout means of asking for forgiveness and a return to obedience? If you're an outlandish dreamer like me, then a smattering of hope for those there would have been. Alas, statements and actions in the months and years following the meeting were to demonstrate otherwise. For instance, in 2007 the scoundrel accepted an award from the German Freemasons. The Lodge has repeatedly been condemned by popes, for centuries, first with the papal bull In Eminenti by Clement XII in 1738. Catholics, let alone priests, are forbidden to join. Not that hard evidence exists for Hans' membership, but his congeniality with the Masonic bastards isn't sympatico with anything Catholic. Maybe he accepted the "culture award" as a retroactive tribute to Annibale "I'll see you in Iran" Bugnini, architect of the Novus Ordo, also suspected of Freemasonic association...
VIII. And things kept getting worse. Ever more so did Küng rage against the Holy Father with lies blatant and allegations unsupported. In 2009 he analogized Benedict's papal modus operandi with Communist Russia: "He has not traveled much. He's always remained closed in the Vatican - which is quite similar to how the Kremlin was at one time - where he is safe from criticism". In 2010: "there is no denying the fact that the worldwide system of covering up cases of sexual crimes committed by clerics was engineered by the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger". In 2011 Deutsche Presse reported him as saying it's a "duty" to reject the Magisterium. Oh, but, it gets better. Early last month, May 2012, he characterized the Catholic Church, under B16, as a "dictatorship", a "totalitarian system". And it was later in that same month when Küng ventured into the heart of Bizarroland. If the Catholic Church, via Pope Benedict, formally regularizes the SSPX then, said Küng, B16 surrenders his papacy, becomes a "schismatic", an anti-pope, the Chair of St. Peter is therefore empty. In a word, sedevacantism. Seriously, that wasn't enunciated by those crazy Dimond brothers at the "Most Holy Family Monastery" in Fillmore, New York, USA. It was expostulated by the Modernist heretic Father Hans Küng, hailing from Sursee Municipality, Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. Like this blogger suggested at the outset, the guy has gone crackers.
IX. Okay. Let's bring things back to the home front and evaluate matters within a Canadian context. Considering all of the abovementioned, especially the breathtaking crapology he's dished out since Benedict became pope, you'd think that our writers, publishers and distributors of Catholic news and info would be highly critical of Küng, indeed condemnatory, proscribing the dissemination of his books and other writings. You'd think... but nnnnnooooooooo. In fact, the inverse has occurred. Remember, we're talking about the leftist establishment who, for years, have fawned over Hans, a grovelling love affair reminiscent of a relationship between a human master and his obedient poodle, Mr. Schnookems. One instance: When Master Küng penned his "open letter" to the world's bishops in April 2010 - yet another assault on B16, Prairie Messenger editor Peter Novecosky, acting the poodle, was more than pleased to publish it in PM. The headliner: "Kung's open letter to bishops a significant contribution to discussion of difficult issues". Do you want a cookie, Mr. Schnookems? There ya go... Yet for the prime example of this betrayal of Canadian Catholics we turn our world-weary eyes to Novalis, hailing itself as "Canada's premier publisher of religious books, resources and periodicals". It also claims to be a Catholic publisher. About two years I wrote a detailed exposé on this criminal outfit. You can read all about it here. Nothing has changed since, including Hans Küng book sales. The aforesaid On Being a Christian is no longer presented in its online catalogue (one wonders why), though Novalis' current offering still includes his double volume memoirs My Struggle for Freedom and Disputed Truth, in both English and French. To be sure, so much does Novalis have a woody for Küng that (as SoCon or Bust discovered) it advertises his books on the back cover of its atrocious Prions en Église missalettes...
...which are freely available in churches throughout Quebec - an insidious tactic working to screw credulous pewsitters. Just lovely. And love it is that Novalis has for Küng. Its website considers him "one of the most important theologians of our time", "the voice of a prophet concerned for the future". Around the time of leaving his position as Editor of the Catholic Register and taking on a new gig as Novalis' Publishing Director, Joseph Sinasac gushed that "the church needs people like Kung even when they are wrong and disagreeable. Sometimes they can also be right". Well, it would be marvellous if a rationale was given as to why we "need" the likes of Küng and, moreover, a specific example of where he has been "right". Of course, neither was provided.
