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Hans Küng says he is considering assisted suicide

October 03, 2013

The dissident theologian Hans Küng has revealed that he is considering assisted suicide.

Küng, who at the age of 85 is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, writes in a forthcoming memoir that he does not “want to live on as a shadow of myself.” Questioning whether he will be able to continue living with dignity, he writes: “A scholar who can no longer read and write—what’s next?”

Having argued that individuals have a right to choose death in the face of painful illness, he asks readers: “If I have to decide myself, please abide by my wish.”

A Swiss priest who served as a theological expert at Vatican II, Küng taught for years at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Because of his persistent criticism of Church teachings on a wide range of issues, in 1979 the Vatican decreed that Küng could no longer be considered a “Catholic” theologian. He has continued to press for change in the Catholic Church and has been a harsh critic of his former colleague, Pope Benedict XVI.


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  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 04, 2013 9:21 AM ET USA

    Pray for Kung. We can't judge those with a terminal disease until we have 'walked in their shoes".

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 04, 2013 7:18 AM ET USA

    Why does this not surprise me in the least?

  • Posted by: jimr451 - Oct. 04, 2013 7:00 AM ET USA

    Maybe he should follow the lead of his "former colleague" and devote his remaining days to prayer. In fact, some theologians might even argue that prayer is more valuable than "reading and writing." - His life has dignity and value, regardless of his physical afflictions. I pray he comes to realize that.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 03, 2013 6:20 PM ET USA

    As I recall Pope Benedict met with Hans Kung right after he was elected Pope. Kung has been a hero to the Left in the Church since Vatican II. I wonder if he will be meeting with Francis also.