Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has firmly denied allegations made in the Italian magazine L’Espresso that he was an accomplice in smearing the reputation of Dino Boffo, a former editor of the Italian bishops’ newspaper, Avvenire.
In a statement, the Holy See Press Office said the former Vatican Secretary of State “categorically denies” the story as “baseless” and that the allegations are “false and offensive.”
The statement said the cardinal has never been involved in such an action, “much less been the cause of it.”
Boffo, who wrote critical editorials of the Berlusconi government, resigned as editor of Avvenire in 2009 after allegations concerning his private life emerged in the Italian daily Il Giornale. The newspaper was then owned by Silvio Berlusconi.
Cardinal Bertone said it was regrettable that this story has been taken up in the mass media and that because of this “new and unjustified” attack, he “reserves the right to take legal action.”