Who is Tarcisio Bertone?


Il Camerlengo


Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone, Salesian of Don Bosco, commonly known just as Tarcisio Bertone, is a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. It is a good bet that in the next few days you will be hearing/reading his name a lot, but why?


Bertone (who is 78 years-old) is currently the Camerlengo of the so called holy see, a position of much relevance during the sede vacante period which follows the death or resignation of a pope.  As you probably already know, a sede vacante period will begin on Thursday, February 28th 2013 at 20:00 hours (Vatican City time). Il Camerlengo is in charge of managing the property of the Vatican during the sede vacante period. The government of the Catholic Church however, is assumed by the College of Cardinals with the limitations set by Canon Law.


San Pietro 2012 by TRC
Photo by TRC © 2012.


The name of Bertone will be mentioned not only because of his position as Camerlengo, but due to his eligibility to succeed Mr. Ratzinger as bearer of the Annulus Piscatoris (Ring of the Fisherman). Nevertheless, given his age some experts believe it is unlikely Bertone will become the 266th pope.


Mr. Bertone assumed cardinalate in 2003; he also holds the position of Cardinal Secretary of State (in charge of the political and diplomatic activities of the holy see) since September, 2006. He is eligible to vote in any conclave celebrated before his 80th birthday.


As most of the Church’s leaders, the Italian Cardinal Bertone is no stranger to controversy and serious accusations of abuse of power, corruption and cover up for members of the clergy who have been linked to paedophilic activities and other kinds of sexual abuse. In addition, some fanatics believe Mr. Tarcisio Pietro Bertone might become “Peter the Roman” a central character of an alleged apocalyptic prophecy.


Cardinal Bertone


February 21st, 2013.





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