Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cardinal Bertone in the Spotlight: On his scandals, Benedict, Francis and terrorism

Cardinal Bertone in the Spotlight

+Bertone and +Francis P.P.

The following excerpts are taken from an article published yesterday on the Huffington Post.  I think it gives a little insight into the Cardinal, his “scandals” and the Pope.  Read the whole of it HERE

Your Eminence, why is everybody out to get you?
Well... they say there are two motives. The first is because I was nominated as secretary of state without going through the Vatican’s channels of diplomacy.

Ratzinger’s papacy was extremely different from that of his predecessor.
Of course. But it developed in relation to that of his predecessor. Pope John Paul II thought very highly of Cardinal Ratzinger and led the church with his permanent and continual support, not just on a doctrinal and intellectual level but also, regarding certain aspects, in accordance with his vision of administration. There was, therefore, continuity between the two popes.

In other words, Pope Benedict’s was a sort of unfinished papacy.
On the contrary. It was a courageous papacy. Before every trip journalists would write that he wouldn’t be able do it. They would predict insufficient, substandard results and flops. But I think about the trips to Turkey and England that I made with him, to World Youth Day in his native Cologne when he led more than a million youths in silent prayer before the Body of Christ.

How is your relationship with Pope Francis?
Extremely positive, very wonderful. He kept me on as secretary of state for seven months filled with audiences and tickets, notes, telephone calls... By now everybody knows he has a habit of picking up the phone and calling: I need this, look for this, see if this candidate is qualified. It was a constant and warm consultation.

So it’s not a 25,000-foot penthouse.
Not at all, you’ve seen so yourself. I guarantee that the rooms are much smaller than those in some of the Vatican’s other buildings. The pope was informed about everything, even the small secretary’s office. He said to me, “It’s perfectly fine and you are entitled to it, seeing as you need to write your memoirs, given you have been witness to three papacies...”

Are you worried about the threats coming in from the Middle East?
Listen, this is not the first time the church has been threatened. Or even the pope. Just recall the attacks on Paolo VI in Manila and on John Paul II here in St. Peter’s Square. Of course, now these threats are more imminent, as well as more unpredictable in terms of whether they will be carried out.

Pope Francis’s position on the excesses of satire against religion after the attacks in Paris was surprising.
Pope Francis rightly reaffirmed the necessity of a limit which will not offend religious sentiments, which are the most deeply felt sentiments in every individual.
Even at the cost of sacrificing freedom of expression?
This is a fundamental right, unquestionable in free and democratic societies. I am talking about a code of conduct. But also of strongly condemning violence, above all violence ascribed to religion.
Do you fear for the pope’s safety?
I am afraid, but also confident in the precautions we have taken. Besides, the pope has said that the Vatican is watched over by the Archangel Michael, and since angels and archangels are recognized by many religions, including Islam, there cannot be greater protection than that….


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