Thursday, August 10, 2006

Vatican's Incoming #2 Official Speaks


Aug. 09 ( - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who is soon to become the Vatican Secretary of State, offered some insights into his thinking in an interview with the Italian magazine 30 Giorni.

Cardinal Bertone, who will take over the Vatican's #2 spot when Cardinal Angelo Sodano officially retires on September 15, spoke to 30 Giorni on a number of topics, including the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), the third secret of Fatima, the treatment of wayward Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, and the crisis in the Middle East.

In 1988, Father Bertone (then the rector of the Pontifical Salesian University) was one of a group of advisers helping then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in his talks with Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the SSPX, in efforts to avoid a split between the traditionalist group and the Holy See. "It was a painful but very interesting experience," he told the magazine, "even though the results were not positive."

Today, the cardinal said, he remains convinced that "if there is a sincere desire on the part of the Lefebvrists to return to full communion with the Holy See, it will not be difficult to find appropriate ways to reach that result." That is particularly true, he said, in the light of the audience held by Pope Benedict XVI with Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the SSPX, last summer.

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