The headline "Vanishing certainties" in one of our leading national dailies caught my eye recently (it was in a political context) and that was my feeling after reading "On Being a Christian", reviewed in your columns a couple of months ago. I am not, of course, competent to judge whether Hans Kiing is right or wrong, but I did discern, from the book's 600 pages, that he has a great love and concern for Christ and his Church — more so, I suggest, than the curia prelate, who in reply to the author's remonstrance that Rome was not emulating Christ on some matter, said that in the Vatican they did not worry unduly about what he said and did — a statement at once so incredible and yet having the ring of truth bearing in mind the type of functionary who has a vested interest in maintaining the ecclesiastical status quo. It is not hard to see why Rome, which calls for his impeachment from time to time, is keen to silence Hans Ming, who calls into question teachings too numerous to list in the limited space available in your columns; and one wonders why the theologian stays in the Church, or even why he is allowed to, considering the way it has dealt with other recalcitrants in the past. Hans Kling gives the answer himself: the hope that through his efforts and those of others likeminded, changes may be brought about — slow though the process may be.
London, WC2. Maurice Mahoney