Cardinal Parolin’s Trip to Russia: Sign of a Renewed Path

Vatican Radio’s synthesis of Tass Agency’s interview

Orthodox Patriarcate, Moscow (Russia), wikimedia commons

Orthodox Patriarcate, Moscow (Russia), wikimedia commons

VATICAN CITY, AUGUST 20, 2017 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican Secretary of State highlights the urgency of “a more effective cooperation between the different Confessions” and of a “greater understanding between the Churches.”

Here is our english translation of the synthesis by Vatican Radio (Alessandro Gisotti) of Cardinal Parolin’s interview by Tass Agency, on the occasion of his Trip to Russia (August 21-24, 2017): “Sign of a Renewed Path”.

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On the eve of his important visit to Russia, the Cardinal Secretary of State , Pietro Parolin, gave a long and articulated interview to the Russian Agency TASS. The Cardinal stressed first of all that the meeting with the “Orthodox hierarchy attests to the openness established in recent years up to last year’s meeting in Havana” between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill. The meeting, noted Cardinal Parolin, “served to give new eyes to see one another not predominantly on the background of the past, but of that of “desired and pursued communion.” The Cardinal added that this is the condition necessary “to be able to give new and unprecedented steps for the development of the ecumenical dialogue” between Catholics and Orthodox. It’s a path that requires “love, patience, tenacity and commitment.” And in this connection, he mentioned the initiative of the relics of Saint Nicholas, which arrived at Moscow from Bari, and were received with “enthusiasm and devotion” by the Russian faithful, in the more than two months of permanence in the capital and in St. Petersburg.

Responding to a question on the crisis of values being experienced in today’s world, the Vatican Secretary of State highlighted the urgency of “a more effective cooperation between the different Confessions.” “An ever greater understanding between the Churches will also be able to make its contribution through the sharing of experiences lived in different regions.”

Then, answering a question on terrorism, a danger, he stressed, that must be addressed, pondering, however, “with much care on the eventual ways of intervention, in order to avoid actions of force triggering in turn new spirals of violence.” The work of the Church, specified the Cardinal, “is always long-term, made up of education and the formation of consciences,” and he recalled that, in the last decades, the Holy See spared no efforts to “start, consolidate and sometimes renew relations of dialogue at the cultural and religious level, but especially at the socio-humanitarian level.”

Hence, Tass agency asked Cardinal Parolin to reflect on Trump’s Presidency. The Vatican Secretary of State hoped that the American President, “like all the other actors of the International Community, will not desist from the challenge” of “pursuing a reduction of the global overheating of the planet.” And widening the horizon, he warned that in international relations “the awareness matures increasingly that policies and strategies based on open and heated confrontations ,” almost “a dialogue between the deaf,” or worse, “fuelled by fear and the terror of atomic or chemical arms, don’t open the door to just and lasting solutions to problems among the nations.” It’s necessary to listen to Pope Francis, exhorted the Cardinal, when asking the world leaders to “build peace” and “not shut themselves in national or partial interests.

Finally, Cardinal Parolin answered a question about the grave situation in Venezuela., a country the Cardinal knows well, having been the Apostolic Nuncio ay Caracas before becoming Secretary of State. He stressed that the “Holy See is very committed to fostering a peaceful and democratic solution, even in the midst of many misunderstandings.” Once again he said that the path “is always the same.” “They must meet, create an atmosphere of trust.” Cardinal Parolin recalled the serious humanitarian crisis the country is experiencing and he appealed to the International Community and friendly countries of Venezuela   to “give their disinterested and peaceful aid so that there is a positive evolution.”

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