Cardinal Bertone wants to be Secretary of Church not State

Confirming that an overhaul and downsizing of the Vatican Curia is on the cards, incoming Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone says that he prefers to focus on being Secretary "of the Church".

Two weeks before starting his new post, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has said that a reform of the Roman Curia is very likely in order to make it "smaller and more agile," Catholic News Agency reports, citing an interview published by Milan newspaper Il Giornale.

Cardinal Bertone noted that two reforms of the Roman Curia have been conducted over the last half century, "one right after the Second Vatican Council, by Pope Paul VI and another one by Pope John Paul II".

"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."

The Cardinal also pointed out that he is "optimistic" in the face of the duties he will assume in two weeks, duties which will make him the closest cooperator with Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Bertone quoted advice given to him by the retired bishop of his native diocese of Ivrea, Italy, Bishop Luigi Bettazzi, who "recommended that I be secretary 'of Church' more than 'of state.'"

"I agree with him," the Cardinal told journalist Andrea Tornielli.

Referring to his new role, Cardinal Bertone said that the Holy See's task is not so much "to defend the interests of the Church, but rather justice and the dignity of man, of all men, especially of the weak and those who suffer intolerable injustices and inequalities", a Zenit report adds.

Concerning the Middle East, Cardinal Bertone recalled that Benedict XVI has spoken of three rights: "That of Lebanon to its integrity as a sovereign country, that of Israel to live in peace, and that of the Palestinians to live in a homeland."

The Cardinal directed "a special thought to Christians, who have found themselves between two fires and who, as has occurred in other tormented areas of the world, pay a high price."

"May no one forget the Christians of Lebanon," Cardinal Bertone concluded.

Cardinal Bertone: a reform in the Roman Curia is indeed possible (CNA 29/8/06)
Cardinal Bertone Intends to Be Secretary "of Church" (Zenit, 29/8/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (Wikipedia)

Bertone slams IMF and World Bank "usury" (CathNews, 10/8/06)
Bertone Vatican's new "prime minister" (CathNews, 23/9/06)

31 Aug 2006