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Cardinal Kasper says Francis did not approve his Communion proposal

Cardinal Walter Kasper (CNS)

Cardinal Walter Kasper has clarified that Pope Francis did not approve his proposal to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion after a period of penance.

The cardinal made the remarks in an interview with EWTN during a visit to the United States.

He said the Pope wanted him to “put the question”, and that afterwards he “expressed his satisfaction with my talk”. But he added: “I wouldn’t say he approved the proposal, no, no, no.”

The remarks appear to represent a backtracking from earlier comments. Last October he told the Catholic News Service: “I had the impression the Pope is open for a responsible, limited opening of the situation … I have the impression the Pope is ready to reaffirm such a thing, but now it depends also on the voices of the bishops in the synod.”

Cardinal Kasper first presented the proposal in an address to cardinals in March last year. The next day the Pope called the talk “profound theology”.

Cardinal Kasper has gained the nickname “the Pope’s theologian”. In Francis’s first Angelus address he recommended a book by the cardinal, saying it had done him “much good”.