Cardinal Walter Kasper to visit Notre Dame

Author: Jennifer Lechtanski

Cardinal Walter Kasper

His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will deliver the 2013 Terrence R. Keeley Vatican Lecture at 5 p.m. April 24 (Wednesday) in the Carey Auditorium in the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame. Pope Francis specifically commended the theological work of Cardinal Kasper at his first Angelus message, noting that, “(i)n these days, I have been able to read a book by a cardinal — Cardinal Kasper, a talented theologian, a good theologian — on mercy. And it did me such good, that book.”

Sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Cardinal Kasper will address “The Origins of Vatican II.” This lecture is free and open to the public. Cardinal Kasper will also participate in an international gathering of scholars, “The Theology of Cardinal Walter Kasper: A Celebration of his Life and Work,” which will take place at the Notre Dame Conference Center on April 25-27 (Thursday-Saturday).

Born in Heidenheim, Germany, in 1933, Kasper was ordained to the priesthood in 1957. He studied at the University of Tübingen where he later became professor of dogmatic theology. He also taught at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1983. Cardinal Kasper served as bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart from 1989 until his 1999 appointment as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Pope John Paul II elevated him to cardinal and appointed him president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 2001. The Council for Promoting Christian Unity guides and serves the ecumenical activities of the Catholic Church, holds international theological dialogues with other Christian denominations, and is also responsible for Catholic-Jewish relations. As president of the council, Kasper was also the president for the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. He retired as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 2010.

The annual Terrence R. Keeley Vatican Lecture provides the Notre Dame community with the opportunity to interact with distinguished representatives from the Holy See and significant dioceses of Europe. Past lecturers have included Cardinal Angelo Amato, Archbishop Charles J. Brown and Cardinal Reinhard Marx.

More information on Cardinal Kasper’s visit and an archive of past lectures are available at

Contact: Monica Caro, 574-631-3547,