Vatican Secretariat of State to undergo 'pastoral conversion'
Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, speaking in Paul VI Hall Dec. 2, 2013. Credit: Elise Harris/CNA.
Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, speaking in Paul VI Hall Dec. 2, 2013. Credit: Elise Harris/CNA.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State at the Vatican, said in a recent interview that under Pope Francis’ reform, his department will undertake the Pope’s call for pastoral conversion.

“The Secretariat of State … must assume a cordial and complete availability to the pastoral conversion proposed by Pope Francis,” Archbishop Parolin told Stefania Falasca of Avvenire, the daily of the Italian bishops’ conference, in an interview published Feb. 8.

“Indeed, it must become, in a certain sense, a model for the whole Church,” he added.

The Vatican’s state department, he said, should “shine in a particularly intense way, in the persons who compose it and the activities it performs” with the three qualities Pope Francis identified in his Christmas address to the Roman Curia: “professionalism, service, and holiness of life.”

Archbishop Parolin affirmed the “both-and” nature of the Church, rejecting the idea that diplomay and the proclamation of faith, or that dialogue and defence of principles, are opposed to one another, “even if such a synthesis, on a personal level, can sometimes be difficult, even lacerating.”

Diplomacy, he said, is an “instrument at the service of the Church’s mission,” in relation to religious freedom and world peace. In a pluralistic world Vatican diplomacy must “accompany men and peoples to help them realize that their differences are an asset and a resource,” helping them to “construct a human and fraternal world, in which there is room for everyone, especially the weakest and most vulnerable.”

Regarding curial reform, Archbishop Parolin said it “must make of the Curia a simple and quick tool, less bureaucratic and more efficient,” calling this “a profound change with respect to the past.”

The Roman Curia, he said, should serve both the Pope and the bishops; being neither a “command center” nor a “body of control,” but characterized, rather, by service.

“There is always the peril of abuse of the power, great or small, we have in our hands, and this peril has not escaped, and cannot escape, the Curia. But, ‘it shall not be so among you,’ the Gospel admonishes, and on this Word … we try to model our activity in the Roman Curia.”

Curial reform must include the reform of structures, he affirmed, while adding that this would be useless “if not accompanied by a permanent personal conversion.”

Archbishop Parolin also said that the Roman Curia had and has saints, and that it should not be seen in exclusively negative terms.

Commenting on the pontifical commissions advising on the Institute for Religious Works and Vatican administrations, the archbishop noted that they have “a limited mandate” and will submit proposals to Pope Francis.

Reform of the Vatican bank must “underline the aspects of transparency and adherence to international standards,” he added, emphasizing that “much has been done” already.

He expressed hope that the Vatileaks scandal has “definitively passed,” noting that it has caused Benedict XVI and others “unjust suffering” and adding that “many, many were scandalized, and it damaged not a little the cause of Christ.”

He also addressed Pope Francis’ words concerning unbridled capitalism, saying that in reading “Evangelii gaudium” “I caught myself thinking of many Latin American situations of poverty, inequality and exclusion” which he had seen and which fills one’s heart with indignation.

“These justify, in my opinion, Pope Francis’ strong stance on economic issues … can we not agree with the Pope’s statement that money should serve and not govern?”

Returning to Vatican diplomacy, Archbishop Parolin called the Pope “the first diplomatic ‘agent’ of the Holy See … the tasks and objectives of papal diplomacy are those set out” by the Pope, noting “bridge-building, in the sense of promoting dialogue and negotiation as a means of solving conflict, spreading fraternity, fighting poverty, building peace.”

“There are no other ‘interests’ or ‘strategies’ of the Pope and his representatives when they act on the international scence.”

He also commented that the Syrian Civil War is among the Holy See’s great diplomatic concerns, saying the parties involved need to “grow in mutual trust and the political will to find a negotiated solution.”

Tags: Archbishop Pietro Parolin

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20