Photo of Hans Küng, 1973

18 December

Posted in Time-travel news


Today in 1979, German Catholic theologian Hans Küng (pictured above) lost his licence to theologize. Thanks largely to his denial of papal infallibility, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared that he could ‘no longer be considered a Catholic theologian’ and demanded he lose his post at Tübingen University. The university removed him and gave him a better one.

Charles Wesley, English Methodist leader, and author of some 6,500 hymns, was born today in 1707. One of his best-loved hymns, popular at this time of year, almost didn’t become best-loved until the revivalist George Whitefield rewrote the opening lines. Here’s Wesley’s version:

Hark how all the Welkin rings
Glory to the Kings of Kings,
Peace on Earth, and Mercy mild,
God and Sinners reconcil’d!
Charles Wesley

The Whitehall Conference, convened by Oliver Cromwell to debate whether Jewish people should be allowed to immigrate into England (they had been expelled in 1290), ended inconclusively today in 1655. Cromwell’s officials had been in favour, so long as the immigrants did not blaspheme Christ or try to convert anyone, but clergymen and merchants were opposed.

God Save the Tsar!’ became the national anthem of Russia today in 1833, following a competition. It remained in place until the Russian Revolution of 1917. A literal translation of the lyrics reads:

God, save the Tsar!
Strong, sovereign,
Reign for glory, for our glory!
Reign to make foes fear,
Orthodox Tsar!
God, save the Tsar!
Vasily Zhukovsky

Image: Rob Croes/Anefo, Wikimedia Commons, under CC0 1.0

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