Christine Hogan on Cath blog has come to the defence of Fr Küng against online charges of heresy. If the working definition of someone who is a heretic is “someone who should be burnt at the stake” (as Christine seems to assume) then he is certainly not a “heretic”.
And truly, someone can only be called a “heretic” if the Church officially declares them to be so. As Christine points out, Fr Küng is a priest “in good standing” with the Catholic Church.
That doesn’t mean that he has not, from time to time (and time and time again) professed doctrines that could be defined as “heretical”. The Oxford Concise Dictionary defines “heresy” as a “belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine”. According to the Catholic Encycopledia of 1911, St Thomas Aquinas defined “heresy” as “a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas”.
No-one can deny that Fr Küng has professed plenty of such “beliefs or opinions” in his time. But he is not, strictly, a “heretic” because the Church has never declared him so. If it were to ever do so, there would be plenty of other professors of “contrary” beliefs who would also have to be considered as candidates for the same charge.