Cardinals send retired pope note of thanks, call for prayers

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The College of Cardinals thanked retired Pope Benedict XVI for his “tireless work” and example of “generous pastoral concern.”

Meeting during the second day of pre-conclave gatherings at the Vatican, the 148 cardinals present sent a telegram to the former pope, who moved to the papal villa of Caste Gandolfo the day of his resignation, Feb. 28.

The telegram, dated March 5, was signed by the dean of the college, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and sent on behalf of all the cardinals present.

“The cardinal fathers gathered in the Vatican for their general congregations in view of the coming conclave send you, in chorus, a devoted greeting and express their renewed gratitude for the whole of your brilliant Petrine ministry and for the example given to them of a generous pastoral concern for the well-being of the church and the world,” the telegram said.

The cardinals’ message of thanks also reflects the whole church’s recognition of the retired pope’s “tireless work in the vineyard of the Lord.”

“In the end, the members of the College of Cardinals are counting on your prayers for them and the entire holy church,” it said.

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