Rorate Caeli

Bertone: a Secretary "of Church", not "of State"

Second part of our Interview Week.

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone takes his position as Secretary of State on September 15. Andrea Tornielli (one of our favorite Vaticanists) went to visit Bertone in Genoa in his last days in the Ligurian capital, and the result was a great interview, made public yesterday and published in today's edition of Il Giornale.

Some interesting excertps:

[The Choice]

What is the reason for the choice of [your name by] Benedict XVI?

The question should be asked of the Pope. Nonetheless, I hope to be able to contribute to strengthen the spiritual mission of the Church, which transcends politics and diplomacy, even if the Secretary of State should use all the means to aid the mission of the Church in every sphere. Monsignor Bettazzi, Bishop emeritus of Ivrea, my native diocese, recommended that I should be a secretary "of Church" more than "of State". I agree with him.

[The Collegial Pope]

You were the second of Cardinal Ratzinger for seven years. What is his way of working?

I have had the gift of being able to work together closely with two extraordinary men of the Church, John Paul II and the then Cardinal Ratzinger. The latter's way of working is very collegial, with a great capacity of posing questions, of listening, of valuing the talents of all, even of the youngest and of the last arrival...

[The Supreme]

The Pope was Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith, you were his number two: now the order recomposes itself. Will the Vatican become a great Holy Office?

I wish the correct name were used: the Holy Office is today a place, a palace, not the dicastery nor the way the dicastery works. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has certainly the function of protection of orthodoxy and, in this, to use the words of then Cardinal Ratzinger, develops a "democratic work", because it protects the faith of the simple [faithful], of those who do not write books, editorials, or go to talk shows. It is necessary to also remember, though, its fundamental role in the promotion of the faith in collaboration with the mission of the Church. Having been at that dicastery helps [me] to announce the Gospel in its entirety, without renouncing the approach which places man, the end of creation and redemption, in any country, culture, and condition, at the center.



You closely followed the publication of the secret of Fatima: are there [further] catastrophic revelations regarding the future or has everything been revealed and accomplished?

I met sister Lucia many times and had in my hands the declaration written by her on the matter. There are no further revelations of Fatima and the so-called Third Secret has been completely revealed. As for the catastrophisms, some said that sister Lucia did not close her eyes at night since she was so terrified of the imminent disasters. She answered me, "But if I did not sleep at night, how would I be able to pray all day long?" Sister Lucia recommended that credit should not be given to these announcements of misfortunes.