Cardinal Bertone Defends Benedict XVI in the Osservatore Romano
On August 27, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State of the Holy See, granted an interview to the Vatican’s daily about “Benedict XVI’s project for the Church and society”. “The (…) castles in the air and the malicious gossips concerning supposed documents for a turn back are pure invention, following upon a standard cliché, and obstinately brought up again and again.”
“I wish,” continued the Roman prelate, “to simply quote some of the wishes made by the Second Vatican Council and which the pope has been constantly promoting with intelligence and depth of soul: more understanding relationships established with the Orthodox and Eastern Church, dialogue with Judaism and also with Islam, with a reciprocal attraction, bringing about responses and deeper reflections which we have never attained before, by a purification of the memory and an opening to the other’s riches.”
During the month preceding this interview, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made known that it would not receive the petition Vaticanum II “for the full recognition of the decisions taken by the Second Vatican Council,” signed in Germany and worldwide thanks to the Internet by priests, religious, professors of theology, pastoral agents and members of Catholic associations. This petition expressed the fear that some parts of the Roman Catholic Church become again an “antimodernist enclave.” The signatories lamented the fact that, by “his act of charity” towards the Society of Saint Pius X, Pope Benedict XVI had taken a step backwards, whereas a step in the direction of the reforming forces (i.e. progressivists, Ed.) present all over the planet seems unthinkable to him. This past March, the initiators of the petition had handed to the secretary of the German Bishops Conference, Fr. Hans Langendörfer, close to 36,000 signatures.
“The habit has spread,” Cardinal Bertone also deplored in the Osservatore Romano, “to ascribe to the pope — or as it is said especially in Italy, to the Vatican — the responsibility for all that happens in the Church or for all that such or such a representative or member of local Churches, institutions or ecclesial groups declares.” “This is not correct,” he retorted, “responsibility is a personal matter, and this criterion holds true for all, even within the Church,” and he added: “The manner of reporting or judging depends upon the good intentions and the love for truth of journalists and the medias.”
Cardinal Bertone attacked the role played by the media in the recent affairs which shook the Church: the lifting of the four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Williamson’s affair, the affair of the abortion in Recife (Brazil) and also the discourses of the pope concerning condoms during his visit to Africa. “Sincerely,” he stated, “I think it would be very easy for journalists to relate Benedict XVI’s action and thinking by browsing through the books containing his teaching and by reading the texts published in the Osservatore Romano.” According to him, “it would be enough to be as transparent and faithful (as the pope, Ed.) and to report his exact words and gestures as Father of the People of God, sine glossa, that is to say, without adding any convoluted interpretation.”
The high prelate presented Benedict XVI as “perfectly acquainted with the Roman Curia” and deplored the “gossips which sometimes spread around in some circles of the Curia, and which, unfortunately, are little in keeping with a true love for the Church.” Underlying the fact that the pope had already appointed 70 superiors in the various dicasteries, Cadinal Bertone announced as imminent “new appointments” and “surprises” in this domain, “especially concerning the representation of the new Churches.” Without further precision, he added that: “Africa had already offered and will offer excellent candidates.”
(DICI n° 201 – October 1, 2009 – Sources: Apic/Imedia/KNA)