Beliefnet's Paul Wilkes, blogging the conclave from Rome, and NC Reporter's Stacy Meichtry report on German Cardinal Walter Kaspar's sermon today basically firing a shot at those supporting the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the 265th Pope.
“Just as it is forbidden to clone others, it is not possible to clone Pope John Paul II,” Kasper said. “Every pope ministers in his own way, according to the demands of his era. No one was ever simply a copy of his predecessor.”
Wilkes reports the following about Kaspar:
Kasper told an Austrian Catholic paper that Dominus Iesus--the pope’s statement, but which bore Ratzinger’s mark, affirming Catholicism’s supremacy--“offended people. And if my friends are offended (referring to his years of Catholic-Lutheran dialogue) then so am I. It’s an unfortunate affirmation--clumsy and ambiguous.” Clumsy and ambiguous are certainly not casual terms between a cardinal and the Vatican.
In various magazines, such as America in the United States and The Tablet in London, Kasper has repeatedly called for a scaled-down and more temperate church bureaucracy. He has openly supported divorced and civilly remarried Catholics in receiving the Eucharist, something they are currently forbidden under Church law. When Kasper registered his view, Ratzinger rejected this approach and maintained that only those who have received a marriage annulment and therefore are fully in communion with the Church could approach the altar to receive.
Wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, Cardinal. Kaspar is mentioned as a dark horse candidate -- a fact we can gratefully attribute to Pope John Paul's 26-year reign that enabled him to put his stamp on the College of Cardinals.