Cardinal Walter Kasper

Dr. theol. habil. Dr. h.c. mult. Walter Kasper was born 5 March 1933 in Heidenheim on the river Brenz. Following his matriculation in 1952 Kasper studied Catholic theology and Philosophy in Tübingen and Munich. He completed his studies in 1956 and was ordained into the priesthood a year later on 6 April 1957 in Rottenburg. In 1961 he was awarded a doctorate, followed in 1964 by a post-doctoral teaching degree (habilitatus). In the same year Kasper took up a professorship in Dogmatics at the Münster University. In 1970 he transferred to the Eberhard-Karl University in Tübingen. In 1983 he was Guest Professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.


On 4 April 1989 Kasper was elected as successor to Bishop Georg Moser as Bishop of the Rottenburg-Stuttgart Diocese, nominated by Pope John Paul II on 3 March, and consecrated as Bishop on 17 June 1989 in Rottenburg. The consecration was performed by the Archbishop of Freiburg in Breisgau, Oskar Saier. Kasper’s motto is “Veritatem in caritate”. Bishop Kasper was Chairman of the Commission for International Church Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Commission for Doctrine and Faith of the German Bishops’ Conference.


On 21 February 2001 Kasper was elevated to Cardinal Deacon of Ognissanti in Via Appia Nuova. In the same year, on 3 March, Pope John Paul II nominated him as President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. Cardinal Kasper is a member of the Congregation of the Faith, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Apostolic Signature, the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Canon Law, the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.