No Glorious Sunset for Cardinal Bertone


by Sandro Magister

ROME, February 2, 2012 – There are no marches of the “99 percent” at the Vatican; the battles are conducted by firing off letters. On Saturday, January 28, the council of ministers of the Roman curia, in the presence of the pope, dedicated part of the meeting to studying how to shore up the leaking of documents. It was just three days after the latest sensational leak: a sheaf of confidential letters written to Benedict XVI and to cardinal secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone by the then secretary of the governorate of Vatican City, now the nuncio to Washington, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

Those letters – plus other blistering papers that also threaten to come out into the open in the press or on television – are an act of accusation against one person above all: Cardinal Bertone, who introduced the aforementioned meeting of the heads of the curia dicasteries by explaining how to draft and publish the documents of the Holy See without any more of the mishaps that have proliferated of late. There needs to be, he said, more competence, more collaboration, more mutual trust, more confidentiality.

Benedict XVI listened in silence. He was reminded of the worst evidence of mismanagement in the curia that he has suffered since becoming pope: the avalanche of protests that bombarded him through no fault of his own at the beginning of 2009, after the lifting of the excommunication of four Lefebvrist bishops, including one who denied the Holocaust. Shortly after that incident, in an open letter to the bishops of the whole world, pope Ratzinger did not hesitate to write that he had received more support from “Jewish friends” than from many men of the Church and of the curia who are more interested in creating scorched earth around the pope. And at the end he cited this terrible admonition of the apostle Paul: “If you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another.”

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