.- The Vatican Information Service has released today a letter that Benedict XVI has written to the faithful of the archdiocese of Genoa, Italy, concerning the appointment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., archbishop of that city, as secretary of State.
During the three years Cardinal Bertone has led the diocese, the Holy Father tells the faithful in his letter, "you have learned to appreciate those gifts and qualities that make him a faithful pastor, especially capable of combining pastoral care and doctrinal wisdom.
"It is precisely these characteristics, together with the mutual understanding and trust we developed over our years of shared service at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that have induced me to choose him for this exalted and delicate task in the service of the Universal Church at the Holy See.
"I know that I have asked a great sacrifice of Cardinal Bertone; and I know that the sacrifice of the faithful entrusted to his care in Genoa is no less, but I am certain that his affection and his prayers for your community will be brought 'ad Petri sedem.' The history of your diocese demonstrates your generous fidelity to the Vicar of Christ, to which I appeal also by virtue of the name I chose for my own Petrine ministry: the name of the last Genovese Pope, so devoted to the 'Madonna della Guardia.' To her I entrust you all in this moment of change, delicate but full of grace, because 'in everything God works for good with those who love Him.'
"For the sake of your faithful and obedient generosity towards the Holy See, I will undertake as soon as possible to appoint a new successor to the 'See of St. Syrus.'
"I ask you to join me in praying to the Spirit to help us in this discernment and, from this moment, I assure you of my recollection and apostolic blessing in prayer for all elements of the Church in Genoa: pastors, consecrated people, families, young people, and the sick."