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Cardinal Bertone: John Paul II was like a flag-bearer to us, when we were young

2014-04-17

In the time before John Paul II named him a cardinal, Tarcisio Bertone worked alongside future Pope Benedict XVI. The Church's leader at the time was a charismatic Polish man that he admired greatly. 

CARD. TARCISIO BERTONE
Former Secretary of State
"As Pope, I got to know him better, because Cardinal Ratzinger, when I was a consultant for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, would send me to certain meetings, especially those about canon law.”

Cardinal Bertone said he met John Paul II before he was a cardinal. During that time, he said Karol Wojtyla was well regarded for his strong defense of his faith in Communist Poland. Card. Bertone said over time, Wojtyla became a sort of flag-bearer for emerging Church leaders.

CARD. TARCISIO BERTONE
Former Secretary of State
"I remember a very gifted man, both intellectually and in character, with a strong willingness to give witness, as a trailblazer, especially with youth.”

The former Secretary of State remembers the Polish Pope as an exampled of courage and bravery. But at the same time, he added that John Paul II was sweet, respectful and brotherly.

CARD. TARCISIO BERTONE
Former Secretary of State
"Every time we saw him, he made humorous remarks. But he was still a strong defender of Catholic Doctrine, basing himself especially on Christology, on Jesus Christ, our only Savior.”

With his elevation to the altars, Card. Bertone classified John Paul II as an "extraordinary witness of the 20th Century,” and a perfect saint for the third millennium.


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