The reactions of the ultra-progressives to the election of Benedict XVI

Source: FSSPX News

The dissident theologian of Swiss origin Hans Küng, has expressed strong criticism of the new pope. He feels that the choice of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger by the college of Cardinals was an “immense disappointment” for the countless faithful who were hoping for a pastoral and reforming pope.

 But we will have to wait and see, said the professor of Tübingen: because experience shows that the Petrine service in the Catholic Church is such a challenge that it can completely change a person. So, he notes, someone who entered as a progressive cardinal in the conclave can come out as a conservative pope, mentioning Cardinal Montini who became Paul VI. A contrario, someone who entered as a conservative cardinal, like Roncalli, came out as a progressive pope under the name of John XXIII. Therefore, in the opinion of this theologian, banned from teaching in 1979 by John Paul II, we have to give the new pope “a chance.” “Like a president of the United States, we have to give the new pope a hundred day’s grace, so that he can learn,” he declared. But the first signs are very telling. The appointments to the most important posts of the Curia, like the cardinal Secretary of State and the head of the congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will be determining factors for the future. Likewise for the inaugural speech of the pontificate, which will set the tone, as will his first encyclicals . According to Küng, the new pope will have to guarantee the equality of men and women at all levels of the Church and promote ecumenism.

 For another dissident, the German Eugen Dreuermann, banned from teaching in 1991, “it is to be feared that Ratzinger will continue to intensify the differences between the churches in the world and in Germany.” “It should be hoped that Ratzinger will start a reform of the counter-reform” which he has pursued under the pontificate of John Paul II, he declared to the paper Neue Westfaelische.

 Paul Collins, an historian of the Australian Church, who left the priesthood after criticism by the Holy See of his book Papal Power, had this to say: “What the church needs now is a genuine return to tradition, a pope who can recover legitimate approaches to church authority, which have been obscured by extreme interpretations of the definition of papal infallibility and primacy.”

 The Liberation theologian, Leonardo Boff, expressed his disappointment at the result of the conclave. “It is going to be difficult to like the new pope,” he told the Brazilian press. But as a Christian, he accepted and respected the cardinals’ decision. Leonardo Boff, who was called to order in 1985 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and its prefect Joseph Ratzinger, expressed the hope that Benedict XVI will have “his eyes turned more towards humanity and less towards the Church.” He also hoped that dialogue with other churches and with science would be intensified.