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Friday, September 15, 2006


VATICAN CITY, SEP 15, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, during a ceremony held in the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father welcomed the staff of the Secretariat of State for the occasion of the appointment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., archbishop of Genoa, Italy, as new secretary of State. He succeeds in that role Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

  Cardinal Sodano - who was appointed as secretary of State by John Paul II on December 1, 1990, succeeding Cardinal Agostino Casaroli - pronounced some words during the ceremony.

  "Today," he said addressing the Holy Father, "thanks should be given not so much to me as to those who helped me over the years. Particularly precious to me was the collaboration of successive substitutes for General Affairs: Archbishops Re and Sandri, and of secretaries for Relations with States: Archbishops Tauran and Lajolo. All together, we have managed to work as a team, with a great ecclesial sense that united us in service, first around the venerated John Paul II and now around you."

  Cardinal Sodano concluded his remarks by thanking his helpers in the Secretariat of State and members of pontifical representations in countries all over the world.

  In a brief greeting addressed to the Holy Father, Cardinal Bertone expressed the hope that his past experience would help him "to carry out the task I take on today. I am aware of the heavy responsibility that this brings, and of the gravity and complexity of the questions which, every day, I will have to face. My only ambition is that of putting into practice the motto of my episcopal service: 'fidem custodire, concordiam servare'."

  "The profound communion that binds us together in the shared commitment of service to the Church - and consequently to human dignity and peaceful coexistence between people - cannot but translate into loyal and faithful collaboration, reinforced for many of us by the priestly spirit and the pastoral charity that must always inspire us in our activities."
SS/BERTONE APPOINTMENT/SODANO                    VIS 20060915 (340)

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