September 4, 2013

Crows and Vipers at the Vatican

Andrew Brown, Guardian

One of the most striking things about the Vatican is just how disconnected it can be from the world around it. Another is that it is at the same time fantastically well connected. Upwards of 150 states have diplomatic relations with the pope and it is represented in all international bodies of any significance. The paradox of extreme connectedness and extreme distance was nicely exemplified by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, whom Pope Francis has just sacked.

Bertone was 78, so his departure was hardly unexpected. But for the last seven years he has been the pope's number two, or secretary of state, among other things in charge of the papacy's relations with the outside world. And he held this position although he lacks one of the crucial qualifications of a modern diplomat:...

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TAGGED: Vatican, Tarcisio Bertone

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