By Catholic News Agency's Vatican Observer
Cardinal Bertone: Vatican secretary of state has pastoral task
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone at the Vatican's New Synod Hall on Nov. 12, 2013. Credit: Alan Holdren/CNA.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone at the Vatican's New Synod Hall on Nov. 12, 2013. Credit: Alan Holdren/CNA.
Andrea Gagliarducci
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- As the Vatican's Secretary of State is also a bishop, his diplomatic action must take into consideration pastoral and missionary concerns, the secretary of state emeritus has said.

“During those seven years, I worked as secretary of state with the certain conviction that I needed to imbue my post with pastorality and a missionary spirit,” Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was secretary of state from 2006 until Oct. 15 of this year, said Nov. 12.

He spoke at the Vatican's New Synod Hall at a presentation of his book, newly published in Italian, called “Papal Diplomacy in a Globalized World,” which collects his addresses given while head of the Secretariat of State.

The book's publication can be seen as an effort to make a “final balance” of the Vatican's diplomatic activity under Benedict XVI.

While secretary of state, Cardinal Bertone was sometimes criticized for his frequent travels, but he said at the presentation that “a secretary of state must travel and visit countries” because in addition to serving as a sort of 'prime minister', the office also is responsible for the Holy See's foreign relations. The Holy See maintains diplomatic ties with 179 nations worldwide.

While a possible reform of the Secretariat of State, within a larger reform of the Roman Curia, is widely discussed, Cardinal Bertone pointed out that “a secretary of state has the function of being collaborator, counselor, and faithful tool of a mission coming from the highest, and incarnated in the diverse and original personalities of the successors of Peter.”

Also speaking at the book's presentation were Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States; Hans-Gert Poettering, a former president of the European Parliament; Fr. Federico Lombardi, Holy See press officer; and Vincenzo Buonomo, a law professor and editor of the work.

Archbishop Mamberti said that Vatican diplomacy is always concerned with building peace and fighting poverty, and that under Benedict XVI there was a particular concern for the “right use of reason, which leads to a real experience of religious freedom.”

“Papal diplomacy, before being a vehicle for dialogue between civil and ecclesiastical communities, is 'first and foremost a tool of intra-ecclesial cohesion', a sign of that 'concern for all the Churches' that the Bishop of Rome has always demonstrated,” he said.

He further asserted that “the diplomatic action of the Holy See is always oriented toward a positive good.” Archbishop Mamberti explained that “even when the Holy See recalls some specific values,” such as that of the dignity of human life, it is not a negative claim.

“The Church works to instill confidence, animated by the Christian hope that is not merely optimism, as Pope Francis always reminds us.”

Poettering's comments focused on Cardinal Bertone's role in promoting European unity, underscoring that “the lack of a shared ethics has always been the basis of a weak democracy.”

“If Europe will engage this idea, it will have to acknowledge the public role of religious bodies, including the Church.”

Buonomo, who teaches international law at the Lateran University, sketched the evolution of the Vatican diplomacy.

He maintained that Holy See diplomacy “knows very well that the goals of justice can never have a definitive solution – there is a need to build it up daily.”

“Vatican diplomatic activity is not shaped to achieve compromises. It is mostly aimed at building activity at the service of the human person.”

Tags: Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 25, 2015

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 1:14-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 1:14-20