On the first anniversary of his appointment as the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone held a question and answer session with the press in Lorenzago di Cadore, where the Pope is vacationing.
Reflecting on his first year in office, he said that Benedict XVI is, “a volcano of creativity.” The Cardinal also noted that the Holy Father is particularly engaged in the world’s difficulties. “He carries the weight of the world’s problems on his shoulders. He is particularly concerned about the situations in Iraq, Africa, and the conflict between Israel and Palestine.”
Other topics that surfaced in the lengthy Q & A session were: the recent Motu Proprio and the election of a bishop in China.
The election of the new bishop, Joseph Li Shan, 43, who will be the head of the Patriotic Archdiocese of Beijing, was carried out by a group of state-sanctioned nuns, priests, and laity. According to UCA News, no government officials were present at the voting, but prior to the vote they lobbied the diocese’s priests to select Fr. Li Shan as the new bishop.
The Cardinal noted that the Holy See had, “not received any word from the government about the election, or a request for approval.” However, he commented that, “Fr. Li is a good, well-suited candidate for the position” and that “his prominence seems a positive sign.”
Bertone also mentioned the Pope’s concern about the clergy abuse scandal in the US, particularly in light of the recent settlement in Los Angeles. “The phenomenon of pedophile priests is shocking and hits directly at the identity and mission that the Church is called to carry out,” the Secretary of State said. He added that the problem constitutes a small number of clergy within the Church.