.- In an emotional message to the new Pope in the name of the entire College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, expressed their hope that Pope Benedict XVI would be like St. Benedict, patron of Europe and inspiration behind the Pontiff’s name. “We are here to say to you, Holy Father, that we are committed to fulfilling our mandate as well, which is to collaborate with your pastoral ministry. Many of us have had the chance to individually manifest these sentiments immediately after your election. But it was our common desire to express together, as the College of Cardinals, such intentions of cordial closeness,” Cardinal Sodano said.
Referring to the Church, the cardinal stated, “In these days, we have been witnesses of the help that, in the course of history, the Lord always grants to His Holy Church. This is a tree that each day receives new life and grows vigorously. Ever since Christ planted it, the little mustard seed, even today its branches extend out to the ends of the earth.”
Cardinal Sodano then quoted a book by the Pope: “In your book, ‘The Salt of the Earth,’ His Holiness states that, in Christianity, new and vigorous forms of Christian life are always possible, and then you said to the interviewer: ‘Think of St. Benedict who, towards the end of antiquity, created a form of life, thanks to which Christianity was able to reach and transform new peoples’.” “May the Lord grant that you, Holy Father, imitate the work of St. Benedict for the good of the Church and the world!” the Cardinal concluded.