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Pope Benedict XVI Retains Top Officials of Vatican Administration

Cardinal Angelo Sodano

Newly elected Pope Benedict is keeping top Vatican officials in their posts, and has promised continued dialogue with the Jewish community, in two steps apparently intended to show continuity with his predecessor Pope John Paul II.

The Vatican announced Thursday that Cardinal Angelo Sodano will remain as Secretary of State, the number two post in the Vatican, and other officials will also keep their positions until further notice.

Also Thursday, Rome's Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segna said the pope sent him a letter promising to continue to strengthen dialogue.

The chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, Israel Lau, noted Wednesday that Pope Benedict spoke out against anti-Semitism while he was a cardinal and worked to improve relations between Jews and the Roman Catholic Church.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.