Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has rejected accusations that he had angered Pope Francis with his 'luxurious' new residence, saying he and the Pope are on good terms, reports the Catholic News Agency.
'I am personally grateful to Pope Francis for having called me April 23 to express his solidarity and his disappointment for the media attacks about the apartment, of which he had been informed as soon as the article was published,' the emeritus Secretary of State wrote in an open letter published in the magazines of the archdioceses of Vercelli and Genoa, both of which he led for a time.
Italian daily La Repubblica published an article on April 20 claiming that the cardinal was moving into a lavish 6,500-square foot apartment in the Vatican’s San Carlo Palace, while Pope Francis has been urging clerics to adopt a modest lifestyle.
According to La Repubblica, the Pope himself had been angered by the luxury of Cardinal Bertone’s new apartment. The paper claimed that the restructure combines two apartments, one formerly the home of the head of the gendarmerie, and another once home to a Vatican monsignor.
Three nuns who worked with him while he was Secretary of State will live with him in his new residence. San Carlo Palace is a few steps from Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where Pope Francis resides.
Cardinal Bertone did not make any official statement, but in the end decided to send a letter to the weekly magazines of the two dioceses where he had been ordinary, in order 'to thank the friends' from the dioceses who showed him support amid the media reports. He said the media 'doubled the size' of the apartment, which has been 'temporarily' given to him, and which he had renovated at his 'own expense.'
FULL STORY Cardinal Bertone defends himself against accusations of luxury (CNA)