A Critical Study of Hans Küng's Ecclesiology: From by Corneliu C. Simut

By Corneliu C. Simut

The book presents the transition from traditionalism to modernism in connection to 2 of Küng’s most vital books on ecclesiology: Structures of the Church (1962) as representing Küng’s conventional theology, and On Being a Christian (1974) as a mirrored image of his glossy method of Christianity.

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Extra info for A Critical Study of Hans Küng's Ecclesiology: From Traditionalism to Modernism

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In other words, the Roman-Catholic Church introduces new elements that were neither instituted by Christ nor promoted by the apostolic church. The list includes theological books that recommended various things that have never been part of the apostolic church: absolution by means of good deeds, the practice of issuing and selling indulgences, the sanctification of water for liturgical purposes, the pursuing of pilgrimages to so-called holy places, the establishment of ecclesiastical brotherhoods (probably a reference to monastic orders, although not clearly stated), the reinterpretation of the Lord’s Supper as priestly sacrifice, the application of the power of the keys in secular issues such as deposition of kings and other secular offices, the insertion of human elements (no details offered by Küng) in sermons (thereby falsifying them), the establishment of papacy The Apostolicity of the Church ● 37 as ecclesiastical office, the worship of the saints that is paralleled with idolatry, the depreciation of marriage by forbidding it to the ministers of the church, the use of war for pursuing the so-called purposes of the church, the high-esteem offered to the doctrine of purgatory, and the veneration of relics.

In Küng’s words: The saints of the church, and all her members should be saints, are not self-made saints. They are called to be saints . . 33 Küng advocates here a theology of the presence of God and of the personal relationship to God 34 due to the personhood of our God 35 and through the work of the Holy Spirit, 36 which strengthens the pneumatological dimension of both immanent and transcendent dimensions of the holiness of the church. Holiness, however, is not a static reality of the church.

62 The church is essentially a community of people who share the same faith, and this reality should push the church toward being constantly open and receptive to the problems of the world. Actually, the church does not exist only to support the world in trying to solve its problems, so the duty of the church to be open to the world should not be restricted to social assistance or anything similar. On the contrary, the church exists in the world 63 because it has to take the message of Christ to the world in view of the salvation of the entire humanity.

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