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View Diary: A Vatican Spring? Hans Kung: The True Papabile (40 comments)

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  •  Kung was a hero of my college theology teachers (9+ / 0-)

    45 years ago, teachers who were, to say the least, not big fans of Herr Doctor Ratzinger.  

    One thing not emphasized in the diary.  It was the Council of Trent -- the font of the "Counter-Reformation" -- that froze the intellectual development of Catholic theology into its centuries-long medieval catatonia, whereas the pre-Reformation Church had usually been a lively arena for intellectual debate and progress (the occasional genocide against blatant heretics aside, of course).  Famously, the now semi-deified Thomism that still dominates the thinking of "traditional Catholics" (e.g., see the idiots on the Supreme Court or my brother's having to memorize Aquinas word-for-word in college in the late '50's) was originally extremely controversial and considered heretical by more than a few church authorities.     By the time of the Reformation, philosophers generally considered the previously revolutionary scholasticism a scelorotic, outmoded approach to philosophy; but since the Church identified newer approaches with the Reformation, the Church doubled down on the already 300-year old Thomist thinking and is still doing so another 450 years later (e.g., the "natural law" argument against "artificial" contraception.)

    It's the same refusal to admit a mistake and the resulting persistence in self-destructive policy that we see with today's economic "austerians" and that Barabara Tuchman identified as the source of so much folly in human history.  

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