Cardinal Bertone Marks 40th Anniversary of Renewal in the Spirit

Recalls Jesus' Leadership Is One of Service

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By Antonio Gaspari

RIMINI, Italy, MAY 2, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's secretary of state marked the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Italian Renewal in the Spirit group, celebrating a Mass in which he urged them to remember that Christ's leadership is one of service.

"Never tire of affirming the centrality of Christ in your experience of faith, because in no one else, outside of him, is there salvation," Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told the group of some 20,000 last Sunday. "Neither science, nor wealth nor power give salvation."

The Pope's secretary of state noted that "Christ’s Lordship is expressed in service, … [as] commanded to the Apostles in the gesture of the washing of the feet before the Last Supper."

"Make every effort to witness to the absolute primacy of Christ, because only in Jesus can all men be saved and live," the 77-year-old cardinal said.

"In fact, he rose for our salvation, has given us the remission of sins and justified us before God," the cardinal continued. Thus, he exhorted, "Do not cease to proclaim that Jesus is Lord who frees from every tyranny."

Cardinal Bertone specified that to take the renewal of Jesus to people’s hearts, the "energy of each member of the faithful " is necessary as well as "the authenticity and freshness of your faith!"

He invited those present to continue "with renewed fervor, to put their talents at the service of the ecclesial community, through a joyful commitment understood as a response to a call of love made to you by God."

"Christ calls us to lead us out of the realm of fear, egoism and sin to put us on a path of liberation," he stressed.

Milan event

Cardinal Bertone then called attention to the 7th World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Milan from May 30 to June 3.

In this regard, the secretary of state expressed his appreciation to Renewal in the Spirit of Italy for the "International Center for the Family" initiative in Nazareth.

"I encourage you to continue in your meritorious initiative," because it is "a concrete gesture of ecclesial communion in the commitment to the New Evangelization," he said.

Cardinal Bertone later noted to a group of journalists that "interior renewal, the renewal of families, the heart of renewal, which is to assume the faith and to make it the criteria of behavior, must also be expressed in social life, in public life, in civil life." It must transform -- "renew" -- persons but also "renew institutions and renew society."