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Pope defends Cardinal Bertone against ‘unjust’ criticism

By on Thursday, 5 July 2012

Cardinal Bertone greets Pope Benedict XVI at a concert in the Pope's honour (CNS photo)

Cardinal Bertone greets Pope Benedict XVI at a concert in the Pope's honour (CNS photo)

Pope Benedict XVI has reiterated 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 ousting of the Vatican bank’s president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, for neglecting his duties amid worsening management problems.

Italian media had been speculating that Cardinal 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 number two 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 yesterday.

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.

  • Gues234

    Leave it to the Holy Father. he has been at the Vatican since 1981. Its been 31years now. That’s a long time to observe all the cardinals and archbishops, their work style, honesty, trustworthiness, humility etc. He knows whom to pick and who he can work with and who will make a good team member

  • Carboquimica

     100% true!

  • Kevin

    So, even in the Vatican, it is not what you know, it is who you know?

  • Ga234

    all “these chaps” believ they are doing God’s work. They are ordained for life. they believe they are doing good. I think they don’t even loose sleep about a little bit of criticism hear and there from the self-righteous media wgo is always taking pot shots at “big shots”