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To my Venerable and Dear Brother,
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

With the fine sensitivity that distinguishes you, on the day of your 75th birthday you have wished to submit to me your resignation as Secretary of State. I would first like to thank the Lord with you for the good achieved in the many years of your priestly and episcopal ministry. On this occasion, in fact, I intend to review with deep gratitude our long journey of collaboration that began with your work as Consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I also remember your delicate work in establishing a dialogue with Mons. Marcel Lefebvre, and I shall never forget the visit to Vercelli which gave me the opportunity of a renewed encounter with a great witness of the faith, St Eusebius of Vercelli.

Summoned by my beloved Predecessor to serve in the Roman Curia, you have carried out with competence and generous dedication the office of Secretary to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. These have been intense and demanding years in which documents of great doctrinal and disciplinary importance have been drawn up.

I have always admired your "sensus fidei", your doctrinal and canonical training and your "humanitas", which was of great help to us in creating, in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an authentic family atmosphere, combined with a steady and firm working discipline.

All these qualities were behind my decision during the summer of 2006 to appoint you as my Secretary of State and today they are the reason why, even in the future, I do not wish to forgo your precious collaboration.

Thus I am anxious to address to you here, Your Eminence, my best wishes for every good and prosperity in the Lord, as I invoke an abundance of divine Graces upon your ministry as my close Collaborator.

While I entrust you to the special protection and intercession of Mary Help of Christians and the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, I warmly impart the Apostolic Blessing to you, which I willingly extend to all those who are dearest and closest to you, as a token of abundant divine rewards.

From the Vatican, 15 January 2010




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