Vatican City, Apr 19, 2022 / 03:00 am
When it comes to diplomacy, the Holy See cannot pick and choose which challenges are the most urgent. Rather, it must simply address whatever issues need to be faced, from the wars in Yemen and Ukraine to defending Western Christians from the threats posed by new laws.
That is what Cardinal Pietro Parolin said in the fifth and final part of his interview with CNA. The Vatican Secretary of State also spoke about the priorities of pontifical diplomacy and how it might look in the future. (In Part 1 of the hourlong interview, he addressed the Vatican’s efforts to end the Ukraine war, in Part 2, the reform of the Roman Curia, in Part 3, relations with China, and in Part 4, the promotion of peace.)
To understand what the future of Vatican diplomacy will be, we must look back. Parolin, who served under John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis, is a privileged witness to the evolution of the Holy See’s diplomatic work.
“I haven’t seen big changes in all these years,” he said. “Continuity remained. Each pope referred to the present heritage, although each pope also responded to the needs of his time. John Paul II, for example, was very much directed toward Europe and toward overcoming the blockade between the two sides — a situation that has unfortunately now returned. But basically, I have always worked on the same principles.”