Saturday, June 24, 2006

Pope explains selection of Cardinal Bertone

Benedict XVI Tells Why He Chose Cardinal Bertone
For Pastoral and Doctrinal Skills, He Says in Letter

( Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the newly appointed Vatican secretary of state, is able "to combine pastoral care and doctrinal preparation," Benedict XVI said in a letter explaining his decision.

The letter, sent to the Archdiocese of Genoa, of which the cardinal has been pastor for three years, was published today by the Vatican press office.

On Sept. 15, Cardinal Bertone, 71, will replace Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 78, who presented his resignation for reasons of age.

In his letter, Benedict XVI wrote: "In these three years, in which he has led the Church that is in Genoa, you have learned to appreciate the qualities that make him a faithful pastor, particularly able to combine pastoral care with doctrinal preparation.

"These characteristics, united to reciprocal knowledge and trust, matured in the years of joint service in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, have led me to choose him for the high and delicate task at the service of the universal Church, in the Holy See."

Cardinal Bertone, in a message sent to his diocese, said that this appointment is "a Copernican revolution" for him.

"As a Salesian and a man of the Church," the cardinal added, "I am accustomed to obedience."

Cardinal Bertone added: "I have loved this Church and I have dedicated my heart and exhaustion to it for three years -- the weekly agenda of the archbishop demonstrates it. Now I am called to Rome: As always, I obey and thank Benedict XVI for the trust that he again offers his former collaborator.

"I pray to the Lord to be faithful and support the Pope in this promising stage of new evangelization."