In an interview with German news agency DPA on Saturday, Feb 28, Hans Kueng defended earlier remarks to a French newspaper in which he said that Pope Benedict had lost a great deal of credibility and that the Catholic Church was floundering under him. An emeritus professor of ecumenical theology at the University of Tuebingen in southern Germany, Kueng said he was “very sad” over the direction that the current church leadership was taking. Kueng, whose authority to teach Catholic theology was rescinded by the Vatican over his criticism of papal authority, said he was still optimistic after meeting Pope Benedict XVI four years ago. “I was hoping that he Pope Benedict would show himself as reforming, ecumenical and open for the future. But this hope has been bitterly disappointed,” Swiss-born Kueng said.