Mercy book author to address world’s cardinals

Retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper, a theologian who has been searching for a new pastoral approach to divorced and remarried Catholics for more than 20 years, is scheduled to address the Feb. 20-21 meeting of the College of Cardinals in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on the family.

Pope Francis has said that the situation of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics will be one of the key topics of discussion at the extraordinary synod he has scheduled for Oct. 5-19.

Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said Tuesday that the cardinals’ meeting would not pre-empt the synod in any way. A consistory, he said, is a meeting “where every cardinal can freely express his thoughts,” but it is not a decision-making body and will not feature a vote on propositions.

The cardinals’ conversation “does not bind the synod in any way,” he said, although synod members will be informed about what the cardinals said. Continue reading

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