ROMA, July 14, 2006 – Benedict XVI’s second summer as pope opened with a lightning visit to Valencia, Spain, and will close with a visit to his native land of Bavaria, from September 9 to 14. He has already announced, after his return to Rome, that his first act of governance will be the change of the secretary of state, with cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (see photo) replacing cardinal Angelo Sodano.
Benedict XVI’s initial plans did not include making the announcement as early as he did, with an official statement last June 22. But the resistance he encountered within the curia convinced him to nip the opposition in the bud.
Bertone is not a career diplomat – as almost all the secretaries of state have been in recent centuries - but he comes from the ranks of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of which he was the secretary from 1995 to 2003. He was the number two man, with Joseph Ratzinger as prefect, and now he is again becoming the main collaborator of the new pope.
It is an historic vindication for the Holy Office. Called by this name until the 1960’s, the congregation was referred to within the Vatican as “la Suprema.” Its highest official was the pope himself, and the rest of the curia hinged upon it.
Signor Sandro of course does his usual work in breaking down what's been going on and filtering it through the lens of history to add perspective. Read it all.