Pope's Secretary of State on Chile (Part 2)

Interview With Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 20, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is part two of a translation of an interview with Benedict XVI’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, gave to L’Osservatore Romano, Vatican Radio and Vatican Television following his April 5-15 trip to Chile.

The cardinal visited the South American nation to encourage those affected by the Feb. 27 earthquake, which devastated much of the country.

Part one of this interview appeared Monday [http://www.zenit.org/article-28969?l=english].

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Q: Chile is showing great economic growth. Why did you stress that it must not be forgotten that the human person remains always at the center of the economy?

Cardinal Bertone: From the economic point of view, Chile is among the countries of Latin America that is outstanding for its economic robustness. I must say that even the entrepreneurs that have come from far away — Italian and Croatians entrepreneurs and those of other nations — are well rooted in Chile, with enterprises with a great sense of responsibility.

Hence, I think this idea of “Caritas in Veritate” — the social responsibility of enterprises — is present. I had a meeting with entrepreneurs, and this meeting was very positive also for the purpose of Chile’s reconstruction, because they also showed me the plans for reconstruction and the desire to allocate part of the profits of their firms — the mining firms, for example, to the reconstruction. There is a good relation between the entrepreneurs and the universities, for example, with the Catholic University, which is very important because it makes young people more gifted with talent emerge as well as those who cannot access the specializations of higher grades. There is for this a system of study scholarships provided by the firms and Egrave; a very productive system for the formation of leadership and professional cadres.

Benedict XVI’s recent teaching was the model that guided me in the messages that I left to the different categories. The idea of “Caritas in Veritate” is that development must be development of the whole man and of all men: This is the underlying idea. Of the whole man and of all men; hence, without leaving anyone aside, in so far as possible.
Q: Recalling the papal mediation between Chile and Argentina, you highlighted the effectiveness of dialogue to maintain peace between states. Is it still a timely example for international conflicts that continue in time?
Cardinal Bertone: It is an extraordinary example, because as everyone knows and as was confirmed in the celebration of the 25th anniversary, they had come to the edge of war and of a war that would have been devastating for the two countries. War was avoided — it can be said — in the end, precisely because of the Church’s mediation.

In situations of opposition between peoples, many times the Church — I have mentioned also some mediations in Africa, during the first African Synod — is invited in fact to mediate between opposing and concurrent factions, perhaps in the interior of the same state. However, necessary for this mediation to be effective is the choice of courageous and illumined men on the part of the Church — suffice it to recall Cardinal Samore and his collaborators — but also on the part of the States, because the delegations must also be convinced of the possibility of attaining results and not set wall against wall. In any case it is dialogue that wins, as Paul VI said: there are no other ways, because we see that the other ways — the way of arms, the way of clashes — do not produce fruits.
Q: You also touched upon the topic of youth and youth pastoral care. Was it solicited also by the fact of the diminution of priestly vocations and the problem of the formation of young political leaders that might interest the Churches of Latin America?
Cardinal Bertone: Without a doubt. Latin America is a young continent, it is a continent where the young population — also in the minority population — is the majority, hence there is the problem of preparing, of educating for the assumption of a mission, of a role in society, in addition to forming solid personalities, based on profound human and Christian values. In past decades there was a boom of vocations in Latin America, there still are countries that certainly can boast so many vocations to the priestly state, we think of Mexico.

However, in Chile the scarcity of vocations is felt also in religious congregations: Hence, it is a real problem. Therefore, it is necessary to form young people to this assumption of social responsibility, whether in dedication and response to Christ who calls to participate in his mission of salvation, or to responsibility in religious congregations, in institutes of consecrated life with the wonderful work that the different institutes of consecrated life do, or in social life, hence in the preparation to carry out tasks of a specifically political nature. And I saw that young people respond.

The universities — I visited some Catholic universities, the Catholic University of Santiago — I also met with the superior of the Jesuits, I visited the Raúl Silva Henríquez University (University run by the Salesians) — offer many courses of formation in the Social Doctrine of the Church and have a decisive, generous answer on the part of many young people. I had a meeting with young leaders engaged in politics, in society, in schools, committed already at the level of collaboration with the various Ministries of the Chilean government, young people between 22 and 38 years old, young people well motivated religiously and formed in the solid foundation of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

I met with very many young people: among the meetings with young people I had a meeting in Punta Arenas, a meeting in Concepcion and a meeting in Santiago — thousands of young people, very interesting meetings, pointing above all to the topic of education to responsibility.

Hence, I believe that this is a very important topic, a path to follow, either to elicit positive responses to the priestly vocation or to elicit positive responses to social service and to service of the common good and to the political commitment of young people. It seems to me that young people give positive answers: perhaps they are still small groups, but there are many groups in different instances of Chilean society.
Q: There is a problem at this moment that does not concern the Chilean Church in particular, but, to a degree, the universal Church: In your opinion, how will the Church come out of the delicate problem of the sexual abuses of the clergy?
Cardinal Bertone: It seems to me that in these days, the Pope has given us a very clear line, a line of profound reflection on conduct and of great commitment to fidelity to Christ, of loyalty in one’s mission, according to each ones’ vocation. It seems to me that the first indication of the Pope as confirmed again in the Pauline Chapel, speaking to the members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, is that of purification and penance, to assume with determination ones own mission according to the plan of God.

The second line is a courageous and strong educational commitment, because this is the area in which boys, youths and formators are formed and hence it is necessary to give values here that are the lymph of life, of the behavior of young people and of those who are concerned with the young. The educational commitment, which has always been a boast of the Church, in the history of the Church, and which in Chile has had great protagonists as the social St. Alberto Hurtado, who wrote so much on the educational problems, founded a magazine, founded Christian labor unions, is a path to be followed with seriousness, with solidity so as to build the personality of the third millennium, forged on the evangelical law.

And then, the third line — we are at the end of the
Year for Priests — the renewal of the priestly mission. According to the plan of Christ, who is the model of every priest, and according to the great messages that the Pope has given in this Year for Priests. In the meeting with priests and also in the meeting with the episcopate of Chile, I was asked: What should be done to be able to continue to take the best elements of the Year for Priests and to bear them in life, so that a cycle will not be closed with the closure of the Year for Priests? And this is precisely the commitment in which we must all be involved, above all in regard to candidates for the priesthood and priests, in keeping with their mission.

And I would like to end with a beautiful expression of St. Alberto Hurtado, who was a social saint but very devoted to Our Lady (we remember the Marian devotion of the Chilean people). He addressed this prayer to Our Lady, with which he concluded the celebration in the shrine of St. Alberto Hurtado, and says: Mary, look at us. If you look at us, the Lord will look at us. Mother of mine look at us, by your hand take us very close to Him — to the Lord — as we wish to dwell here.

Hence, closeness to Our Lady and to the Lord gives security also in the fulfillment of one’s mission.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Part 1: www.zenit.org/article-28969?l=english

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