We publish below the Holy Father's letter, dated 15 October, to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, who today ends his mandate as secretary of State.
“It is time for you, dear brother, to 'pass the baton' in the service of secretary of State. I therefore wish to join with you spiritually in giving thanks to God for the good that he has allowed you to achieve in this, such a delicate and challenging role. The memory of St. Theresa of Jesus, whom we celebrate on this date, invites you to turn your gaze to God: “Let nothing disturb you”, says the great saint of Avila, “let nothing frighten you; whoever has God lacks nothing”.
“On this occasion I feel the need to express my deep gratitude for the diligence which you have brought to your work over these seven years; and I do so also on behalf of the beloved Pope Benedict XVI, who called you from Genoa, where you were archbishop, to return to Rome and entrusted to you the role of secretary of State from 15 September 2006, and therefore also that of Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church. Seven years of hard work, lived with great generosity and in the spirit of service. I too have benefited to this day from your expert collaboration.
“There is an aspect for which I wish to express to you my appreciation in a particular way, and it is your faithfulness to the spirit of Don Bosco, the Salesian spirit, that you have been able to conserve and bear witness to in spite of being absorbed in the many commitments connected to the task of assisting Peter's Successor. With the enterprise and love for the Pope characteristic of the sons of St. John Bosco, you have always carried out with dedication your task of guiding the international relations of the Holy See, so important in the exercise of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. At the same time, you have spared no efforts in taking the Papal Magisterium and the Apostolic blessing everywhere: to all countries, dioceses, parishes, universities, institutions, associations. Our Lady, Help of Christians has been close to you and has always assisted you in your valuable ministry. May her maternal intercession ensure for you the heavenly rewards and graces dearest to your heart. May there be a pledge of peace and spiritual joy in the blessing I impart to you, and which I extend with heartfelt gratitude also to your colleagues and loved ones”.