By Junno Arocho
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State sent a message yesterday to Italian Parliament Deputies, Renato Schifani and Gianfranco Fini, commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Blessed Pope John Paul II's visit. Cardinal Bertone's statement was read during a ceremony at the Italian parliament by Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Substitute for General Affairs.
In the statement, Cardinal Bertone relayed Pope Benedict XVI's cordial greeting to the Parliament and recalled Pope John Paul's visit. The late pontiffs visit, he said, "constitutes a memorable page in the history of relations between Italy and the Holy See, an event strengthened by the authority of the venerable figure of the Blessed Pontiff, who desired the meeting intensely, despite his already precarious conditions of health."
"The unanimous warm welcome he received on entering the Hall, and the consensus manifested at the end of his address, remain impressed on all witnesses of that day."
Cardinal Bertone reminded the Parliament of Pope John Paul's call to draw from the fruits of Christianity, "which animates the social and cultural identity of Italy."
"This spiritual and ethical patrimony can always offer, also in difficult moments, adequate resources for the renewal of consciences and for agreed orientation to the common good, first of all on the part of those who are called to form part of that Parliament," Cardinal Bertone stated.
The Vatican Secretary of State expressed Pope Benedict's hope of a continued collaboration between the Holy See and the Italian government for the good of the nation. Concluding the letter, Cardinal Bertone imparted the Pope's blessing on the Italian Parliament.
"To this end, he assures them of his remembrance in prayer and invokes from his heart upon them, upon all the Members of the two branches of the Parliament, and upon their respective activities, an abundance of heavenly blessings," Cardinal Bertone's statement read.