VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Hans Kung, the famed dissident theologian, has indicated that he would no longer defend some of his past criticisms of Pope John Paul II, and that he is hoping for a "conciliation" with the Holy Father.

      Speaking to a German radio audience, Kung expressed pleasure that on his 70th birthday (March 19), he had received greetings from Archbishop Karl Lehmann, the head of the German bishops' conference, and from the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

      The theologian said that some of his criticisms of the Pope "may have seemed harsh," although he added that he did not think they were "unjust" or even "incorrect." He insisted that he only wanted to convey his message accurately. Kung said that he would like to meet with the Pope and said that he had learned from the Holy Father's teachings on peace, ethics, and world religions.

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April 8, 1998 volume 9, no. 70         DAILY CATHOLIC