LETTER OF POPE FRANCIS
TO CARDINAL TARCISIO BERTONE
CAMERLENGO OF HOLY ROMAN CHURCH
ON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT
FROM THE OFFICE OF SECRETARY OF STATE
To my Venerable Brother
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church
The moment has come for you, dear Brother, to “pass on the torch” of service as Secretary of State. I wish, therefore, to unite spiritually with you in giving thanks to God for the all the good that you have been able to do in this delicate and challenging role. The memory of St Teresa of Jesus, whom we celebrate in today's liturgy, invited us to fix our gaze on God: “let nothing disturb you,” the great Saint of Avila tells us, “let nothing frighten you, he who has God wants for nothing”.
On this occasion I feel the need to express to you my deep gratitude for the concern with which you dedicated yourself throughout these seven years; and I do so also in the name of beloved Benedict XVI, who called you from Genoa, where you were Archbishop, to return to Rome and entrusted you with the office of His Secretary of State, as from 15 September 2006, and then as Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church. Seven years of intense work, fulfilled with great generosity and a spirit of service. I too have been able to avail myself, until today, of your expert collaboration.
There is an aspect for which I would like to manifest my appreciation in a special way, and it is your fidelity in the spirit of Don Bosco, the Salesian spirit, which you have been able to keep and bear witness to while being absorbed in the many undertakings that come with the responsibility of assisting the Successor of Peter. With initiative and with love for the Pope that characterize the sons of St John Bosco, you have always carried out with dedication your task of guiding the international relations of the Holy See, of great importance to the Ministry of the Bishop of Rome. At the same time, you did not spare yourself in carrying the Pontifical Magisterium and Apostolic Blessing to every place: countries, dioceses, parishes, universities, institutions and associations. Our Lady Help of Christians has been close to you and has assisted you in your valuable ministry. May her motherly intercession obtain for you heavenly reward and the graces that you hold dearest. The pledge of peace and spiritual joy be upon you as well as my Blessing which from my heart I impart to you, extending it with heartfelt gratitude also to your collaborators and loved ones.
From the Vatican, 15 October 2013
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