"The parables of Jesus seek to draw one into the Kingdom, and they challenge us to act and to live from the gift which is experienced therein. But we do not want parables. We want precepts and we want programs. We want good precepts and we want sensible programs. We are frightened by the lonely silences within the parables." [John Dominic Crossan, In Parables - The Challenge of the Historical Jesus, Harper and Row, 1973,82]

Merciful God, Merciful Church: An Interview with Cardinal Walter Kasper

JWalterKasperDuring his first Angelus address, Pope Francis recommended a work of theology that "has done me so much good" because it "says that mercy changes everything; it changes the world by making it less cold and more fair." That book isMercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life by Cardinal Walter Kasper, which has just been published by Paulist Press. Before serving as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (2001-2010), Kasper was bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart (1989-1999). He has taught theology at the University of Tubingen, the Westphalian University of Munster, and the Catholic University of America. Last week, associate editors Matthew Boudway and Grant Gallicho spoke with the cardinal in New York. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Read More Or watch the video