Pope Francis sent a letter of good wishes last month to the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, for his 25 years as a bishop.
John Paul II appointed Angelo Scola the bishop of Grosseto on July 20, 1991. He was consecrated Bishop on September 21, 1991 by Cardinal Bernardin Gantin.
After heading the Diocese of Grosseto, in 1995 he took on the post of Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University.
On January 5, 2002, he was appointed Patriarch of Venice and created Cardinal on October 21, 2003.
He entered the Archdiocese of Milan on September 25, 2011.
Here is a translation of the Holy Father’s Letter.
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To Our Venerable Brother
Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church
Metropolitan Archbishop of Milan
The exercise of the pastoral office that has been entrusted to us from on high commits us with joy to render participants of our solicitude the sacred Pastors who, among the Christian faithful, are at the service of the Most High God under the gentle yoke of divine mercy. While they commit all their strength for the salvation of the souls of the Lord’s flock, they must be ardent in genuine concord in living fraternal charity with fervor: therefore, we company them especially with our prayer.
Hence with singular attention, O Venerable Brother of Ours, we now give to you our encouragement and our attention: in fact, it is granted to us to be able to enjoy the help of your industriousness in our task of providing for the needs of the Church, just as it is given to the clergy and to the people of God to be able to draw ever more abundantly the treasures of salvation: therefore we wish to express to you our benevolence, from the moment that on September 21 of this year you will celebrate the silver jubilee of the 25th anniversary of your Episcopal Ordination and, at the same time, with this Letter we wish to congratulate you earnestly for your pastoral activity.
In fact, after the studies of Philosophy and once those of Theology were concluded, on July 18, 1970 you received Presbyterial Ordination and immediately, in keeping with your particular vocation, you committed yourself for the good of the children of God, especially in cultivating ecclesiastical studies for the benefit of the universal Church (cf. Optatam totius, n. 18).
After acquiring numerous merits, on July 20, 1991 you were appointed Bishop of Grosseto, thus receiving that particular gift thanks to which all of us were made ministers, clothed with sacred power at the service of our brothers, so that all of those that belong to the people of God – and therefore have true Christian dignity –, are able to attain salvation (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 18). In 1995 you were entrusted with the office of Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University; then, in 2002, you were promoted to the distinguished Patriarchal See of Venice, and on October 21, 2003 you were elevated to the dignity of Cardinal with the title of the Holy Twelve Apostles. Finally, on June 28, 2011 you were called to lead the very beloved Christian people of Milan, of whom you are now Pastor.
However, it is also opportune to recall the solicitous and excellent work you did as a Member in many institutions of the Apostolic See. Truly, O Venerable Brothers of Ours, great are in you the signs of God and powerful His admirable works who gave skill to men that He might be glorified in His marvellous works (Sirach 38:6). We know you are particularly committed in the supreme task of proclaiming the Gospel to the peoples and of spreading the presence of the Church; with the exercise of such a ministry, guiding the Lord’s flock with solicitude, you have taken to heart the care of all the responsibilities, which refer to the college of Pastors of the Church to whom in the their totality Christ has entrusted in common the task of spreading the Christian name and procuring with all your strength that they be laborers in the Lord’s harvest and that the necessary spiritual aids are offered, promoting always the active collaboration of the faithful and of the clergy.
Congratulating you, therefore, O Venerable Brother of Ours, for the works you have carried out in the Lord’s vineyard, we pray that God will render joyous the day of your anniversary and grant you, through the intercession and protection of Saint Ambrose, to strengthen your Church with the example of a holy life, to teach her with the word of preaching, to protect her with prayers and supplications, and to be a guide of the people with the wisdom of your word (cf. Sirach 9:24) and defense of your people (cf. Sirach 49:17).
Finally, we wish to accompany you with Our Apostolic Blessing, which we impart to you as if we were present, and we extend it to the beloved sons and daughters of the Christian people of Milan, to all those who will take part in the celebration of your jubilee and to all those you hold dear in your heart; we ask all of them to pray so that we can fulfill the Petrine ministry conscientiously and wisely.
From the Vatican,
August 10, 2016, Year of the Jubilee of Mercy, the Fourth of Our Pontificate.