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Benedict XVI breaks silence with introduction to new book by Cardinal Bertone

May 12, 2015

The work of a pastor “cannot be limited only to the Church,” Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI wrote in a letter to his former Secretary of State—one of the few things the former Pontiff has written for publication since he resigned in 2013.

The former Pope’s letter appears as the introduction to a new book by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, La Fede e il Bene Comune. The letter was also summarized in the May 10 issue of L’Osservatore Romano.

Reflecting on his work with Cardinal Bertone, who served as his Secretary of State, Benedict XVI said that they understood their work for the Church “could not be limited merely to concrete acts of governance.” Their more important work, he said, was “to serve, today, in the right way, the Word of God: the Logos.”

“Pastoral care does not just deal with the fact that we in the Church provide to the faithful the service of the Sacraments and of the announcement of the Gospel,” the retired Pope wrote. He said that the Church bears responsibility not only for those who call themselves Catholic but for “the world in its entirety.”

In his introduction Benedict says that Cardinal Bertone’s book should provide “food for thought also for readers who are not part of the Church.” The book is being issued by the Vatican's publishing house.

Since he resigned in 2013, Benedict XVI has carefully avoided public statements. He was a prolific author before his election as Roman Pontiff, but in retirement he has virtually ceased writing for publication.


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