<ROME>, AUGUST 22, 2017 (Zenit.org).- “In such dramatic situations, the Holy See is more directly active in the effort to promote initiatives geared to alleviating the sufferings of the populations,” said Cardinal Parolin. “At the same time, the Holy See expresses a clear appeal to have the common good prevail, and primarily justice, law, objective truth and avoiding manipulation of people, and the safety and fitting conditions of life of the civilian populations.”
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, made this statement during a press conference held in Moscow, August 22, 2017, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
He also expressed his concern for persecuted Christians and religious freedom in the world.
Cardinal Parolin arrived in Russia yesterday, August 21, and met Metropolitan Hilarion. Tomorrow, he will meet Russian president Vladimir Putin. He is also to meet Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.
Here is the original video.
Here is ZENIT’s translation of this declaration made in italian.
Statement of the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to the Press Conference
Moscow, August 22, 2017
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have just finished the first, intense part of our conversations with Mr Minister Sergiey Lavrov, through whose person I express my gratitude to the Russian Authorities for the invitation and warm welcome in the country.
I have come to Moscow to be an interpreter for my interlocutors – today Minister Lavrov and tomorrow the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin –, of Pope Francis’ solicitude be it for the bilateral situation between the Holy See and the Russian Federation, be it for questions and concerns in the international realm.
In the bilateral relations, we have shared the satisfaction regarding development in several fields, beginning with the frequent contacts at the level of high representatives of both parties, and continuing with the review of positive experiences in the ambit of cultural exchanges and of cooperation between scientific and medical institutes. It goes without saying that both parties confirmed the intention to continue weaving contacts in all the above-mentioned realms also in the future. Attesting and confirming this intention was the signing of the Agreement between the Holy See State Secretariat and the Government of the Russian Federation, regarding the exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic passports, which we witnessed a short while ago together with Minister Lavrov.
Clearly, the conversation also offered the occasion to discuss some concrete questions regarding the life of the Catholic Church in the Russian Federation, among which were the difficulties still remaining of work permits for non-Russian religious staff and the restitution of some churches which are necessary for the pastoral care of Catholics in the country, finding in the interlocutor ample attention to the solution of these problems and the will to follow them.
In the field of questions of international interest I confirmed first of all that just and lasting solutions be found for the conflicts that afflict, in particular, the Middle East, Ukraine and several other regions of the world. If, in such dramatic situations the Holy See is more directly active in the effort to promote initiatives geared to alleviating the sufferings of the populations, at the same time it expresses a clear appeal to have the common good prevail, and primarily justice, legality, the truth of the facts and abstention from their manipulation, the safety and fitting conditions of life of the civilian populations. While the Holy See does not intend and cannot identify itself with some of the political positions, it recalls the duty to hold rigorously to the great principles of international law, whose respect is essential be it to protect global order and peace, be it to recover a healthy atmosphere of mutual respect in international relations.
Among the subjects in which the Holy See and the Russian Federation find points of convergence , even if with different approaches, mention should be made first of all of the intense concern for the situation of Christians in some countries of the Middle East and of the African continent, as well as in some other regions of the world. In this connection, the Holy See nourishes the constant concern that religious freedom be preserved in every State and in every political situation.
I think that we will also to take up again these and other topics in the continuation of today’s meeting.
© Translation by ZENIT, Virginia Forrester