...a winner! Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the new Secretary of State for the Vatican.
In addition to being heavily involved in addressing the sexual abuse crisis in the Church, Cardinal Bertone, 71, has been outspoken in his defense of life and family.
In a 2001, prior to the Vatican's recent reiteration of the teaching that men with homosexual inclinations should not be permitted to enter seminary, Cardinal Bertone stated in an interview with the Catholic News Service, "persons with a homosexual inclination should not be admitted to the seminary." He explained that while not sinful, the inclination to homosexuality "evokes moral concern" since it is a strong inclination to actions that "are always in themselves evil."
In 2000 then-Archbishop Bertone spoke out strongly against the complacency of Catholics in affluent countries in defending life and family. Speaking to the Pontifical Academy for Life in February of that year, Bertone said: "Unfortunately, in the great societies of today's world, where numerous unjust laws are enforced, many Catholics do not comply adequately with their duty to oppose these laws. The fundamental reasons are the weakness of faith and Christian commitment, and the poor distribution of tasks between pastors and the laity."
In January 2004, Cardinal Bertone took part in an event called "Dialogue in the Cathedral" at the Basilica of St. John Lateran. There the incoming Secretary of State commented on the breakdown of the family and particularly the absence of fathers saying, "If there is no father, the entire architecture of the family is destined to crumble." During the address he commented on the low birthrates in the West saying, "In Genoa, we have the best hospital for infants, but we have no infants."