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Hans Küng: Pope's priority is 'reform of the Curia'

Hans Küng: Pope's priority is 'reform of the Curia'
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To get some insight into what is ahead for the new pope, euronews spoke to the well-known theologian and church critic, Professor Hans Küng.

Rudi Herbert, euronews: “It was a giant media show in Rome, and the election was a surprise. But with his fragile health, isn’t he going to be just a transitional Pope?”

Hans Küng: “I am not worried about that. He is not going to be a transitional pope. John XXIII was only in office for five years and he changed the Church more than during the previous 500 years. The new pope has already shown that he can change the whole atmosphere just by his simple and sober appearance.”

euronews: “How should we interpret this election? Is Francis I going to be a pope for the poor? He comes from the continent with most Catholic believers and many social problems.”

Hans Küng: “He will certainly not give priority to the East/West problem like the last two popes. But rather to the North/South and all the problems of the world’s poor. This has lots of moral implications. Think of over-population, birth control, all this will be debated again.”

euronews: “What will be the new pope’s most urgent task? Clearing up the abuse-scandals? The so-called Vatileaks scandal?”

Hans Küng: “Indeed. The new pope is the only one with access to the secret report written by the three cardinals for his predecessor Pope Ratzinger. He will then realise who is not reliable in the Curia and what has happened. The most important mission is the reform of the Curia, a clear conception how the church should be led. It will be important to chose the right Secretary of State, not to just confirm the leaders of the Roman ministries, but to bring in competent people, so as to really reform the church. We need nothing more urgently than a reform of the Roman court, which must become a centre of the church, which must really function and not obstruct.”

euronews “How much church do people need nowadays? What is the Catholic Church in charge of today?”

Hans Küng: “A church can be a moral authority in the world if it is functioning correctly. But it must not allow Pharisaical (hypocritical censorious self-righteousness) behaviour nor point the moral finger. You have to be responsive to people’s hardships, show comprehension and also stand together with other Christian churches and world religions. It has to work for peace in the world. So there are huge tasks, and I really hope this pope will do more for the renewal of the church, more for Christian churches, more for peace and well being in the world than his two predecessors.”