Catholic groups commend Pope Francis for responding affirmatively to Hans Kung’s request for dialogue, call for restoring Kung’s standing as a Catholic theologian and urge greater recognition for the pastoral role of theologians


April 28, 2016


Gloria Ulterino, RAPPORT, 585.455.0389 (c)

Janet Hauter, American Catholic Council, 847.366.2761

Bill Slavick, PAX Christi – Maine, 207.773.6562

In an open letter released today, US Catholic organizations commend Pope Francis for responding affirmatively to a request by Catholic theologian Hans Kung to dialogue and look to the day when Kung will be fully reinstated as a Catholic theologian.

“Now is the time to recognize and honor the contributions Hans Kung and all theologians make to the pastoral mission of the Church,” said Janet Hauter of the American Catholic Council. “We find hope in Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, for its emphasis on the formation and primacy of conscience and recognize that theologians have played a vital role in helping Catholics form their consciences and come to a fuller understanding of matters of faith.”

Bill Slavick of PAX Christi Maine said, “Attempting to silence or discredit professional theologians whose work encourages Catholics to engage more deeply with the issues is counter to the vision of Church presented by Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia.”

“By grappling with complex theological ideas and issues faithfully and honestly, theologians have been modeling the principles laid out in Amoris Laetitia for centuries. They ought to be thanked, not punished,” said Gloria Ulterino of RAPPORT.

In addition to calling for restoring Fr. Hans Kung’s status as a Catholic theologian, the letter also calls for a greater recognition of the work of theologians who have come under fire by the Vatican, including Charles Curran, Margaret Farley, Roger Haight, Elizabeth Johnson, the late Richard McBrien, Peter Phan, Ivone Gebara, and Leonardo Boff.

Organizational sponsors include American Catholic Council, Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church, Call To Action, Catholics for Choice, Chicago Women-Church, CORPUS, DignityUSA, FutureChurch, New Ways Ministry, Pax Christi Maine, RAPPORT, Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference, WATER, Women’s Ordination Conference.