Category Archives: Holy See

Cardinal Bertone steps down as Secretary of State

Bertone and Pope FrancisCardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, concluded his mandate as Secretary of State today at Noon Rome time. His successor Archbishop Pietro Parolin, 58, takes over today though he had surgery for appendicitis. Until this appointment on August 31, the archbishop had been the nuncio in Caracas.

Cardinal Bertone, 78, is a vowed member of the Salesians Society, a priest for 53 years, 22 years a bishop and 10 years a cardinal; since 2006, the Secretary of State. In 2007, Benedict appointed Bertone Chamberlain of the Apostolic Chamber.

Pope Francis’ expression of gratitude to Cardinal Bertone follows.

Also, a report from Vatican Radio has been filed. AND here is a report on the event by Rome Reports.

“It is time for you, dear brother, to ‘pass the baton’ in the service of secretary of State. I therefore wish to join with you spiritually in giving thanks to God for the good that he has allowed you to achieve in this, such a delicate and challenging role. The memory of St. Theresa of Jesus, whom we celebrate on this date, invites you to turn your gaze to God: “Let nothing disturb you”, says the great saint of Avila, “let nothing frighten you; whoever has God lacks nothing”.

“On this occasion I feel the need to express my deep gratitude for the diligence which you have brought to your work over these seven years; and I do so also on behalf of the beloved Pope Benedict XVI, who called you from Genoa, where you were archbishop, to return to Rome and entrusted to you the role of secretary of State from 15 September 2006, and therefore also that of Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church. Seven years of hard work, lived with great generosity and in the spirit of service. I too have benefited to this day from your expert collaboration.

“There is an aspect for which I wish to express to you my appreciation in a particular way, and it is your faithfulness to the spirit of Don Bosco, the Salesian spirit, that you have been able to conserve and bear witness to in spite of being absorbed in the many commitments connected to the task of assisting Peter’s Successor. With the enterprise and love for the Pope characteristic of the sons of St. John Bosco, you have always carried out with dedication your task of guiding the international relations of the Holy See, so important in the exercise of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. At the same time, you have spared no efforts in taking the Papal Magisterium and the Apostolic blessing everywhere: to all countries, dioceses, parishes, universities, institutions, associations. Our Lady, Help of Christians has been close to you and has always assisted you in your valuable ministry. May her maternal intercession ensure for you the heavenly rewards and graces dearest to your heart. May there be a pledge of peace and spiritual joy in the blessing I impart to you, and which I extend with heartfelt gratitude also to your colleagues and loved ones.”

Papal medal in error

There’s a medal that’s designed and struck each year of the Pope’s reign. Each year the Holy See has a medal designed to communicate in art the officeholder of the papacy.

Poor Pope Francis’ medal has a glaring mistake in the misspelling of the Lord’s given name, Jesus. Medal reads: “Lesus.”

The circumference of the medal reads, in Latin: “Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum et quia miserando antque eligendo vidit, ait illi sequere me.” (Jesus therefore sees the tax collector, and since he sees by having mercy and by choosing, he says to him, follow me.) The sentence is taken from Saint Bede’s commentary of Saint Matthew’s gospel. What is seen on the papal coat of arms is very abbreviated. Each coin has the Pope’s coat of arms.

The Holy See recalled the 400 sets from sale after the spelling error was pointed out; only four were sold.  There are individual coins of gold (200), 3,000 silver, and 3,000 bronzed include a certificate of authenticity from the Vatican Secretariat of State. Indeed, these four medals become a rare artifact.

Created by the Italian State Mint and clearly an embarrassment. Spell check? I think back to what I used to say to my high school students when they gave me work with misspellings. Ahh, but we are only human.

Council of Cardinals to meet again

The Council of Cardinals have finished their official meetings for this round (1-3 October). They have been meeting since their April appointments through other means before now, and they’ll continue to contact each other as they work through the next set of agenda items.

The Council is due to meet 3-5 December and then in February 2014.

Come Holy Spirit. Come through Mary.

Pope and Council of Cardinals work on substantial Curial change

Word from the Holy See regarding the meeting this week of Pope Francis and the Council of Cardinals is that substantial change is expected in the Roman Curia. The change at hand is not going to be a mere redaction of Pastor bonus, the 1988 ecclesiastical constitution promulgated by Blessed John Paul II.

The accent is going to be subsidiarity providing room for greater collaboration between and among bishops and national Conferences of Bishops.

Nothing has been firmly decided and it will be the Pope who who will take these days of consultation to prayer and make decisions. It is speculated that significant revisions will happen in the current Secretary of State –perhaps being reformed to be an office of Secretary of the Pope. Also, there could be a Moderator of the Curia, and the revision of various Departments.

The Council meets twice a day with the Pope.

The Council of Cardinals, sometimes called the C8 is made up of the following churchmen:

  • Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras (coordinator of the Council), 70;
  • Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, (Council’s secretary), 65;
  • Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the president of the Vatican city-state governorate, 71;
  • Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz Ossa, the retired Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, 80;
  • Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India, 68;
  • Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, Germany, 60;
  • Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, USA, 69;
  • Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Dem. Congo, 74;
  • Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, 72.

Missing from the Council at the moment is a bishop/Cardinal from one of the the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Here’s a CNS report.

The Press Office directed by Jesuit Father Frederico Lombardi has this to say about parts of the meeting that are of interest. A previous review is here.

Vatican Bank’s annual report, first ever

The Institute for Works of Religion (aka, the Vatican Bank) has published the first annual report of its 125 year history for the year of 2012 and the first 8 months of 2013.

The goal: to report to the universal Church its holdings giving a window of transparency, it contributes to the mission of the Church; the investors, and the public. The IOR has, in the past months, reached out to the media by engaging in an open dialogue, creating a new managed website, and given the published report on finances.

You’ll find a lengthy report on the IOR’s business activities and detailed financial statements, including one from the external auditing company KPMG and statements from various others.

No new facts; the IOR is a conservative financial institution.

You can read the report here (it’s a 99 page .pdf).

Father Bernd Hagenkord spoke with the President of the IOR, Ernst von Freyberg.

Here is a 6 minute Vatican Radio interview.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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