Cardinal Kasper plotting an anti-Ratzinger progressive Papacy
Cardinal Walter Kasper, will participate in the conclave, though he is 80 years old in two days. He will thus be the oldest of the Papal voters. The German cardinal is presently the most heavyweight representative of the progressive cardinals who flag up an anti-Ratzinger pontificate.
The former assistant to Hans Küng was removed in 1999 by John Paul II as Bishop of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart and transported to Rome, where he was until 2010 President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. (Cathcon- what a pair Cardinal Lehmann, research assistant to Karl Rahner and Cardinal Kasper, assistant to Küng- although Cardinal Kasper has proved effective in assimilating himself to conservatives around the journal, Communio. This was founded by among others Joseph Ratzinger as an antidote to the ultra- progressive journal Concilium, supported by Küng, among other radicals). The promotion was part of a smooth reconstruction of the German episcopate by repression of the progressive influence. While as a "minister" of the Holy See Kasper moderated his attitudes, he has not abandoned them. Within the Roman Curia, he was theologically the real opponent of Benedict XVI. Since the resignation announcement, it was not difficult for the Cardinal to advanace as the most important representative of the progressive camp among the Conclave participants. This is a direction that is numerically no longer great among the Papal electors , but they are looking for allies.
Assistant to Hans Küng as head of the progressive cardinals
Little surprise, then, that the left-liberal Italian daily La Repubblica asked the Cardinal for an interview. That paper, from which the dubious rumor was spread of an allegedly scandalously shocking content of the Vatileaks-final report, which allegedly prompted Pope Benedict to resign. The unproven sex-crime-and-Vatican -rumor was spread worldwide. La Repubblica is currently one of a number of papers of similar political alignment that try to significantly influence the Conclave from the outside.
The newspaper asked Cardinal Kasper what he would say to Benedict XVI when he would visit him after the conclave. The Cardinal was not ashamed to announce through the media today what he was thinking of eventually saying in person to the current but still Pope. Less respect one can hardly evince. Kasper's remarks reveals a certain nervousness that Benedict XVI maybe make known to the Cardinal a preferred candidate to succeed him, or at least give an understand of the requirement profile of his successor .
An "advice" as a warning - Kasper's revolutionary plans
Kasper's response thus acts more on the conclave, when a conversation with Benedict XVI. after the conclave is noted and is a "piece of advice", which corresponds rather to a warning. So what would the Cardinal tell his German compatriot?
"Many things. The first is a piece of advice. I would recommend him to let himself be used by nobody. The danger is too great that the church leadership suffers from his influence. This must not happen. He has made his clear decision which requires a step back. He must, therefore, exercise restraint. He must avoid getting involved in questions which interfere in ecclesiastical leadership and politics. Then I would still be friendly with him and talk about what we both care about the most, theology.
The newspaper stressed then that the German Pope, especially in the local church is seen as an authoritarian figure who dictates from above, which is why in Germany particularly value is put on independence from Rome. On the question of whether Kasper see it also in this way is not contradicted by the cardinal, but he rather calls for an unspecified democratization of the Catholic Church on the Protestant model.
"It needs a new form of the exercise of church leadership. This form is called collegiality, a more horizontal government. The collegiality of the bishops must extend through forms of representation to all parts of God's people. Such collegiality would go in the direction of the Second Vatican Council of unity in diversity among all who believe in the gospel and greater dialogue with other religions. It is necessary to get away from the dryness of Roman centralism by the conviction that the centre does not mean centralization.
The reform of the curia is a priority. At the same time, it is also a big problem, because today there is a lack of internal dialogue in the Roman Curia. The departments are not talking to each other, there is no communication. This situation is changing.
In the General Congregations, we have not talked about Vatileaks. I think that the Curia should be revolutionized generally and that is independent of Vatileaks. I believe that next to the word reform a second word should be used: transparency. The Curia must begin to not fear transparency. "
"Celibacy, women priests, homosexuality" and the silence of Kasper
According to La Repubblica the conscience of many believers are moved back "issues" by "celibacy, women priests, homosexuality [...]" themes, which come back again with emphasis in the public debate. " Cardinal Kasper also contradicts in this case not a word of the statement, giving in his response another key issue:
"Banning remarried divorcees communion is a wound. I will not specify the previous policy, but one thing is certain: a serious rethinking is required on this issue. It takes humility to approach the argument from case to case. The outcome can be changed according to the diversity of the situation. "
Cardinal Kasper expresses no opinion on his preferred candidate as the next pope: "I hope that there is no reservation about anyone. We have to be open to everything, to every nationality and every geographical origin. "
Brazilian bishops have called on the progressive mass media, to create the right atmosphere for Cardinal Scherer.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that a substantial movement is in progress to promote the Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Cardinal Odilo Scherer as a candidate of the position of the "left-wing" camp. These are movements, in which the classical progressive types as Lehmann and Kasper are involved. As the largest Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo on 5 Reported in March, the Brazilian Bishops' Conference has called on not only the Cardinals of the largest Latin American country to vote for Scherer, but also specifically asked the progressive mass media to create the right atmosphere for the election of Scherer.
By Scherer is included not only in the ten percent of the old progressives gather in the conclave, but all "liberal" cardinals who think that the steps which Pope Benedict took to reconstruct the Church went too far. So an anti-Ratzinger successor will be constructed who would annul the "restorative" parts of Benedict's Papacy. This is an alliance, which also includes parts of the Roman Curia. Those in Curia whose numbers, under Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, were greatly enhanced by a number of new councils, academies and commissions. The heads of some departments of want to live a life of their own as much as possible, which is why traditionally they share an interest with the progressives in a weak Pope, as Cardinal Kasper indirectly expressed. Those who know him are convinced that Cardinal Kasper after Scherer, also has a plan B.
Cathcon- maybe his Plan B is Cardinal Woelki, who also has the advantage of being a fell German and who would receive the backing of Cardinal Meisner, as well as having, quite possibly the tacit support of the Pope Emeritus. It really is time that the Rhine stopped flowing into the Tiber, and the flow is reversed.