By Corneliu C. Simut
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Extra resources for A Critical Study of Hans Küng's Ecclesiology: From Traditionalism to Modernism
The Spirit of Jesus Christ can indeed be mistaken for the spirit of man. When this happens, human thoughts are held to be inspirations of the Holy Spirit, human ways are held to be His ways. It may occur then, and it does so time and again, that some enraptured “Illuminated One” believes himself moved by the Holy Spirit while in reality he is hearing nothing but the vocal manifestations of his own spirit. It is possible that even a church dignitary, particularly 32 ● Hans Küng’s Ecclesiology prone to that kind of temptation and danger, may consider his human impulses, thoughts, wishes, and dictates to be those of the Holy Spirit.
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.
For Küng, Christian churches find themselves in a very sad situation, which has been going on since ancient times. This consists of the fact that traditional Christian churches—Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant—have not always recognized the validity of their doctrines, traditions, and government. Actually, Küng attempts to go beyond ecumenicity as a concrete fact. Such a definition of ecumenicity—seen as concrete, visible fact—can only lead to an equally reductionist perspective on the catholicity of the church.
A Critical Study of Hans Küng's Ecclesiology: From Traditionalism to Modernism by Corneliu C. Simut