Der Spiegel interviewed Hans Küng, who continued his criticism of the way the Church is being governed and what he thinks is the resulting decline of the Church in Germany.. He thinks it is being recentralized in the Curia at the expense of the bishops, but Der Spiegel pointed out

You don’t just want to reduce the power of the pope. You are also calling for an end to celibacy, you want women to be ordained as priests and you want the Church to lift its ban on birth control. Catholics loyal to the pope say that these elements are part of the core values of the Catholic Church. If you peel all of this away, how much of the Church is left?

Whatever the merits of these proposals, clearly adopting them would not stem the decline of the Church in developed countries. The Evangelical Church, the Anglican Church, and the Episcopal Church have all these and are in massive decline. Moreover, adopting them would alienate Catholics who have tried to remain faithful to Church teaching.

King looks like he is mired in the past and is fighting the battles of his youth, a common failing as people age. My late father-in-law could never be convinced that Communism had indeed fallen in eastern Europe.

The same criticism could be made of Benedict, with his focus on Nazism and Communism. However, it would be unseemly to say the least, of a German pope to ignore the phenomnenon of Nazism. Benedict, unlike Küng, shows that he is aware of changes in the world situation. He pointed out to the Lutherans that the traditional churches were faced with erosion of two fronts: on one hand, to secularization which disregards all religion, and on the other hand to charismatic movements which are weak on institutions and rational inquiry.

The pope said this common witness of the Gospel has been made more difficult by the rise of fundamentalist Christian groups that are spreading with “overpowering missionary dynamism, sometimes in frightening ways,” leaving mainstream Christian denominations at a loss.

“This is a form of Christianity with little institutional depth, little rationality and even less dogmatic content, and little stability. This worldwide phenomenon poses a question to us all: What is this new form of Christianity saying to us — for better and for worse?” he said.

Kung and most progressives ignore this religious phenomenon: it does not fit in with their ideas that the Church must be adopted to the modern world, the modern world consisting almost exclusively of academic central European types.

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