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Father Lombardi's Letter to Journalists

"You Can Count on My Commitment"

VATICAN CITY, JULY 13, 2006 (Zenit) - Following his appointment by Benedict XVI as new director of the Vatican press office, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi wrote a letter to his journalist colleagues accredited by the Vatican press office. Here is the unabridged text of his letter.

* * *

Dear Friends:

While I prepare to assume this new task in the Holy See's Press Office, I am most grateful, of course, to the Holy Father and to my superiors for the trust they have placed in me, but I think also in particular -- with affection -- of you and all information colleagues I am called to serve.

Like you, I have been working for a long time so that the Holy Father's activity and the reality of the Church are known and understood objectively and adequately.

Navarro Valls has carried out his service in this area with exceptional competence, intelligence and dedication. We are all profoundly grateful to him and continue to count on his friendship.

I cannot pretend to imitate him, but you can count on my commitment, with my limitations but with all available strengths in serving the Holy Father and your good work. I know that I can count on the collaboration that all the personnel of the press office will give with generosity to me and to you, beginning with the deputy director, our friend Father Ciro Benedettini.

I ask you also for your benevolence, knowing that in this way this common task in our undertaking will be more fruitful.

I entrust these sentiments to the Lord on the liturgical feast of Saint Benedict, in which, perhaps, not by chance, I receive the charge of this new service.

Cordially yours,

Federico Lombardi, S.J.

[Translation of Italian original issued by the Vatican Information Service]

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