Cardinal Walter Kasper says Pope Francis "does not represent a liberal position, but a radical position", and has gone back to the Church's roots to build "a bridge to the future," he told an audience in the US last week, reports NCR Online.
Last Thursday Cardinal Walter Kasper, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, received the Johannes Quasten Medal for Excellence in Scholarship and Leadership in Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Cardinal Kasper, the German theologian best known for his writings on the role of mercy in Church teaching, gave a 50-minute lecture on the meaning and significance of Pope Francis. What follows are some highlights from that speech, titled Theological Background of the Ecclesiological and Ecumenical Vision of Pope Francis.
Cardinal Kasper, nicknamed the "Pope's theologian," began by calling Francis "a Pope of surprises."
"Not the least surprising," he said, remarking on the early days of Francis' papacy, "was that the new Pope within a short period of time succeeded in brightening up the gloomy atmosphere that had settled like mildew on the Church."
He "wants to initiate a new beginning for the Church," Cardinal Kasper said, but not by destroying tradition. Rather, "Pope Francis stands in a great tradition, reaching back to the earliest beginnings."
"He does not represent a liberal position, but a radical position, understood in the original sense of the word as going back to the roots, the radix." By reaching back through time, he is, in fact, "constructing a bridge to the future."
FULL STORY Cardinal Kasper: Pope Francis 'does not represent a liberal position, but a radical position' (NCR Online)