VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 26, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is the press statement issued today by Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls on last Saturday’s conversation between Benedict XVI and professor Hans Küng.
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On Saturday, September 24, a conversation took place between His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and Professor Hans Küng (Tuebingen). The meeting unfolded in a friendly atmosphere.
Both agreed that it made no sense, in the framework of the meeting, to enter into a dispute on the persistent doctrinal differences between Hans Küng and the magisterium of the Catholic Church.
The conversation was centered, therefore, on two topics which are of particular interest for Hans Küng’s recent work: the question of the world ethic “Weltethos” (world ethic) and the dialogue of the reason of the natural sciences with the reason of the Christian faith.
Professor Küng emphasized that his world ethics project is far from being an abstract intellectual construct; but that it manifests the values on which the great religions of the world converge, despite all the differences, and which can be perceived as valid criteria — given their convincing reasonable character — by secular reason.
The Pope appreciated Professor Küng’s effort to contribute to a renewed recognition of the essential values of humanity through the dialogue of religions and the meeting with secular reason. He underlined that the commitment for a renewed awareness of the fundamental values of human life is also an important objective of his pontificate.
At the same time, the Pope reaffirmed his agreement with Professor Küng’s intention to revive the dialogue between faith and the natural sciences and to assert, in relation with scientific thought, the sensibleness and the necessity of the question on God (“Gottesfrage”).
For his part, Professor Küng applauded the Pope’s efforts to foster the dialogue of religions and also the meeting with different social groups of the modern world.
[Translation of German original by ZENIT]