The Common Good

Open Letter from Hans Kung to Catholic Bishops

We wanted to make sure that folks saw this letter that circulated in the Irish Times. Hans Kung and Joseph Ratzinger were classmates during their studies at Tubingen, and they were of the youngest members of the clergy present at the Second Vatican Council. This letter not only addresses ongoing conversations between the Catholic Church, other Christian denominations, and the other Abrahamic faiths, but he also pays much-needed attention to the internal conversations that the Vatican's response to the sexual abuse of children has provoked. Kung also presents action steps for consideration toward the end of his letter:

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Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

1. Do not keep silent: By keeping silent in the face of so many serious grievances, you taint yourselves with guilt. When you feel that certain laws, directives and measures are counterproductive, you should say this in public. Send Rome not professions of your devotion, but rather calls for reform!

2. Set about reform: Too many in the church and in the episcopate complain about Rome, but do nothing themselves. When people no longer attend church in a diocese, when the ministry bears little fruit, when the public is kept in ignorance about the needs of the world, when ecumenical co-operation is reduced to a minimum, then the blame cannot simply be shoved off on Rome. Whether bishop, priest, layman or laywoman

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