On April 6th, at the age of 93, Father Hans Kung went to meet his God, along with the Christ he didn’t seem to believe was God – he’s in for a surprise on that one. Kung was a contemporary, and sometime friend and colleague, of Father Josef Ratzinger (who turned 94 on April 16th). Kung was a controversial figure. Ordained in the 1950’s, he soon adopted the progressive, reforming stance that was so influential in those pre-conciliar years. As Father Raymond de Souza points out, young Father Ratzinger – both he and Kung were in their thirties during those heady Conciliar years, oh, to be young was very bliss! – was also a reformer, but one who stayed within the Church’s Tradition. Kung, on the other hand, drifted, dissenting on just about every issue of Catholic doctrine, from the divine consubstantiality of the Son (see above), to reserving priestly ordination to men, to just about every tenet of sexual ethics. Kung had his licence to teach theology revoked by the authority of Pope John Paul II in 1978, just after his election, for his denial, of all things, of the doctrine of papal infallibility. Still, Father Kung – for he was and is a priest forever – still taught, wrote, and spoke right up to the eve of his eternal judgement. I hope he sought the mercy of the God whose truth he so distorted, but perhaps, just maybe, that truth became clearer in those last moments, and, like Dysmas, sought the mercy of that same God, whose only limit is our own refusal to receive it.
And while on dissenters, Erin O’Toole, erstwhile leader of the ‘Conservative’ Party of Canada, has announced he will vote against the ban on sex-selective abortion – the practice of murdering an unborn child just because he, or most often she, is of the wrong ‘sex’, or, as people incorrectly put it nowadays, ‘gender’. Certain, ahem, cultures see babies of the fairer sex as a disposable burden, and not a blessing. O’Toole is maintaining this death sentence because, in his own words, he is ‘pro-choice’. Well, well…What is one to say?
Mr. O’Toole would do well to peruse the same Pope Saint John Paul II makes clear in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, on the sanctity of human life:
The legal toleration of abortion or of euthanasia can in no way claim to be based on respect for the conscience of others, precisely because society has the right and the duty to protect itself against the abuses which can occur in the name of conscience and under the pretext of freedom. (E.V., 71)
As the Holy Father continues:
In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to “take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it“. (72) Even more, there is an obligation, and a grave one at that, to oppose such laws (73).
So the ‘Conservative’ party continues its decline into desuetude and irrelevance, as Liberal-lite. O’Toole’s pro-abortion stance is a disgrace to his noble Irish lineage, and to the name he shares with a great saint, Lawrence O’Toole, the former bishop of Dublin in the 12th century, who stood firmly against state intrusion into the Church and morality. There is a church named after Saint Lawrence in the town in which I live, and I will make a point to pray for his distant relative as I pass by.
And we will have more to say on the Great Dissenter, our benighted Prime Minister, Trudeau, as he and his ‘Liberals’ (what’s with all these false titles?) continue to ram evil laws down our gullets. His insouciant grin is taking on a rather sinister quality of late.
Three dissenters have done and are doing much damage to Christ’s Church, along with the society which depends on the Church’s truth and doctrine (whether said society is aware of this or not). Might our bishops, stewards of the ‘pillar and bulwark of truth’, begin to act more forcefully, as befits good shepherds, to bring these Catholics to toe the line at least of basic orthodoxy, orthopraxy, or just common, moral sense? Well, Kung has had his opportunity, but the other two still have time to ‘see the truth’, before they meet the Christ they so misunderstand, and misconstrue. They should take to heart the warning of Pope John Paul towards the end of his encyclical, that the rejection of human life, in whatever form that rejection takes, is really a rejection of Christ.
We can only pray, with the same Christ, that they know not what they do. For Christ’s warning that those who refuse to know and confess Him and His truth, He Himself will deny. I know you not. And after that, there is no more time, nor opportunity, for mercy.