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Walter Cardinal Kasper
Born in Heidenheim , Germany, Kasper was ordained to the priesthood in 1957 and earned a doctorate from the Theological Faculty of Tübingen. He worked for three years as an assistant to Leo Scheffczyk and Hans Küng, and later taught dogmatic theology, rising to become dean of the theological facutly in Münster and then in Tübingen.
Appointed Bishop of Rottenburg -Stuttgart in 1989, in 1994, he was named co-chair of the International Commission for Lutheran/Catholic Dialogue. In 1999, Kasper was appointed Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity , and then, in 2001, its president.
He was one of the cardinals considered papabile at the 2005 Papal conclave to elect a successor to John Paul II. He has a reputation as a gifted scholar and as a man of peace, and was considered a compromise between the Italian and Latin American factions. He is more reformist and less hardline than Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected as Pope Benedict XVI.
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