Infallibility? Hans Küng appeals to Pope Francis

Mar 11, 2016 | 3 comments


With his 88th birthday looming, the renowned Catholic theologian Hans Küng appeals to Pope Francis to remove what he sees as a serious roadblock to theology.

The fifth volume of Küng’s complete works, titled Infallibility, is to be released soon by the German publishing house Herder.  Küng has written an “urgent appeal to Pope Francis to permit an open and impartial discussion on infallibility of pope and bishops.”

“… I would not like to raise the hopes of many in our church unrealistically. The question of infallibility cannot be solved overnight in our church. Fortunately, you (Pope Francis) are almost 10 years younger than I am and will hopefully survive me. You will, moreover, surely understand that as a theologian at the end of his days, buoyed by deep affection for you and your pastoral work, I wanted to convey this request to you in time for a free and serious discussion of infallibility that is well-substantiated in the volume at hand: non in destructionem, sed in aedificationem ecclesiae, ‘not in order to destroy but to build up the church.’ For me personally, this would be the fulfillment of a hope I have never given up.”

For Hans Küng’s complete NCR article, click here.


  1. Nessan Vaughan

    Hans Kung continues to inspire me. His book, published in the early 1970s, ‘On Being a Christian’, opened my mind to the uniqueness of Christ, to his radical nature and to his identification with humans in all our weaknesses and gifts. Kung’s Memoirs are also fascinating and insightful.
    While not being optimistic that his plea concerning Infallibility will be acted upon, I enthusiastically support his stance in this regard.
    Finally, the withdrawal of his licence to teach as a Catholic theologian, which is still in force, constitutes a grave scandal, in my view.
    Nessan Vaughan

  2. Maria Luisa Sarda

    Nessan Vaughan says “it is a scandal that Kung can not be teaching theology”. I must confess that over the years, the Spanish Catholic church has lost many good priests for the very same reasons:
    1/ Lack of understanding of the real world.
    2/ Trying to live many centuries behind.
    3/Not practising what they preach.
    The list is one mile long.
    I trust many cathlics will read this article and will take the time and trouble to write to Pope Francis asking to move forward with the necessary changes we catholics DESERVE!

  3. Sean O'Conaill

    Welcome indeed, Maria Luisa. Your list of ills strikes a chord here, I must say. Let’s hope that the Pope Francis style of leadership becomes embedded, and that bishops everywhere, including Ireland and Spain, will respond with more enthusiasm than they have mostly shown so far. Do you see any signs of that in Spain?



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