During a Mass Saturday at the Basilica of St. John Lateran celebrating his 25th year as bishop and marking the end of his tenure as Vicar of the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Camilo Ruini left a “small testament” to the faithful encouraging them to “look upon the world with the eyes of faith and not to become discouraged ‘like others who have no hope’.”
According to L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Ruini was ordained a bishop on June 29, 1983 in the city of Reggio Emilia. During his homily on Saturday he thanked Pope Benedict XVI for his kind letter which he sent him on the occasion of his episcopal anniversary.
Cardinal Ruini also thanked the Servant of God Pope John Paul II for naming him Vicar of the Diocese of Rome in 1991 and said, “Throughout these years I have received a great gift from Rome itself, the Diocese of Rome, the city of Rome: I have come to understand this gift more and more. As I end my service as Cardinal Vicar, I trust I will enjoy it and treasure it even more, returning it to you all in the years that I have left through my memories and my prayers.”
After reflecting upon what it means to serve in the Church as a bishop, noting that “love for the office” is of primary importance for those who are called to this service, Cardinal Ruini said, “The little testament I wish to leave the Diocese of Rome is this: Let us look at the great challenge that we must face today. Let us be aware, let us not hide from it,” he said.
The 77 year-old cardinal said the faithful must look at this challenge of evangelization “with the eyes of faith,” which is more than just a merely human perspective. “With the light of faith we can know by intuition the profound reality of man, in which God is present to attract us to Himself and to guide people and history to Christ,” he said.
“I dare say God continues attracting this city of Rome to Himself in a special way, as I have seen so many times during these years. Lord willing, I hope to continue working in a different way, so that the people of Rome and all Italians may know how to see the world and life through the eyes of faith and will not be discouraged ‘like others who do not have hope’,” the cardinal said.
The Italian media has speculated that a possible successor to Cardinal Ruini may be Cardinal Agostino Vallini, who is currently Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura.