Vatican City, Nov 14, 2013 / 00:54 am America/Denver (CNA).
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.