The Pope's Right Hand Man

He has the trust of his boss. But does Tarcisio Bertone have what it takes to be the second most powerful Catholic in the world?

Gianni Giansanti

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone doesn't have the guarded air of those who tend to rise to the heights of Vatican power. He smiles easily. He laughs out loud. His oval face and dark, bespectacled eyes show no sign of scars from the bureaucratic battles that accompany most climbs up the Roman Curia career ladder. A few years ago, I saw Bertone walking alone on a side street near St. Peter's and went over to say hello and shake his hand. He stopped on a dime when he heard his name, turning toward me with his arms spread open, and practically sang out...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!