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Journalist publishes recording of cardinal’s controversial interview

Cardinal Kasper, left, and Cardinal Ravasi talk as they leave a synod session (CNS)

A Catholic journalist has published the audio recording of an interview with Cardinal Walter Kasper in which the German cardinal made controversial remarks about the contribution of African bishops at the family synod.

Edward Pentin published the recording along with a full transcript and explanatory statement on his personal website yesterday.

The interview was conducted on Tuesday October 16 and was published on the Catholic news website Zenit the following day. It was subsequently removed from Zenit’s website after Cardinal Kasper denied giving the interview to Zenit in a statement to German media.

In the interview, the cardinal said that the issue of homosexuality was difficult to discuss with those from African and Asian countries.

He said: “Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Muslim countries, they’re very different, especially about gays. You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Muslim countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo.”

He also indicated that the views on homosexuality of African bishops were not being listened to.

“I think in the end there must be a general line in the Church, general criteria, but then the questions of Africa we cannot solve,” he said.

“But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.”

Cardinal Kasper denied making the comments and said he had not given an interview to anyone from Zenit.

“I am appalled. I have never spoken this way about Africans and I never would,” he told German media yesterday, according to LifeSiteNews.

In his statement, Mr Pentin said that he had introduced himself to Cardinal Kasper as a reporter for the National Catholic Register. However, he later decided to publish the interview in Zenit, whom he also writes for. He is also the Vatican correspondent of the Catholic Herald.

He also said that he recorded the interview on a device which was clearly visible to Cardinal Kasper and that the cardinal had not requested that his comments not be published.

In the interview, Cardinal Kasper also said he thinks the Pope is in favour of a move towards communion for the divorced and remarried.

“I hoped there would be some opening and I think the majority is in favour,” he said.

“[The Pope] has not said – he’s been silent, he has listened very carefully but it’s clearly what he wants and that’s evident.”