X. That's how apostasy works in Canada. It's soooooo... nonchalant, carefree, sometimes debonair. It's wrong, but who cares? Küng's heresy doesn't affect my life in a personal way. After all, we "need" him and, sometimes, he's "right". It matters not that we also publish heretics like Joan Chittister (notorious American heresiarchess), Mary Jo Leddy (ex-nun, founder of dissenting Catholic New Times), Gregory Baum (excommunicated Marxist priest) and Remi de Roo (Ennegram aficionado), the latter two being enablers of the Winnipeg Statement. Hell, we'll even publish A Black Theology of Liberation by James H. Cone. We at Novalis can only do so much. So, you see, these persons need their jobs as professional Catholics. They like the prestige and the TV interviews and to consort with all the trendy people at those Martini & Rossi galas. Speaking of galas, lookee what we have here...
Novalis Generously Co-sponsors Vatican II Conference with Saint Paul University
Novalis publisher Joe Sinasac presented to Dr. Catherine Clifford, Associate Professor of Theology, and Jean Pigeon, Director of Alumni and Development Office, a cheque for the upcoming fall conference at St. Paul University, "Vatican II: For the Next Generation," September 27-29, 2012. In addition to co-sponsoring the conference, Novalis will be featuring a number of its authors, including Meg Lavin (Vatican II: 50 Years of Evolution and Revolution in the Catholic Church) and Remi de Roo (Remi de Roo: Chronicles of a Vatican II Bishop).
XI. Now let's focus in on that embedded photograph. Do you see that cheque Mr. Sinasac is handing over to Professor Clifford? The amount is unknown to this writer, but it's safe to assume it to be hefty. It would have to be - big venue, big names, free booze, good times. Now the donation wouldn't be of concern to a plebeian like yours truly, but for a couple of qualifiers: if, firstly, Novalis was a publisher loyal to the Magisterium - which it categorically isn't, as indicated above, detailedly so in my analysis two years ago; and if, secondly, Novalis was a private company, wholly subsidized by its own products and sales, which it definitely ain't. A perusal of Novalis' homepage displays, down at the bottom right, the Canadian federal government identifier with this appended text: "We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund for business development activities". Time, therefore, for an internet search...
XII. Jumping on over to the Canadian Heritage webpage for CBF recipients we learn that, for the fiscal year 2010-2011, Les Éditions Novalis Inc. received $195,752 and Bayard Canada Livres Inc. got $80,873, coming to a grand total of $276,625. Given that Bayard acquired Novalis from St. Paul University in October 2008, and that it has marketed/distributed for Novalis since 2000, isn't it suspicion rousing that money is accrued by way of separate applications? You betchya. One entity, two applications. Why? Anyhow, it's not the government funding as such which is the problem (though it certainly has the potential to be). Even Catholic Insight magazine - thoroughly orthodox yet a smaller operation, gets some money from the feds via the Canada Periodical Fund. It received $23,635 for the fiscal year 2011-2012. Rather, the issue relates to how Canadian taxpayer-supplied funds are being spent within the Catholic milieu. As a Catholic, the fact that my tax dollars - however circuitously and miniscule - are being expended by Novalis to financially sponsor a Vatican II conference whereat heretical hippies will have the run of the show leaves me, to put it mildly, pissed.
XIII. But the crux of the treachery does not specifically involve money. Instead, it relates directly to the incestuous quid pro quo Bubbleworld of the Canadian Catholic establishment, populated by all manner of heretics, apostates, careerists, ladder climbers and other seekers of celebrity. St. Paul University used to own Novalis. Then Bayard acquired Novalis. Novalis/Bayard, portraying themselves as two distinct entities, apply to the feds for money. It gets the money, a quarter of a million dollars (and that's just one year). Then Novalis writes a cheque to St. Paul University for an upcoming conference, handing it over to its Vice Dean and Associate Professor of Theology at St. Paul University who, coincidentally, has a book published by Novalis. The money is then distributed in whatever way to aid conference participants, like Baum and De Roo, who, coincidentally, have books published by Novalis. Round and round we go. And don't you dare think occupiers of the echo chamber are exclusively from Catholic academia and publishing outlets. No way, José. The Catholic MSM, too, are residents of Bubbleworld. Cronyism is the order of the day. Moreover, failsafe mechanisms are emplaced so as to help any inhabitant of Bubbleworld should he go astray by doing something incredibly stupid in the public square.
XIV. A classic Canadian example was when in September 2009 the CEO of Salt+Light Media went ballistic during the Ted Kennedy funeral fiaso. Now I'm not going to rehash the affair save to make reference to aforesaid CEO's infamous blog post and his calumnious statements made against LifeSite News in the following weeks. Still, CEO's public image was marred, people's eyes were opened, angered at CEO, very much reflected in the com boxes of a Catholic World Report article on CEO written by Kathy Shaidle in April 2011. Interestingly, the comments - a disapproving plethora of them, have been deleted from the article as of the date of this post. "Showing 0 comments", says DISQUS. Failsafe, baby! Seemingly, CWR Editor Carl Olson is also resident of Bubbleworld. Geez, who woulda thunk?
