Bertone Will Be Named Secretary Of State

here in translation – The item comes from both an online news service called Affari Italiani and from the newspaper Il Giornale


Tarcisio Bertone, Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa, will be Benedict XVI’s new Secretary of State. Sources at the Vatican said this was “90% sure” and that the announcement could be made on June 29, feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

In the intricate course of deciding the successor to Angelo Sodano, who is 3 years overdue for retirement, this is a triumph for the 70-year-old Bertone, who served for years as second in command to Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [and his good friend and next-door neighbor at Piazza della Citta Leonina, 1].

A native of Vercelli (halfway between Milan and Turin), tall and distinguished-looking, Bertone is a canon law expert who is very prepared and equally strict on doctrine, capable of dealing with complex questions in a clear and decisive way.

In short, he is not a diplomat, but will be a good executor of decisions that come from the Papal apartments.

It is well-known that the Pope and Sodano have little love lost between them. Sodano, who was Apostolic Nuncio to Chile in Pinochet’s regime, son of a Christian Democrat who was a member of the Italian Parliament, and who is said to have harbored papal ambitions in the last conclave, was at odds with Ratzinger even during John Paul II’s Papacy.

The German was too strict, the Italian too diplomatic. Among other things, under Papa Wojtyla, Sodano defended Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, who has been accused of sexual offenses and was recently sanctioned by the Vatican without holding a canonical trial because of his age and poor health.

And now, Benedict XVI, after starting to reassign certain prominent personalities from the Curia(like Cardinal Dziwisz, now Archbishop of Cracow, or Cardinal Cresencio Sepe, assigned to Naples), is proceeding with his Curial reform. First, with the men in charge, and next with legislative action that will incorporate pontifical councils with similar functions and thus help reduce administrative personnel at the Vatican.

It is interesting to note that the two top nominations to the Curia – assuming Bertone is confirmed – would both be alumni of the CDF under Ratzinger. Cardinal William Levada, whom the Pope named to be his successor at the CDF, worked with him at the CDF for years in the early 1980s.

In this way, the Pope is reaffirming the key principle in his ‘cleaning up’ of the Church: he needs men who are at the service of the Pope, who follow his line without stepping too much out of line as some did under the previous Pope. Above all, they should know not to speak ahead of the Pope.

And Bertone, who does not take part in talk shows although he has commented on some football games with his beloved Juve, appears to be the right man for the Pope at the Secretariat of State. A man who is sober and moderate, in keeping with the discreet style of this German Pope.

Additional bonus: Many sources say that the present Archbishop of Monreale, Sicily, Mons. Cataldo Naro, is in line to take over as Archbishop of Genoa. Which would put him on tap to become Cardinal at age 55, and a possible new Curial aide in Benedict XVI’s government.


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