Tarcisio Bertone

Infobox Cardinal
honorific-prefix =
name = Tarcisio Bertone
honorific-suffix =
title = Cardinal Secretary of State

caption =
province =
diocese =
see = Frascati
enthroned = May 10, 2008
ended = Incumbent
predecessor = Angelo Cardinal Sodano
successor =
ordination =
consecration = 1991
cardinal = 21 October 2003
rank = Cardinal Bishop
other_post = Archbishop of Verceli, Archbishop of Genoa
birth_name =
birth_date = 2 December 1934 (age age|1934|12|2)
birthplace = Romano Canavese, Piedmont, Italy
death_date =
deathplace =
buried =
nationality =
religion =
residence =
parents =
spouse =
children =
ocupation =
profession =
alma_mater =

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, SDB (born 2 December 1934) is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Cardinal Secretary of State and Camerlengo, having previously served as Archbishop of Genoa from 2002 to 2006. Bertone was elevated to the cardinalate in 2003. On May 10, 2008, he was named Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati, upon the death of Cardinal Trujillo, and is now one of the highest-ranking officials in the Church.

Early life

Bertone was born 2 December 1934 in Romano Canavese, Piedmont, the fifth of eight children. He revealed his mother was a determined anti-Fascist militant of the Italian Popular Party, and later a Christian Democrat.

He professed his vows as a member of the Salesians on 3 Dec 1950, and was ordained a priest by Archbishop Albino Mensa on 1 July 1960. He holds a doctorate in Canon law; his dissertation was entitled "The Governance of the Church in the Thought of Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758)" [Zenit. [http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=94924 Cardinal Bertone Prefers Activity to Study] September 15, 2006] . He served as Professor of Special Moral Theology at the Pontifical Salesian University from 1967 until his appointment as professor of canon law in 1976, at which post he served until 1991. He was a guest professor of Public Ecclesiastical Law at the Institute Utriusque Iuris of the Pontifical Lateran University in 1978. In 1988 he was appointed to a group of experts that assisted Cardinal Ratzinger in the negotiations with schismatic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. He was also commissioned by Pope John Paul II to assist Emmanuel Milingo, Archbishop Emeritus of Lusaka, Zambia, in August 2001, when the latter decided to return to the Roman Catholic Church after his civil marriage within the Moon sect.

Archbishop and Cardinal

On 4 July 1991, Bertone was appointed Archbishop of Vercelli by Pope John Paul II. He was consecrated a bishop one month later by Archbishop Mensa, who had also ordained him. He held this post until his resignation in 1995 upon being named Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger, who would later become Pope Benedict XVI. Appointed Archbishop of Genoa on 10 December 2002 and installed on 2 February 2003, Bertone was elevated to the College of Cardinals in the consistory of 21 October 2003, being associated as Cardinal Priest of "Santa Maria Ausiliatrice in Via Tuscolana". Archbishop Angelo Amato succeeded Cardinal Bertone as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

As a member of the Society of Don Bosco, he is still considered as a priest who has undertaken work with youth who, in Pope John Paul's last words, he had sought throughout his papacy. There was a story that "Bertone’s priest secretary recalled for the paper an occasion in which Bertone decided to take a public bus to the Apostolic Palace. As the Cardinal in his long black cassock and red fascia strode on to the bus, the people—especially a group of young people—stared in silence. Bertone immediately broke the ice with his “characteristic” smile. By the time he reached his destination the prelate had engaged the youth in a deep conversation on love, sex, virginity, and chastity" [ Whispers in the Loggia. [http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2006/08/faithful-secretary.html The Faithful Secretary] August 18, 2006] .

Moreover, Bertone's dissertation on tolerance and religious freedom has given him a good start as a theologian and canonist in a crisis-ridden world. He actually later specialized in the relationship between social morality, faith and politics. He also helped in the revision of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, and undertook pastoral work in parishes.

In the Jubilee Year 2000, Cardinal Bertone was entrusted by John Paul II with the publication of third part of the secret of Fatima.

Bertone was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Bertone remains eligible to vote in any future conclaves that begin before his 80th birthday on December 2, 2014.

infobox cardinalstyles
cardinal name=Tarcisio Bertone
dipstyle=His Eminence
offstyle=Your Eminence
See=Frascati (Suburbicarian)
On March 15, 2005, Bertone was in the news for "breaking the Church's silence" and sharply criticizing Dan Brown's 2003 novel "The Da Vinci Code", saying the book's central concept that Jesus had been married to Mary Magdalene and fathered a bloodline was heresy and "shameful", and that believers should boycott the book. Both Bertone and official Vatican spokespeople insisted that Bertone was not speaking as an official representative of the Church, but it was also noted that Bertone's high placement within the Church hierarchy (his name was often cited as a potential candidate for the next pontiff) gave his words considerable weight, such that his comments were often reported by various media as an official statement from the Vatican [ BBC News. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4350625.stm Church Fights Da Vinci Code Novel] March 15, 2006] . In 2006, the NBC news program Dateline described his statement as "a high-ranking Vatican Cardinal called for a boycott of the film."

