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The ever-increasing clash between the sacred and the secular is slowly pulling European society apart, one of the continent’s leading thinkers tells Tom Heneghan
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The Vatican has refused to comment on reports that Pope Francis is outraged by the luxurious retirement flat built for the Holy See’s former Secretary of State.
Papal spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi “had nothing to say” about Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s intended residence, which at 350 sq metres, is five times bigger than that of Pope Francis, in the nearby Domus Sanctae Marthae.
But Italian media claimed this weekend that Pope Francis was furious about the Cardinal’s plans to move into the penthouse on the roof of the Palazzo San Carlo. Cardinal Bertone paid for the refurbishment of the apartment, which is formed of two existing flats and a 100sq metre terrace.
Cardinal Bertone, who is reportedly the subject of a financial investigation by the Vatican, defended the property in a letter to the newsletter of his former diocese, saying that it was converted at his own expense and was for his temporary use. Pope Francis had called him to express his “solidarity and disappointment” at the attacks directed at him because of the apartment, he added.