“It would be a bad generalization to place the whole clergy and Catholic Church under suspicion,” the Roman Catholic priest was quoted as saying in a recent interview with The European, a Berlin-based online news service.
The Swiss-born theologian was speaking two weeks after criticizing the Pope in an “open letter” to Roman Catholic bishops worldwide in which he said Benedict’s papacy had “failed.”
In the letter, Küng said there had been a “worldwide system of covering up cases of sexual crimes” by clergy by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, before he became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
In his interview, Küng said it would be “totally inadmissible” to compare Benedict XVI with “immoral and criminal” popes in history.
The Pope and I are united on the relationship between reason and science, the necessity of dialogue between religions and the need for worldwide ethics, even if my hopes of a reformist course have not been fulfilled,” Küng said.