On Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st of February there will be a meeting at the Vatican of all the cardinals, including the new ones who will formally receive the scarlet on Saturday the 22nd.
This is a consistory that, at the behest of Pope Francis, will discuss the pastoral care of the family.
The only talk scheduled has been entrusted to German cardinal Walter Kasper, after which there will be ample space for free discussion. The debate promises to be rather heated, above all on access to the Eucharist for the divorced and remarried and on the possible acceptance on the part of the Catholic Church of the Orthodox canonical discipline that allows second and even third marriages.
The selection of Kasper as speaker has provoked some irritation among those who maintain that the current discipline of the Catholic Church is doctrinally indispensable. Already when he was bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart and also recently in an interview with the magazine “Die Zeit,” the German theologian and cardinal has said that he is ready to admit that divorced and remarried persons could have access to sacramental communion.