In recent years, the Catholic Church has been hit by a series of scandals, the likes of which haven’t been seen for centuries. The damage done has been so great that it’s overshadowed genuine Catholic accomplishments in education, charitable endeavours, interfaith relations and peacemaking.
As the number of scandals has increased, so too have cries for reform. Among the latest to add his voice is Hans Küng, the controversial Swiss theologian. Now 85, Küng was once a highly regarded Church scholar, serving as a young theological adviser at Vatican II (1962–5). But after his assault on numerous Catholic teachings, particularly the (widely misunderstood) doctrine of papal infallibility, he fell out of favour in Rome. In 1979, the Vatican withdrew his licence to teach Catholic theology.
Küng remains popular with Catholic dissenters, however (not to mention secular critics of the Church), as demonstrated by his many awards, writings and speaking engagements. His latest book, Can We Save the Catholic Church?, is sure to light their fires, especially with the election of a new and reform-minded leader,