Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pope defends Cardinal Bertone

By  Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
  • July 5, 2012

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed his trust in the Vatican's secretary of state and defended him against a barrage of "unjust criticism" in the Italian media.

In a letter addressed to "dear brother" Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, 77, the Pope expressed his "profound appreciation for your discreet presence and wise counsel, which I have found particularly helpful over recent months."

The Vatican has had to face a number of challenges recently, including leaks of confidential correspondence to the Pope and the Secretariat of State; the arrest of the Pope's personal assistant in connection to the leaks; and the ouster of the Vatican bank's president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, for neglecting his duties amid worsening management problems.

Italian media had been speculating that Bertone would soon be replaced as secretary of state because of the Vatican infighting revealed in the leaks scandal.

The cardinal formally requested permission to step down when he reached the usual retirement age of 75 in 2010, but the Pope renewed the cardinal's mandate to continue serving as the Vatican's No. 2 official.

"Having noted with sorrow the unjust criticisms that have been directed against you, I wish to reiterate the expression of my personal confidence," the Pope wrote in the letter, dated July 2. The Vatican released a copy July 4.

The cardinal, who is a Salesian priest, served under the future Pope Benedict as secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1995 to 2002, when then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the congregation's prefect.

The Pope named him as Vatican secretary of state in 2006.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

Support The Catholic Register

Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.