When Cardinal Kasper's response to criticism of his suggested policies is to run in front of the cameras and say 'they're trying to attack the pope through me!', he has laid his cards on the table: his concern is not truth, not doctrine and not mercy.
It's politics. He's trying to please a crowd, a constituency. He hopes that by making it sound as if his critics are really aiming for the pope, that he can shield his ideas from criticism. And that is the moment I decide that he is simply the latest poor example of a cardinal, of which the church historically has many, many examples.
Pardon my bluntness, but to hell with Kasper. The Church needs to show mercy to repentant sinners, of which I am one. But Kasper is not the man for the job, nor are his ideas suited to the task.