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WIKIMEDIA COMMONS - Livioandronico2013

Vatican Secretary of State: We Need an ‘Offensive of Mercy’

Says Pope’s Schedule Won’t Change in Face of Terrorism Threat


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The Pope’s secretary of state says it is time for an “offensive of mercy” since the world is so torn by violence.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin said this in an interview with the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, translated and reported by Vatican Radio.

“It is understandable that after the attacks there are feelings of revenge,” he said, “but we must fight against this urge. The Pope wants the Jubilee [of Mercy, which begins Dec. 8] to help people see eye-to-eye, understand one another, and overcome hatred. After these attacks, this goal is strengthened. We receive the mercy of God to adopt this attitude toward others.”

Cardinal Parolin said that Muslims can also be involved in the jubilee. “The Merciful is also the most beautiful name of God for Muslims, who could be involved in this holy year, as the Holy Father desires.”

The secretary of state acknowledged that it will take time to recover from the shock of the terrorist attacks. 

“In reaction, what is needed is a general mobilization of France, of Europe, and of the whole world,” he said. “A mobilization of all means of security, of police forces, and of information, to root out this evil of terrorism.”

But beyond the practical response, he said, there needs to be a spiritual one: “a mobilization which would involve all spiritual resources to provide a positive response to evil. That passes through education to the refutation of hatred, giving responses to the young people who leave for jihad. There is a need to convoke all the actors, political and religious, national and international. There is a great need to combat this together. Without this union, this difficult battle will not be won. And it is necessary to involve the Muslim community; they must be part of the solution.”

When asked if the Holy Father still upholds his words from August of 2014 that it is licit to stop an unjust aggressor, Cardinal Parolin said, “Yes, because blind violence is intolerable, whatever its origin may be” and explained that the Pope’s statement was in line with the Catechism.

The cardinal secretary of state also admitted that even the Vatican could be vulnerable to terrorism.

“What happened in France shows, in an even more powerful way, that no one is excluded from terrorism,” he said. “The Vatican could be a target because of its religious significance. We can augment the level of security measures in the Vatican and its surroundings, but they cannot paralyze us with fear. Therefore, nothing will be changed in the Pope’s schedule.”

More of the interview can be read at Vatican Radio:

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