Papal Letter for Cardinal Bertone's Golden Jubilee

«Vestiges of Your Pastoral Ministry Are Found All Around»

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 2, 2010 ( Here is a translation of the letter Benedict XVI sent to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope’s secretary of state, on the occasion of his 50th anniversary of priestly ordination, which the cardinal celebrated Thursday. The letter, which is dated June 1, was published today by L’Osservatore Romano.

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To Our Venerated Brother
Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, SDB
Secretary of State and Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church
Given our mutual and assiduous familiarity, which stems from the fact of meeting together almost daily, it is fitting and right to personally address to you my heartfelt good wishes on the 50th year of your presbyterial ordination. However, beyond this duty, it is a pleasure to communicate my thoughts to you through this letter, so that my consideration toward you will be more evident.
While we are going through difficult times, I think you should turn your mind to happier things of the past, when by the imposition of the hands of the venerated [Bishop] Albino Mensa, you were promoted to Holy Orders, surrounded by relatives and fellow priests. Don’t fail to recall as well of when later on, following further studies in jurisprudence, you dedicated yourself to educate and guide young people with teaching and writing, both within as well as outside your Salesian family.

It is no wonder then that you had the esteem and an important position near our predecessor, the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II, who wanted you to be archbishop of Vercelli and a faithful herald of divine benefits there. By the will of the same Pontiff, you later began to carry out the office of secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, establishing a familiarity between the two of us in the work we shared.
Also in the Church of Genoa, to which you dedicated your zeal and your apostolic toil, vestiges of your pastoral ministry are found all around, of which we acknowledge the benefit that came to that ecclesial community and where you obtained a largely illustrious title through your admission to the College of Cardinals.
Recalling the memory of more recent times, I wanted you to be a close collaborator, choosing you as secretary of state, with whom to share decisions and tasks. Undoubtedly, you are exerting yourself with great commitment and skill in being part of the pastoral projects of the universal Church, and initiatives addressed to the whole world, so that the family of God will be reinforced and the world may become more harmonious.
Because of this, while I rejoice wholeheartedly in recalling the happy beginning of your priesthood, I express these sentiments of esteem and affectionate congratulations as I implore, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians and of St. John Bosco, the abundant recompense of the Divine Teacher. Finally to you, venerated brother, I impart with fraternal affection the spostolic blessing, destined copiously also to all those with whom you have family and work ties.
From the Vatican, June 1, 2010, the sixth of Our Pontificate.
Benedict XVI

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