I am no fan of the German heterodox theologian Hans Küng, but I did want to make mention of his newly released appeal to Pope Francis to reexamine the question of infallibility, particularly papal infallibility. Since Opus Publicum draws a contingent of both Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic readers, I would be curious to know what they think of Küng’s appeal. Here is a brief excerpt:
It is hardly conceivable that Pope Francis would strive to define papal infallibility as Pius IX did with all the means at hand, whether good or less good, in the 19th century. It is also inconceivable that Francis would be interested in infallibly defining Marian dogmas as Pius XII did. It would, however, be far easier to imagine Pope Francis smilingly telling students, “Io non sono infallibile” — “I am not infallible” — as Pope John XXIII did in his time. When he saw how surprised the students were, John added, “I am only infallible when I speak ex cathedra, but that is something I will never do.”
Whether Catholics want to admit it or not, the question of infallibility will have to be examined in more detail going forward, not necessarily to upend or erase the dogma, but to further contextualize and clarify it in the light of 2,000 years of Church teaching and witness.