Cardinals deny controversial Synod remarks

Two prominent cardinals have denied making statements that were widely attributed to them about the workings of the synod of bishops. But in one case, a journalist has posted a recording of the remarks in question.

Cardinal Walter Kasper told Kath.net that he had never dismissed the contributions of African bishops.

Zenit news service had quoted the German cardinal as saying that Africans were hampered by a “taboo” about discussion of homosexuality, and “they should not tell us too much what we have to do”.

German Cardinal Walter Kasper, retired president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, talks with Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, as they leave the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican in October 2014. Photo: CNS/Paul Haring
German Cardinal Walter Kasper, retired president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, talks with Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, as they leave the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican in October 2014. Photo: CNS/Paul Haring

But Cardinal Kasper denied making that comment, and, in fact, said he had not spoken with any reporter from Zenit. The news agency has removed the interview from its website.

However, reporter Edward Pentin has revealed that he spoke with Cardinal Kasper, and recorded the conversation.

Pentin said that he had identified himself to the cardinal as a reporter for the National Catholic Register, but eventually posted the interview with Zenit.

Pentin has posted both a transcript and a recording of the interview, confirming that Cardinal Kasper made the provocative remarks.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller also said that he had been misquoted.

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith denied saying that an interim report on the synod’s work was “shameful” as reported in the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

Although he has been critical of some aspects of the report, Cardinal Müller said that he does not “speak in that style”.

-CWN