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Tuesday, September 27, 2005


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)


VATICAN CITY, SEP 27, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI bid farewell to Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano (the diocese in which Castelgandolfo is located), to religious communities, civil authorities, and to the security personnel charged with protecting him during his stay in the town.

  "Before returning to the Vatican," said the Pope, "I feel the need to express my gratitude to those who, over these summer months, have welcomed me and striven to make my stay a peaceful one."

  The Holy Father then addressed a cordial greeting to the Christian community of Castelgandolfo and to the diocese of Albano, as well as to their respective religious communities, expressing the hope that "they always work together to spread the love and joy of Christ everywhere."

  The Pope thanked the mayor, representatives of the local authorities "and the civic community which I have felt so close over this period." He also recalled how "the traditional hospitality of the inhabitants of Castelgandolfo is well known."

  Finally, Benedict XVI addressed medical personnel and staff of the Vatican Governorate, members of the Italian forces of law and order, the Vatican Gendarmerie and the Pontifical Swiss Guard, who "have ensured me and my collaborators a peaceful and tranquil sojourn in this beautiful place."
AC/FAREWELL/CASTELGANDOLFO                    VIS 20050927 (230)

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