VATICAN CITY, SEP 27, 2005 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration to journalists yesterday afternoon:
"On Saturday, September 24, a discussion took place between His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and Professor Hans Kung of Tubingen, Germany. The meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere. Both sides agreed that it made no sense, in the context of the meeting, to enter into a dispute on the doctrinal questions that still persist between Hans Kung and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
"The discussion thus concentrated on two subjects that have lately had particular importance in Hans Kung's work: the question of 'Weltethos' (world ethics) and the dialogue between the reason of the natural sciences and the reason of Christian faith. Professor Kung emphasized that his project of 'Weltethos' is by no means an abstract intellectual construct, rather it throws light on the moral values around which the great religions of the world converge, despite all their differences, and which may be considered as valid criteria - given their convincing rationality - by secular reason.
"The Pope welcomed Professor Kung's efforts to contribute to a renewed recognition of the essential moral values of humanity through the dialogue of religions and in the encounter with secular reason. He stressed that the commitment to a renewed awareness of the values that sustain human life is also an important objective of his own pontificate.
"At the same time, the Pope reaffirmed his agreement with Professor Kung's attempt to revive the dialogue between faith and the natural sciences, and to assert the reasonableness of and need for 'Gottesfrage' (the question of God) to scientific thought. For his part, Professor Kung expressed his praise for the Pope's efforts in favor of dialogue between religions and towards meeting the different social groups of the modern world."
OP/MEETING HANS KUNG/NAVARRO-VALLS VIS 20050927 (320)