XV. So, then, what to do about CEO's tarnished image? Simple: ring up John Allen, Jr. at the National Catholic Reporter. Like clockwork, Allen had a blog post out defending his "friend" within days of CEO's infamous blog post. But what's the payback? Scratch my back, will ya? Aforesaid CEO, a man on the rise, was happy to oblige. Indeed, so much love was in the air that Allen, just a few months after the controversy, garnered the opportunity to write an "exclusive" in Salt+Light's Lampstand magazine. To boot, a few months after that, he was invited to give the 2010 Kelly Lecture at the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto, with a most obsequious, Tiger Beat-sounding introduction by aforesaid CEO, including blog coverage and two television appearances. Round and round we go with a dash of quid pro quo... It's endemic, built into the system, been around for decades, and not just in Canada. Fr. Ray Blake in the U.K. characterizes these set-ups as the Magic Circle Syndrome:
The problem is the Magic Circle syndrome, like selecting like, faithful servants of national Churches appointing their faithful servants. It is indeed a circle, symbolised by the post-Concilliar stance at the liturgy, bishops, priests and people looking at one another celebrating, as if it is worth celebrating, their own community. It is self celebrating, self serving. It lacks the faculty of self criticism and self evaluation. Ultimately it lacks direction and vision and is incapable of redirecting itself. It is by its very nature conservative and illiberal and therefore intolerant of criticism. Like any self perpetuating group it easily becomes totalitarian and ultimately unjust.
1. As reported in G. Wiegel, "An Open Letter to Hans Küng", First Things, April 21, 2010.
2. See, for example, B. Hodiak, "German priest challenges divinity of Christ", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 11, 1978, vol. 51, no. 193, p. 24.
3. Declaration, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, December 15, 1979.
4. V. Foy, "Novalis, Küng and Truth", Catholic Insight, January 2009, vol. 17, no. 1.
5. See Declaration Toward a Global Ethic, Parliament of the World's Religions, Chicago, USA, September 4, 1993, pp. 5,6.
6. "Freemason award for Küng", The Tablet, May 26, 2007, p. 39.
7. J. Thavis, "Theologian's criticism of pope draws Vatican response", Catholic News Service, February 26, 2009.
8. H. Küng, "Church in worst credibility crisis since Reformation, theologian tells bishops", The Irish Times, April 16, 2010.
9. "Küng vergleicht Katholische Kirche mit totalitären Systemen", Frankfurter Neue Presse, May 10, 2012.
10. "Fremde Feder - Hans Küng: Papst provoziert Ungehorsam", Südwest Presse, May 23, 2012. Cf. also H. Küng, "Pope is provoking disobedience", The Tablet, May 24, 2012.
11. "Kung's open letter to bishops a significant contribution to discussion of difficult issues", Prairie Messenger, vol. 88, no. 7, July 14, 2010.
12. J. Sinasac, "Küng vs. the Vatican: Who Really Won?", Catholic Register, October 31, 2008.
13. Quoted in J. Hitchcock, "The Failure of Liberal Catholicism", Catholic World Report, May 31, 2011; and T.C. Fox, "Catholic theology must be grounded in lives of the faithful", National Catholic Reporter, June 12, 2010. H/T SoCon or Bust.
14. Bayard Canada, "Novalis moves from Saint Paul University to Bayard Canada", October 1, 2008. Bayard Canada is owned by the Augustinians of the Assumption (congregation based in Québec City). It is also a sister company of the multi-national Bayard France.
15. C.E. Clifford, F. Morrisey, P. Hurtubise, 25 Questions sur le pape (Montréal, QC: Novalis, 2009).
16. Blog post: T. Rosica, "Senator Edward Kennedy’s funeral: On mercy and misery", Salt + Light, September 3, 2009. Attacking LSN: J.H. Westen, "Salt and Light's Fr. Rosica says LifeSiteNews is doing the 'work of Satan'", LifeSite News, September 14, 2009.
17. K. Shaidle, "Like A Time-Release Capsule", Catholic World Report, April 28, 2011.
18. J.L. Allen, Jr., "Incivility hurts the pro–life cause", National Catholic Reporter, September 11, 2009.
19. J.L. Allen, Jr., "Benedict XVI as a Pope of Addition", Lampstand, April 2010, pp. 4-5.