In the New York Times, Hans Küng, an embittered ex-Catholic theologian, criticized Pope Benedict XVI for having irritated “the Protestant churches, Jews, Muslims, the Indians of Latin America, women, reform-minded theologians and all pro-reform Catholics.” Küng blames then-Cardinal Ratzinger for hiding abuse cases, and cites “Vatileaks” as a problem. He claims two of the major scandals of Benedict XVI’s pontificate were to give “recognition” to the “Society of St. Pius X, which is bitterly opposed to the Second Vatican Council, as well as of a Holocaust denier, Bishop Richard Williamson.”
While some Protestant churches resented Benedict welcoming Anglicans into the Church; Küng overlooks the fact that they lobbied hard to join. Jews have warmly embraced the pope, though some were unhappy when the Latin Mass was being promoted. But as Rabbi Brad Hirschfield recently said, “It is unfair to complain about a text, which has its own parallels in Jewish liturgy….” Yes, there were Muslims who misunderstood the pope’s 2006 speech when he warned against severing the link between faith and reason; rioting and murder followed, unwittingly proving his point. In 2007, the pope didn’t win the plaudits of some Brazilian Indians when he criticized “the utopia of going back to breathe life into the pre-Columbus religions,” but he won points for being honest. Catholic women have embraced the pope, except those sharing the dissident views of “reformers.”
No one did a better job of rooting out the homosexual predators than Cardinal Ratzinger, and “Vatileaks” is a joke—every institution has leakers. The Society of St. Pius X hasn’t returned to full communion with Rome, and Bishop Williamson has been expelled. Didn’t Küng want the Vatican to go soft on dissidents?