It did not take long for the Italian news agency Adkronos to report Cardinal Bertone's cheerful response.
"I am very proud to be described as a 'Yes man'," he said, "given that this colorful description truthfully reflects my support for the pastoral work of the pope."
The Vaticanista Massimo Franco, who writes for Milan-based Corriere della Sera daily, criticized the Vatican’s quick response to the WikiLeaks cables.
He said the Vatican’s statement, which urged “great prudence” in evaluating the cables, appeared both superfluous and defensive."
No matter what the Vatican is saying officially, the leaked cables clearly "touched uncovered and hyper-sensitive nerves," according to Franco.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Lombardi had underscored that quotations and opinions expressed by Vatican officials in the cables cannot be attributed to the Vatican, nor necessarily be considered accurate.
Franco said this attempt to put distance between Vatican officials and the contents of the cables was itself suspicious. It is "almost as if the Vatican wished to exorcise the suspicion, widespread anyway, that the critiques are fed from the inside," he said.
Some Vatican analysts are paying just minimal attention to the cables. A summary of Catholic apologist and Corriere della Sera writer Vittorio Messori's coverage was printed in a post on the new Italian site for veteran Vatican analysts called La Bussola Quotidiana.
According to a brief post, Messori said the cables reveal an American diplomacy "full of holes."
He noted that much of the content reprints "chatter, conversations with some journalists, for the sake of speaking without particular relevance, a little bit of gossip."
Messori did find one sentence in a cable to be "a pearl," however.
In a message ahead of the Pope's trip to Israel and Jordan in May 2009, a diplomat wrote: "Pope Benedict sometimes bewilders politicians and journalists by pursuing what he believes is in the best interest of the Church, such as reinstating the Lefebvrists or considering the canonization of Pius XII."
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Messori said he "could not imagine a better compliment or encouragement for a Bishop of Rome” than that of doing what he holds to be his duty.