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Kaspar to carry on

VATICAN CITY (CNS): On the eve of his 75th birthday, Cardinal Walter Kasper said he believes Pope Benedict XVI will have him continue as the Vatican’s chief ecumenist and as its point man for dialogue with the Jews.

The German cardinal spoke to reporters on March 4 after the German publisher Herder presented the fourth German edition of his theological text, “The God of Jesus Christ,” and of a book reflecting on his work by two former students with a foreward by Pope Benedict.

Cardinal Kasper told Vatican Radio the message of his work “is that God is the centre and the foundation and the aim of human life; it is the message of the Gospel”.

Top Vatican officials must offer the pope their resignations when they turn 75 but the cardinal, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said he was pleased to be able to continue in his post because “this is a truly fascinating work”.

“All the churches believe in Jesus Christ as witnessed to in the sacred Scriptures and in the creed of the ancient church, which gives us a common foundation,” he said.

“My concern is that this fundamental faith, which we have in common, is being forgotten, abandoned,” he told the radio.

“In ecumenism we must return to the foundations of our common faith and promote the drawing together of the churches on this basis.”

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