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Cardinal Bertone hints at lawsuit over accusations he helped smear a Catholic editor

Catholic World News - July 03, 2014

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Vatican Secretary of State, has strongly denied a report in the Italian magazine L’Espresso that he helped orchestrate a campaign against the editor of a newspaper published by the Italian bishops’ conference.

Dino Boffo resigned as editor of Avvenire in 2009 after a series of reports in the Italian press implying that he was homosexual. Boffo said that the reports were “wrecking my family.” Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the president of the Italian bishops’ conference (which publishes Avvenire) said that the published rumors were a “disgusting” personal attack.

Shortly after Boffo’s resignation, new rumors appeared in the Italian press, suggesting that Cardinal Bertone had approved the release of damaging information about the Avvenire editor. (At the time, Boffo had been aggressive in criticizing the government of then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, with whom the Secretary of State was friendlier.) Cardinal Bertone angrily denied the charge.

Now the Vatican press office has announced that Cardinal Bertone “reserves the right to take legal action” against L’Espresso for continuing to connect the cardinal with the leaked information about Boffo’s private life. The Vatican press office said that the charges against the former Secretary of State were “false and offensive.”

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