Pope extends term of Cardinal Bertone as Secretary of State
January 22, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in his post as the Vatican Secretary of State, the Vatican newspaper reports. The Holy Father declined to accept the resignation that Cardinal Bertone offered on his 75th birthday, in accordance with canon law.
In a letter dated January 15, the Pope thanked Cardinal Bertone for his help over the years, noting that they had begun working together at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Pope Benedict said that he had long admired Cardinal Bertone’s clear grasp of doctrinal and canonical issues, as well as his discipline, dedication, and “humanitas.” The Pope concluded:
All these qualities were the motive that led me to decide, in the summer of 2006, to appoint you as my secretary of State, and they are the reasons why, also for the future, I do not wish to forgo your vital collaboration.
The Secretary of State holds a position of enormous influence at the Vatican, supervising not only the foreign affairs of the Holy See but also the internal workings of the Vatican bureaucracy. In practice, all other offices of the Roman Curia, with the exception of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, report to the Secretary of State.