Archbishop Pietro Parolin will formally begin his post today as the new Secretary of State. The 58 year old prelate, who was appointed by Pope Francis on August 31st, will succeed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone who has served as Secretary of State for the past 7 years.
The formal handover took place at noon today in the offices of the Secretariat of State, where the Archbishop worked for 17 years before being sent as Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela in 2009.
A native of Vicenza Italy, Archbishop Parolin has served in the Holy See’s diplomatic service since 1986 first as the Pontifical representation in Nigeria and then in Mexico before returning to the Secretariat of State in 1992.
Upon his appointment as Secretary of State, Archbishop Parolin expressed his gratitude to the Holy Father for his “unmerited trust” in Him.
“I feel very strongly the grace of this call, which is yet another and the latest of God’s surprises in my life. Above all, I feel the full weight of the responsibility placed upon me: this call entrusts to me a difficult and challenging mission, before which my powers are weak and my abilities poor,” the Italian prelate said of his appointment.
“It is with trepidation that I place myself in this new service to the Gospel, to the Church and to Pope Francis, but also with trust and serenity – disposed – as the Holy Father has asked us from the beginning – to walk, to build and to profess.