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Pope Francis thanks Cardinal Bertone for years of service

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent a message of thanks and held a farewell ceremony for the Vatican’s Secretary of State emeritus, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, on Tuesday. The 78 year-old Cardinal Bertone served in the office from his appointment by Benedict XVI in June of 2006. In remarks to the gathered officials and staff of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, the Secretary emeritus remembered the seven years’ service and more with his collaborators, who, he said, “[served with] dedication and sometimes with sacrifice.” He thanked Pope Francis for his benevolence and offered best wishes to his successor as Secretary, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, who was not in attendance due to a medical procedure and is due to assume his duties. Listen to our report: RealAudioMP3

Pope Francis spoke briefly to thank Cardinal Bertone, saying, “[I]n teaching, in your ministry as diocesan bishop, and in your service in the Curia, including your service as Secretary of State, it seems that the fil rouge was constituted precisely by that Salesian priestly vocation, which has signed your life from earliest childhood, and which has brought you to carry out all of the assignments you have received, without exception, with profound love for the Church, great generosity, and with that typical[ly] Salesian mixture that unites a sincere spirit of obedience and a great liberty of initiative and personal inventiveness.”

The Holy Father concluded with expressions of gratitude to the whole Secretariat of State, asking everyone present for continued prayers and assuring them of his own.