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Letter of the Superior General to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (Brs)

Rome, February 14, 2013

His Holiness Benedict XVI
Vatican City

Your Holiness,

I am writing in my name and in that of my Congregation to express simply but sincerely our special closeness and our sincere thanks at this time, when Your Holiness has communicated to the Church and the world your decision to leave the Petrine ministry because of weakness due to advanced age.

We thank you with all our hearts for your service as universal pastor, for the clear and profound manner in which you have spoken to us of Jesus, for your courage in confronting some painful problems in the Church and for your total dedication working in the vineyard of the Lord.

We also thank you, Your Holiness, for this humble, courageous and well discerned decision to give up your position as successor of Peter, allowing another to take it up. Your doing this reminds us of how the Lord understands service and power among his own, it strengthens us like a fresh breeze of the Gospel and allows us to hope for a Church that is simpler, more fraternal and freed from interests foreign to the Spirit of the Lord. Thank you, Your Holiness, for being so free and so authentic. Thank you for helping us love the Church more.

I am aware that at this time, as all during your pontificate, hurtful voices are raised that interpret your action in a twisted and unjust manner. We share in silence your pain, which is part of the cross that the good and faithful servant of the Lord must carry following in the footsteps of the Crucified. Our lives, and the fruit they bear, are hidden in Christ. May the Lord of mercy be your reward.

Our poor prayer and our sincere thanks accompany you, Your Holiness. May I ask for myself and for my whole Congregation, you fatherly blessing and your constant prayer, with which you will continue to serve the Church in this new stage of your life.

In the Love of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,



Javier Álvarez-Ossorio sscc
Superior General