Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, was born on 5 March 1933 in Heidenheim/Brenz, Germany. He was ordained for the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart on 6 April 1957 and holds a doctorate in theology from the Theological Faculty of Tübingen.
For three years he was an assistant to Leo Scheffczyk and Hans Küng before receiving his "habilitation" with a thesis on the philosophy and theology of history in Schilling's later philosophy. He taught dogmatic theology and was dean of the theological faculty in Münster and later in Tübingen.
He was appointed Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart on 17 April 1989 and received episcopal consecration on 17 June. In 1994 he was named co-chair of the International Commission for Lutheran/Catholic Dialogue. On 1 June 1999 he was appointed Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
On 3 March 2001 he was named President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 2001. Diaconate of All Saints in Via Appia Nuova.