.- The Vatican Secretary of State has written to the world’s nuns and monks to ask for their prayers for the conclave to elect his successor
“The Holy Father is certain that you, in your monasteries and convents throughout the world, will provide the precious resource of that prayerful faith which down the centuries has accompanied and sustained the Church along her pilgrim path,” Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s Feb. 21 letter says.
“The coming conclave,” Cardinal Bertone emphasizes, “will thus depend in a special way on the transparent purity of your prayer and worship.”
As secretary of state, Cardinal Bertone will serve as the “Camerlengo.” He will be in charge of seeing that the daily administrative tasks of running the Church are taken care of, as well as the one who oversees the conclave.
The cardinal described the whole Church as “anxiously” following the final days of “the luminous pontificate” of Benedict XVI.
He noted that Pope Benedict “has asked all the faithful to accompany him with their prayers … and to await with trust the arrival of the new Pope.”
“In a particularly urgent way,” he added, “this appeal is addressed to those chosen members of the Church who are contemplatives.” And Cardinal Bertone advised contemplatives to look to the Pope’s example of devoting “himself above all to prayer, contemplation and reflection.”
The Secretary of State finished his letter by saying that Pope Benedict, “with whom I shared the contents of this letter, was deeply appreciative, and asked me to thank you and to assure you of his immense love and esteem.”