When Fr. Hans Küng was declared by the Vatican not to be a Catholic theologian in 1979, Charles Curran, along with Leonard Swidler of Temple University and David Tracy of the University of Chicago put together a statement signed by more than 60 theologians saying that Hans Küng was a responsible Catholic theologian.
In March 1986, the Vatican declared that if Curran did not change his positions on accepting artificial contraception for spouses and other moral issues, he could not exercise the function of a Catholic theologian.
Küng contacted Curran to have lunch, a meeting that Curran says exceeded his expectations. Küng shared insights as the first contemporary Catholic theologian who had been declared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with the approval of the pope that he could no longer be considered a Catholic theologian.
"He was obviously deeply hurt by the action taken against him and commiserated with me, but he strongly urged me to continue my theological work," Curran writes. "There was a need for me to carry on my writing in moral theology and work for renewal in the church. He assured me I would find support from many others in the church despite the action taken against me by the pope. No one has written more on the church and the need for continual reform in the church than Küng, but he was not there to lecture or teach me, but only to assist me as I grappled with my future."
- Hans Küng died April 6 at his home in Tübingen, Germany, at age 93.
- NCR readers remember Küng in letters to the editor.
In the 2020 introductory letter to the U.S. bishops' document on "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," even before getting into which issue is preeminent or not, the second paragraph begins, "Everyone living in this country is called to participate in public life and contribute to the common good."
"Participation in public life can include running for office, advocating for issues, supporting candidates financially, volunteering for campaigns, or working in myriad fields that serve the public," NCR writes in our latest editorial. "But the most basic and universal way that nearly everyone or at least the largest possible number of Americans can participate in public life is by voting."
"So it should go without saying that anything that tries to limit a citizen's right to vote is contrary to Catholic teaching on faithful citizenship," we continue. "Except it doesn't go without saying. In fact, this nation is currently facing hundreds of state laws designed to put barriers in front of the ballot box."
- Conservative Catholic philanthropists and pro-life leaders are key players behind efforts that could obstruct the right to vote for economically marginalized populations and racial minorities for years to come.
- NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters says
that while there are some limited example of reparations that work,
such as recently done by the city of Evanston, Illinois, but for the
most part it's a problematic way to address racism in this country.
- NCR Young Voices columnist Rebecca Collins Jordan writes that Christ's resurrection is more than a symbol of faith; it's a model of rebirth for all of us.
- ICYMI: A former campus minister at Franciscan University of Steubenville has been charged with rape and sexual battery against an individual with mental illness placed under his care for mental health treatment.
- ICYMI: At Global Sisters Report, Daughter of Charity Sr. Carol Keehan told a World Health Day symposium that COVID-19 has exposed how unprepared the world is — even wealthy nations — to work together to stop an urgent crisis.