Cardinal Parolin: The Church is pacifist because it believes in peace – Vatican News

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, interviewed by the Italian geopolitical magazine Limes, talks about the diplomacy of the Holy See and its actions in favor of peace in the world.

Vatican News – Vatican City

“The diplomacy of the Holy See is not linked to a State but to a reality of international law which has no political, economic or military interests. She places herself at the service of the Bishop of Rome, who is the pastor of the universal Church”. Thus begins the interview with Cardinal Secretary of State of the Holy See Pietro Parolin, published in the latest issue of the Italian magazine Filesunder the title “The Great War” (“The Great War”), and led by journalists Lucio Caracciolo and Guglielmo Gallone.

One less Church “eurocentric”

Cardinal Parolin addresses various subjects, ranging from the diplomacy of the Holy See, universal because the “papal representatives come from local Churches all over the world” and with a “clear ecclesial function”, to geopolitics, “essential to best exercise the profession of diplomat”. He also speaks of the international role of Pope Francis, symbol with his predecessors of a “Less Eurocentric Church” and a “multilateral view of international problems”, and of his own activity: “I thank God for having given me the grace, in the various situations in which I found myself, to be able to accompany the diplomatic mission with a priestly witness, despite the weaknesses and the limits”, explains the Cardinal Secretary of State, who does not finally forget the universal character of the Church in a complex and fragmented world, characterized by this “third world war in pieces” which the Pope has been talking about for years.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church on the use of arms

In all of this, the compass to follow is unique: the Gospel, “announcement of peace, promise and gift of peace”, explains Cardinal Parolin, because “all its pages are filled with it. The angels invoke him at the time of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. He himself wishes it to his own as soon as he is resuscitated. The Church follows the example of her Lord: she believes in peace, works for peace, fights for peace, bears witness to peace and seeks to build it. In this sense, she is a pacifist”. As for the use of arms, the Italian prelate recalls that “The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides for self-defence. Peoples have the right to defend themselves if they are attacked. But this armed self-defense must be exercised under certain conditions which the same catechism enumerates: that all the other means of putting an end to the aggression have proved impracticable or ineffective; that there are valid reasons for success; that the use of arms does not cause greater evil and disorder than those to be eliminated”.

However, the use of weapons is disproportionate and reckless in many parts of the world. And, “War begins in the heart of man, underlines Cardinal Parolin. Every bloody insult takes peace away and makes any negotiation more difficult”. Furthermore, he observes, “the Pope’s voice is often ‘vox clamantis in deserto’ (‘a voice that cries out in the desert’). It is a prophetic voice, a clairvoyant prophecy. It is like a sown seed that needs fertile soil to bear fruit. If the main actors in the conflict do not take his words into consideration, unfortunately, nothing happens, nothing puts an end to the fighting”.

War in Ukraine: the risk of a global conflict

Even today, continues Cardinal Parolin, in the terrible war in Ukraine, “there is no willingness to engage in genuine peace negotiations and to accept the offer of mediation between the parties”. However, it is not enough “whether one of the parties proposes it or assumes it unilaterally, but it is essential that both express their will in this direction. Once again… ‘vox clamantis in deserto’. But the words of the Pope remain a testimony of the highest value, which touches many consciences, making people more aware that peace, and war, begin in our hearts and that we are all called to make our contribution to promote the first and avoid the second.

The Cardinal Secretary of State acknowledges “the possibility of a negative leap” towards “a real world conflict”. “I believe that we are not yet able to foresee or calculate the consequences of what is happening. Thousands of deaths, cities destroyed, millions displaced, the devastated natural environment, the risk of famine due to the lack of cereals in so many regions of the world, the energy crisis… How is it possible that we do we not recognize that the only possible response, the only viable path, the only viable perspective is to stop the guns and promote a just and lasting peace?” he asks himself.

Francis in kyiv and Moscow?

Regarding the possibility of a trip by Pope Francis to the countries in conflict in Eastern Europe, the prelate explains that the greatest desire of the Holy Father, “and therefore its priority”, is that “through his travels concrete benefit may be obtained. It is in this spirit that he said he wanted to go to kyiv to bring comfort and hope to those affected by the war. Likewise, he announced his willingness to also go to Moscow, in the presence of conditions really useful for peace.. Cardinal Parolin also stresses that the dialogue between Rome and Moscow is a dialogue “difficult, who takes small steps and also has ups and downs”, but “he was not interrupted”. The meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill did not take place because “she would not have been understood and the weight of the ongoing war would have affected her too much”he adds.

China-Holy See Dialogue

An important part of this interview is also devoted to the secret agreement between the Holy See and China. “The dialogue between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China, indicates the Cardinal Secretary of State, begun at the instigation of Saint John Paul II and continued under the pontificates of Benedict XVI and Francis, culminated in 2018 with the signing of the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops in China. It is precisely its provisional nature that decided the parties “not to make it public”, while waiting to verify its operation on the ground and to decide accordingly”. “As for the assessment of the results of the agreement, it seems to me that I can say that steps forward have been taken, but that all the obstacles and difficulties have not been overcome and that there is therefore still a long way to go for its proper application and also, through sincere dialogue, for its refinement”observes Cardinal Parolin.

Finally, the Italian prelate hopes “that all diplomacy adopt a universal perspective, committing itself to safeguarding dignity and fundamental rights, to defending the weakest and the last on earth, to working in favor of life. By learning to “breathe to the rhythm of universality”.

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Cardinal Parolin: The Church is pacifist because it believes in peace – Vatican News

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