Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bertone: Fair and Balanced

Ladies and gentlemen, the Vice-Pope has taken over the news cycle.

In his second interview with a US outlet to emerge over the last 24 hours, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone SDB held an hour-plus chat yesterday with Fox News Channel on his upcoming pilgrimage to the States... alongside Pope Benedict, of course.

While the sit-down has yet to air on cable's highest-rated news network, Vatican Radio's let slip a summary:
Bertone noted “the Holy See and Washington share many common viewpoints. For example the sense of the value of religion, not only in private life but also in public life”. He commented that “religion is a deep rooted fact in American way of life, which is not the case in many European countries”.

The Cardinal said that another point of accord is defence of fundamental human rights, such as the right to life and protection of the family based on marriage between man and woman.

Describing the United States as a mosaic of peoples, Cardinal Bertone added that “both the Holy See and the United States are promoters of peaceful coexistence between religions and cultures”.

On other issues, added the Cardinal, there remains a “difference of opinion. While both support and promote democracy, the methods used to ensure democracy are diverse. For the Holy See, the only method is dialogue, even if it requires a lot of patience, because in the long term dialogue is the most effective means of ensuring democracy”.

Cardinal Bertone also addressed the issue of the child sex abuse scandal which has rocked the Church in the United States. Contrary to some media reports to date, the Cardinal said that Pope Benedict will address this problem, which he described as an “open wound”, during his address to priests in New York’s St Patrick’s Cathedral on April 19th. The Cardinal reiterated that abuse of a child is a “flagrant contradiction to the teachings of the faith” and a “scourge”, which even if a minority of priests are responsible for, is “felt by the Church in the entire world”. During his address, concluded Cardinal Bertone, Pope Benedict "will invite the entire Church, priests and lay faithful, to reconciliation , so a future of justice, reciprocal trust and healing may begin for the Church in the United States.
The Secretary of State's media week began with a piece in Sunday's L'Osservatore Romano on the import of the Vatican daily's recent "renovation."