Dissident theologian Hans Kung calls on Pope to issue
By RICHARD OWEN - TIMESONLINE
Added: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 00:00:00 UTC
The dissident Swiss Catholic theologian Hans Kung has called on Pope Benedict XVI to issue a "mea culpa" for his part in "covering up decades of clerical sex abuse", both as an archbishop in Munich and as a cardinal in Rome.
Father Kung, who once taught theology alongside the future Pope at Tubingen in Germany, noted that Monsignor Robert Zollitsch, the head of the German bishops had apologised to sex abuse victims after meeting the Pope last week, saying that the pontiff was "shocked and deeply moved" by his account of cases in his native Germany.
Benedict is expected to sign a letter tomorrow to the faithful in Ireland after his talks with Irish bishops last month, when he described sex abuse as a grave sin and a "heinous crime".
However Father Kung said that bishops — including the pontiff himself — should not just seek forgiveness but "should finally acknowledge their own co-responsibility" in covering up "systematic abuses". He added: "Should not Pope Benedict XVI also assume his own responsibility, instead of complaining that there is a campaign against him?"
Writing in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Father Kung, President of the Global Ethic Foundation and professor emeritus at the University of TÃ¼bingen in Germany, noted that the Pope — the former Joseph Ratzinger — had taught theology for eight years at Regensburg, where he had been in close contact with his older brother Georg, who was choirmaster of the "Domspatzen" or "Cathedral Sparrows" in Regensburg.
Former Regensburg choirboys have come forward with allegations of sexual and physical abuse dating back decades after the growing crisis over paedophile priests spread to Germany in January this year.
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