Cardinal Bertone defends new apartment, claims papal approval

National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Apr. 29, 2014 NCR Today

VATICAN CITY Former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has responded to criticism that his new residence at the Vatican is too large and opulent, saying the apartment is of normal size for a church prelate and that Pope Francis has called him to express support.

Reports in recent days had said Bertone, who served at the Vatican post from 2006-13, had gone to unusual expense to combine two previous apartments inside the Vatican into one 6,500 square foot residence.

Writing on the website of the Italian archdiocese of Genoa, which the cardinal led from 2002-06, Bertone says he received a call from Francis April 23 during which the pope informed the cardinal of “his sympathy and his disappointment for the attacks against me about the apartment.”

“The apartment is spacious, as is normal for the residences in the ancient palaces of the Vatican, and dutifully restored (at my expense),” writes Bertone.

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