Cardinal Bertone Will Bring 'Excellent Report' Back to Holy Father
At a press conference on Wednesday with members of the international Catholic press, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said that he will give “an excellent report” to Pope Benedict XVI on his trip to the United States to attend the Knights of Columbus 125th Supreme Council Meeting in Nashville.
“I am going to bring some of the documents from the meeting, in particular the written report of Mr. Carl Anderson that was presented to us yesterday,” said Cardinal Bertone, referring the Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson’s annual report.
Supreme Knight Anderson hosted the press conference, which was also attended by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic nuncio to the United States.
The oral presentation of the annual report was given by the Supreme Knight on Tuesday morning during the opening session of the convention. In it he spoke about the proud history of the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal family organization, and he outlined the Order’s continued growth in membership and charitable works for the Church and society.
At the press conference, which included U.S. and overseas journalists, Cardinal Bertone also spoke about Father Michael J. McGivney.
“I can only hope that his life truly be made known to many more people throughout the world as it has been made known to people here in the United States,” the cardinal said.
“It is not only the fact that his life revolved around questions of social care of people, but also that his life must be made known in its fullness for what it really stood for – his commitment to catechesis and evangelization. It can’t be presented as a life that was only for social needs but also must be told from the perspective of a man of the Church.”
At the convention’s opening Mass the day before, Cardinal Bertone preached on the life and virtues of Father McGivney and said that he takes a personal interest in the cause for beatification of the founder of the Knights of Columbus.
Cardinal Bertone was the main celebrant of a Mass for the Knights of Columbus in his first trip to the United States since being named to his Vatican position last year by Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Bertone made the trip to Nashville, Tenn., specifically to attend the Order’s convention and to deliver a message from the Holy Father.
In his homily, Cardinal Bertone conveyed Pope Benedict’s best wishes. “Please be assured of the Holy Father’s spiritual closeness [to the Knights] and of a special remembrance in his prayers at this time.” He also assured attendees of the Holy Father’s “gratitude for the good works carried out by the Knights of Columbus.”
He praised Knights of Columbus founder, the Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney, calling him a “holy parish priest” who “ministered to [parishioners] with Christ-like compassion.”
He “found the faith and courage to walk steadfastly toward Christ and to inspire others by his leadership,” said Cardinal Bertone.
The cardinal also commended the Order for its works of mercy and charity, comparing Knights to the Good Samaritan. “You bind the wounds of those you discover lying by the wayside and help restore them to health and strength,” he said. “We thank the Lord for the good works that are carried out in the Catholic community through the generosity of the Knights of Columbus.”
The Aug. 7 Mass began with a hush of the sacred filling the spacious convention center’s ballroom, as a Fourth Degree honor guard passed down the center aisle. The sacred strains of the hymn “The Heavens Are Telling” was begun by the choir, and a long line of priests, bishops and cardinals then processed to the sanctuary and kissed the altar.
With chairs arranged from wall to wall, more than 2,600 Knights, wives and family members filled the ballroom for the Tuesday morning liturgy.
The Mass was the new liturgy of the Church offered in Latin, and Cardinal Bertone delivered his homily in Italian, with simultaneous translation provided to the delegates in their own language through the use of headsets.
Intentions for the Prayer of the Faithful were read by brother Knights in English, Spanish, Polish, French and the Filipino language Tagalog.
Cardinal Bertone imparted his apostolic blessing at the close of Mass “as a gift of the abundant divine blessing.”
After Mass, he joined fellow clergy members for a lunch hosted by the Knights of Columbus.