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Benedict XVI's Letter to Cardinal Szoka

"You Have Worked With Enthusiasm"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is the letter that Benedict XVI sent to Cardinal Edmund Szoka, 79, as he stepped down from his responsibilities as president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

* * *

To my Venerable Brother
Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka
Archbishop emeritus of Detroit
President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
and President of the Governorate of Vatican City State

In September 2002, when you were approaching your 75th birthday, my venerable Predecessor, the Servant of God John Paul II, asked you to continue in your office as President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governorate of the same Vatican City State.

When I was called by the will of the Lord to assume responsibility for guiding the entire People of God as Successor of the Apostle Peter, I deemed it appropriate not to deprive myself of your appreciated collaboration. For this reason I confirmed you in the same offices that you have carried out with generous dedication until now.

Today, 15 September, as I already informed you, Venerable Brother, last 24 June, you are succeeded in the same office by Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, titular Archbishop of Cesariana, until now Secretary for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State.

At this most important moment for you, I wish to express my deep gratitude to you for the faithfulness and competence with which, Your Eminence, you have worked in the successive pastoral offices entrusted to you by my venerable Predecessors, in the United States of America and at the service of the universal Church.

In particular, I am pleased to recall the ministry you carried out with apostolic zeal as Bishop of Gaylord, Michigan, and subsequently, as Archbishop of Detroit.

In January 1990, our beloved Pontiff John Paul II summoned you to Rome to assume responsibility as President of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See and later, in October 1997, as President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, with which the Presidency of the Governorate of the same Vatican City State was combined in February 2001.

In these different areas of pastoral ministry you have worked with enthusiasm, sparing neither energy nor time.

I am sure that you will be equally willing to continue in the future to work for the Church and for the Holy See. I am grateful to you for this and I assure you of my esteem and affection so that they may support you and instil joy and serenity in your heart.

I entrust you to the special protection of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, and as I assure you of my special remembrance in prayer in the hope of abundant divine rewards and as a pledge of my fraternal closeness, I warmly impart my Apostolic Blessing to you, which I gladly extend to all the personnel of the Governorate of Vatican City State and to your loved ones.

From Castel Gandolfo, 15 September 2006, the second year of my Pontificate
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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