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Cardinal Bertone ends term as Vatican Secretary of State

By on Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Vatican's outgoing Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone with Pope Francis (CNS)

The Vatican's outgoing Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone with Pope Francis (CNS)

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone officially stepped down as the Vatican Secretary of State today, and in a short ceremony, held in the library of the Secretariat of State, Pope Francis acknowledged his contribution to the running of the Holy See.

Cardinal Bertone is to be succeeded by Archbishop Pietro Parolin, who was not present at the ceremony though he had been expected to take office today. The Pope said the archbishop will take up his new post in the next few weeks, once he has recovered from recent surgery.

According to Vatican Radio, the Pope noted that despite his temporary absence, the Italian archbishop has worked for the Secretariat of State for many years with passion and skill, displaying a capacity for dialogue with a human touch.

Cardinal Bertone was appointed Secretary of State by the former pope Benedict XVI in 2006. He proved to be a divisive figure and became embroiled in the ‘Vatileaks’ scandal in 2012.

In September, he defended his record, claiming to be the victim of ” a web of moles and vipers”.

“Of course there were a lot of problems, particularly in the last two years and some accusations were levied against me,” he said.

“There was a web of moles and vipers. But this should not darken what I see as a positive overall result. We missed some things, also because problems were kept locked away by some people who did not contact the Secretariat of State.”

  • paulpriest

    Er I know the Herald has suddenly gone all ‘Frankie Says” [more papal coverage in eight months than almost the previous eight years]
    …and that the Benedictine revolution’s been mothballed…

    But ‘proved to be divisive’ is straight out of a future ++Sodano autobiography – not a valid piece of journalism.

    Do we really need Herald editorial opinion/bias adjudicating Cardinal Bertone’s tenure as Secretary of State leaking into what is purported to be reportage?

    Can’t we leave the meandering speculative historicist revisionism to the secular media?

  • Desperate Dan

    Bertone “There was a web of moles and vipers.”
    Not very edifying whoever was right/wrong.
    I just hope that Pope Francis can sort out the total web.

  • Benedict Carter

    Another Papal appointee to strike fear into all Catholics (from Chiesa website):

    “The ecclesial conference in Loreto in 1985 … effectively marked the affirmation of the stance of Martini (Jesuit cardinal, now dead – BC), who presided over it, but also his public disavowal on the part of John Paul II. With Martini was also disowned the leadership of the Italian episcopal conference at the time.

    At that conference, the theologian who delivered the keynote address, in full support of Martini’s approach, was Bruno Forte.

    Today Forte is the archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, and on October 14 Pope Francis appointed him special secretary of the synod of bishops scheduled for October of 2014, on the theme: “The challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.”

  • Benedict Carter

    Not mothballed, Paul, but cast aside.

  • James M

    Indeed. This is simply a further step in the replacement of one set of revolutionaries by another set of revolutionaries. Change the names, and you have the history of a dictatorship or two. Khrushchev or Brezhnev – the lack of legitimacy is the same. Comrade Bertone is part of the old guard, so out he goes. I suppose it’s more civilised than a putsch.

    The Herald should stick to reporting facts, & not engage in propaganda mistaken for – or masquerading as – news. It should not confuse opinions evaluating events, with events. Opinions are for editorials, not for reports of the news.

  • James M

    As in TrustHouse Forte ? (They seem to have vanished.)


    What “revolution”?

  • paulpriest

    …oh forget it – we thought we could hold back the floodgates…it won’t happen.

  • Hap Harris

    Now that the biggest obstacle to the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary has been removed from the scene; it is time…:To order all the world’s Bishops to join with with the Pope in that Consecration. [Those who fail to join him MUST be excumunicted.] Additionally he must reveal the entire contents of the 3rd Secret and return the Conciliar Church to It’s Traditions, Doctrines, and, Dogmas-!! THEN…as promised by Our Holy Mother… the world will know PEACE-!!!!
    BUT: Francis is a Liberal Jesuit and it would take a “Road to Damascus” event to wake him up.

  • Hap Harris

    Thank you, Catholic Herald. I really thought you woud not have the moral ingegrity to print my previous comment. God bless, and [everybody] Prary for the Pope and his Bishops.

  • aspiring lay capuchin

    Russia is already Christian. It was since the reign of Stalin and more so since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Its main religion is Russian Orthodox who are very powerful. Comrade Putin is often in the church and is often seen wearing his cross unashamedly. Which Russian leaders since Stalin ever did that? even though the biography of Stalin mentions that he was Russian Orthodox and for a time trained in their seminary to become one of their priests. He became the Russian Commisar instead and the rest is History.

    Russia is already Christian. It is under the ambit of the Orthodox Church. Are you guys just jealous because it is not a Latin Roman Catholic Church?

    What’s wrong with Russia being in the Orthodox ambit. It is ALREADY a Christian church. What else do you guys want? The Orthodox I understand also believe in the Blessed Virigin Mary and may even still say their rosaries. It is a pure and historic church. It is just not of the Catholic variety. So what? Are you jealous of the weekly contribution/collections which your church is deprived off in a rather big land. This must be the real issue. Financial loss rather than spiritual?

  • actual religious franciscan

    Because the Russian Orthodox Church is not Catholic, they are schismatic and Our Lady is not content to leave them in schism. The Catholic Church is the One True Church.
    There is only on path to salvation and that is the Catholic Church. As a Catholic you MUST believe that.