Vatican City, Jul 4, 2012 / 15:15 pm
As he leaves the Vatican for his summer residence outside of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI voiced full confidence in his embattled Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
"On the eve of my departure for a period of summer rest at Castel Gandolfo, I would like to express my deep gratitude for your discreet closeness and enlightened advice, which I have found particularly helpful in recent months," said the Pope in a brief letter dated July 2 and released to the media July 4.
"Noting with regret the widespread and unjust criticism against your person, I intend to renew my statements of personal confidence in you."
In recent months it has been widely reported that Cardinal Bertone is the chief target of those leaking confidential internal Vatican documents to the media, the so-called "Vatileaks" scandal.