“Certainly, the Secretariat of State is seeing some of its powers diminished, but it will continue to carry out its task of direct aid to the pope in the exercise of the Petrine ministry. After all, the Secretariat of State depends directly on the pope.”
Among the various crises to be addressed, there is a lack of Vatican diplomatic staff. There are currently 14 vacant nunciatures worldwide, some of which are particularly important, such as Venezuela, the European Union, and Jordan.
“The crisis is more general,” Parolin said. “It is a crisis that concerns priestly and religious vocations, a pool from which the personnel for the diplomacy of the Holy See was also drawn. At this level, it can be seen that every year it is challenging to find new candidates for the Ecclesiastical Academy [the institution that trains priests to serve in the diplomatic corps].”
In any case, for Parolin, the diplomacy of the Holy See “has the meaning of the search for peace, beyond particular interests.”
“There are no economic interests,” he explained. “There are no military interests, and there are no political interests.”
He added that the Holy See tried “to be present based on the Gospel and the tradition of the Church, because the Holy See has been present in the international community practically from the beginning.”
“We try to be present in situations of suffering, and we try to help resolve this suffering linked to conflicts, oppositions, or clashes of any kind,” he said.
Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of CNA’s interview with Cardinal Parolin.
Andrea Gagliarducci is an Italian journalist for Catholic News Agency and Vatican analyst for ACI Stampa. He is a contributor to the National Catholic Register.