by Steve Ray on September 16, 2006

Bertone sm1.jpgNew Vatican Secretary of State Takes Over
Cardinal Bertone and Pope See Role as Pastoral

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 15, 2006 ( Benedict XVI and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone agree that the role of Vatican secretary of state is above all as a pastor of the Church.

(Picture: Steve with Cardinal Bertone in Rome for a Footprints of God interview in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Click on the picture for a larger image.)

The Pope said this today at a ceremony in Castel Gandolfo in which he welcomed Cardinal Bertone in his position as his first collaborator.

Cardinal Bertone, 71, today assumed the position of Vatican secretary of state, replacing Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 78, who presented his resignation for reasons of age.

Speaking of the role of the secretary of state, Benedict XVI said: "This work in the Curia is, in reality, a pastoral work in an eminent sense, as it really helps to guide the people of God."

Cardinal Bertone added: "I undertake a peculiar and different mission in regard to those that have been entrusted to me to date. However, I am happy because its undeniable pastoral character gives continuity to the missions we have already carried out.

"I am aware of the enormous responsibility it entails, as well as the gravity and complexity of the issues that I will have to address daily. My sole ambition is to fulfill the motto of my episcopal service: 'Fidem custodire, concordiam servare'" (guard the faith, preserve concord)."

The Pope also extended his gratitude to the outgoing secretary of state, Cardinal Sodano, reviewing the tenure of one of the longest serving secretaries of state in history — almost 16 years……    ZE06091509

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