Cardinal Secretary of State

On June 22, 2006, Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Bertone to replace Angelo Sodano as the Cardinal Secretary of State, assuming the office on September 15 of that same year. It was revealed on the following August 31 that Cardinal Bertone had a dream in which Pope John Paul II spoke to him saying "do not be afraid" to the Cardinal as he prepares to take his new job [Whispers in the Loggia. [http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2006/08/bertone-i-had-dream.html Bertone: "I Had a Dream"] August 31, 2006] . On 4 April 2007, Benedict XVI also appointed Cardinal Bertone as Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church (or Camerlengo) in succession to Eduardo Martínez Somalo, who reached his eightieth birthday on the previous March 31. The duties of the Camerlengo are largely confined to administration during the vacancy of the Holy See. Bertone remains eligible to vote in any future conclaves that occur before his 80th birthday on 2 December, 2014. On 10 May, 2008 he was promoted to the rank of Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati [ [] ] , following the death of Alfonso López Trujillo on 19 April.

Bertone is known to study the problem at hand before taking action. One such example is when after he was named bishop he "locked himself in his room all night and studied the life of Saint Eusebius, who was bishop of the city back in 345 AD" [ Whispers in the Loggia. [http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2006/08/faithful-secretary.html The Faithful Secretary] August 18, 2006] .

Just before coming to his new office, in an interview in response to a question about Curial reform he said "after almost two decades, an evaluation of how the dicasteries are organised is more than comprehensible, in order to reflect on how to make the existing structures more efficient for the mission of the Church and eventually to consider whether all of them should be maintained" [CathNews. [http://www.cathnews.com/news/608/181.php Cardinal Bertone Wants to be Secretary of Church Not State] August 31, 2006] .

Cardinal Bertone suggested in December 2006 that the Holy See "could, in future, field a team that plays at the top level, with Roma, Inter Milan, Genoa and Sampdoria." He continued saying "If we just take the Brazilian students from our Pontifical universities we could have a magnificent squad" [Telegraph. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/19/wvatican19.xml Vatican Wants to Play Priests in Serie A] December 20, 2006] . However only hours later he said that, "I've got much more to do than cultivating a football squad for the Vatican".

On June 5, 2007, at a conference announcing the release of a new biography of Pope Pius XII, Bertone defended Pius against claims of indifference toward the Jews during The Holocaust. The Cardinal condemned this accusation as a "black legend" and "an attack on good sense and on rationality", which has "become so firmly established that even to scratch it is an arduous task" [Catholic World News. [http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=51612 Strong Defense of Pius XII by Cardinal Bertone] June 6, 2007] . Although he admitted that Pius XII had been "cautious" in condemning Nazi Germany, Bertone stated that Nazi forces would have intensified its program of genocide had the Pope been more outspoken.

Pope Benedict XVI Islam controversy

On 16 September 2006, Cardinal Bertone, after only one day in his job as Cardinal Secretary of State, released a declaration explaining that the "position of the Pope concerning Islam is unequivocally that expressed by the conciliar document Nostra Aetate" and that "the Pope's option in favour of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue is equally unequivocal." ["Libreria Editrice Vaticana'. [ "Traduzione In Lingua Inglesse"] September 16, 2006]

Comments by Patriarch Alexius II

On 5 December 2006 Patriarch Alexius II accused that Holy See of an "extremely unfriendly policy" [KYIV Post. [http://www.kyivpost.com/bn/25633/] ] when he said that the Catholic Church was poaching converts in Orthodox lands in Russia and other ex-Soviet republics. In response Cardinal Bertone said that, "We do not want to engage in proselytism in Russia" [Zenit. [http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=99421 Cardinal Bertone: We Don't Proselytize] December 5, 2006] .

"Le Figaro" Interview

On March 31, 2007, Cardinal Bertone confirmed Pope Benedict's impending publication of the long-expected "motu proprio" extending the indult for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass in an interview with the French newspaper "Le Figaro" [Le Figaro. [http://www.lefigaro.fr/magazine/20070402.WWW000000495_bertone_foi_et_raison_ne_s_opposent_pas.html Bertone: "Foi et raison ne s'opposent pas" - in French] April 2, 2007] [Rortate Cæli. [http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2007/03/urgent-news-bertone-confirms-motu_31.html Breaking News: Bertone Confirms Motu Proprio] March 31, 2007] [Catholic World News. [http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=50261 Media Distort Church Statements, Cardinal Bertone Charges] April 2, 2007] .

In the same interview, Bertone "blasted the media for highlighting the Vatican's views on sex while maintaining a 'deafening silence' about charity work done by thousands of Catholic organisations around the world" [Moora. [http://moora.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=international%20news&subclass=general&story_id=571516&category=general Pope's Aide Blasts Church Media Coverage] April 1, 2007] . He continued saying that, "I see a fixation by some journalists on moral topics, such as abortion and homosexual unions, which are certainly important issues but absolutely do not constitute the thinking and work of the Church".

External links

* [http://www.catholic-pages.com/hierarchy/cardinals_bio.asp?ref=218 Biography at catholic-pages.com]
* [http://www.geocities.com/hashanayobel/cardinals/profile1.htm#Bertone Tarcisio Bertone, Salesian Cardinal]
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1584774,00.html Bertone interview]


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