Cooees always did enjoy a good doppelgänger. I wonder if our readers can spot the similarity between these two characters.

For we do indeed live in strange times! With the Australian Labor Party sending boatloads of assylum seekers back where they came from, Mr Rudd is beginning to look exactly like Mr Howard whom he so often criticised. And in the ecclesial world, that arch-doyen of liberal Catholicism, Father Hans Küng, is sounding disturbingly like Lucius Malfoy in the rhetoric he uses to criticise Pope Benedict’s ecumenical model of an inclusive Church.

In Harry Potter, the “pure blood” wizards want to expel those of “muggle” parentage from the wizarding world, derisively calling them “mud-bloods”. According to this CNS story, Fr Küng wants to preserve a similar pure “exclusivism” and the observance of a strict “class division” between the brothers and sisters of Christ, where the “Traditionalists” are the new “mud-bloods” who threaten the purity of Catholic liberalism. He wrote in an editorial Oct. 28 in the Rome daily La Repubblica:

“Traditionalists of all churches, unite under the dome of St. Peter’s! Look: The fisherman is fishing above all on the ‘right’ side of the lake. But the water is muddy.”

No “odd fish” allowed among the 153 fish in St Peter’s net.

But maybe he is on to something with that reference to John 21.

Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

There you have it. Peter way out in front, recklessly throwing himself into the sea without any regard for his own safety. Pope Benedict has seen that it is God’s will to reach out to Christians who share the faith of the Church and bring them into unity. Fr Küng, et aliter, are sitting back in the boat grumbling.

Update: Here is the link to Küng’s op ed piece in English. It seems that the “muddy water” comment has been deleted in the English version. I wonder why…

Update: I have just found the original Italian piece here. The passage in question reads:

Tradizionalisti di tutte le chiese, unitevi – sotto la cupola di San Pietro! Vedete: il pescatore di uomini pesca soprattutto sulla sponda destra del lago. Ma lì l’acqua è torbida.

I guess you could more charitably translate “torbida” as “cloudy” or “murky”, but still. And this line is definitely left out in the English version.

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