Japan: Niwano peace prize awarded to Hans Küng

Source: FSSPX News


On February 22, the Niwano Foundation announced that its 22nd Peace Prize would be awarded this year to Hans Küng, aged 76, the director of the Foundation for Global Ethics in Switzerland and Germany. “Hans Küng has made a remarkable contribution to the construction of a climate favorable to dialogue and cooperation between the religions of the world, necessary, in my opinion, for the foundation of world peace,” said Nichiko Niwano, president of Rissho Kosei-kai, the Buddhist association which created the Foundation.

 The Lutheran bishop, Gunnar Staalsett of Oslo, member of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee and president of the international Committee of the Niwano Prize, affirmed on this occasion that “the scholarly contributions and the strategic mind of Hans Küng have encouraged religious leaders and citizens to build bridges in the service of humanity.”

 Among former prize winners are, Philip Potter, former secretary general of the Ecumenical Council of Churches; the Sant’Egidio Community, a Catholic spiritual and intellectual movement of lay people at the origin of interreligious meetings such as those at Assisi; the World Muslim Congress; the Corrymeela Community, which gathers together Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.

 The ceremony will take place in Tokyo, Japan, on May 11. Hans Küng will receive 20 million Yen (191,022 US$). Each year, the Niwo Foundation for Peace seeks candidates among intellectuals from all over the world. Some 1000 people and organizations, representing 125 countries and many religions, then propose the candidates. This year, the Committee in charge of choosing the winner was made up of nine religious leaders from different parts of the world, all of them within movements for peace and interreligious cooperation.

 Hans Küng is well known for his criticism of the papacy. In 1998 he accused the German bishops of “servile obedience” with regard to what he called the “Roman Kremlin”. While he was a professor at the Gregorian University in Rome and at the University of Tübingen in Germany, he was banned from teaching by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1979, because he had “deviated from the truth of the Catholic faith”.