Further proof of Francis’ trust in Kasper came in February when the pope tapped him to deliver a lengthy talk for a meeting of all the world’s cardinals who had gathered to discuss updating the church’s policies on a range of hot-button issues.
The meeting, or consistory, was the first in a series of discussions that Francis has planned to jump start long-stalled talks on contentious topics — one of them whether divorced and remarried Catholics can receive Communion; it’s not the sexiest topic but it is a huge pastoral crisis given that so many Catholics have remarried without an annulment and are barred from the altar rail. Even a murderer can confess and receive Communion, as Kasper likes to note.
“I told the pope, ‘Holy Father, there will be a controversy afterward,’” Kasper said. The pope laughed and told him: “That’s good, we should have that!”
. . .
Despite the pushback, colleagues describe Kasper as rejuvenated by the reform Francis has launched.
“I do not know if my proposals will be acceptable,” the cardinal said with a shrug. “I made them in agreement with the pope, I did not do them just myself. I spoke beforehand with the pope, and he agreed.”
That seems to be a kinda big something, really--getting it pre-cleared with the Pope.
You might not agree--but that's ok. It's a still free-ish country.