“The diplomatic activity of the Holy See is not content to observe events or evaluate their importance,” Cardinal Parolin has said, “nor can it remain merely a critical voice.”
Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, made this statement Wednesday morning while giving a lecture at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, entitled “The Diplomatic Activity of the Holy See in the Service of Peace,” during the “Dies Academicus.”
With this year’s theme as “Peace: Gift of God, Human Responsibility, Christian Commitment,” the Die Academicus is an annual study day dedicated to a selected theme that the university’s different departments analyse from various academic perspectives, such as: theology, philosophy, history, culture, canon law, social sciences, missiology, psychology, and spirituality.
The Holy See’s diplomatic efforts, the Vatican’s top diplomat said, “act to facilitate the coexistence and cohabitation of various nations, to promote fraternity between peoples, where the term fraternity is a synonym for effective collaboration, true cooperation, harmonious and orderly, of a solidarity structured in favour of the common good and that of individuals.”
The Holy See works substantially on the international scene, he noted, not with the objective of guaranteeing a generic security, which he noted has been made more difficult in this period of lasting instability, but rather to “sustain an idea of peace as the fruit of just relations, of respect for international law, of the protection of fundamental human rights beginning with those of the least among us, the most vulnerable.”
The diplomacy of the Holy See, he affirmed, has a clear ecclesial function.
“If it is the tool of communion that unites the Roman Pontiff with the Bishops at the head of the local Churches, or that guarantees the life of the local Churches in relation to the civil authorities, I dare say that it is also the vehicle of the Successor of Peter for reaching the peripheries, both ecclesiastically and in terms of the human family.”
“In the field of civil society, which forms of ethical guidance would be lacking,” the prelate asked, “were the Holy See not present in different intergovernmental contexts, in the areas of cooperation, disarmament, the struggle against poverty, the eradication of hunger, care for the sick, and promoting literacy?”
“Papal diplomacy,” the Vatican Secretary of State said, “is entrusted the task of working in favour of peace following the methods and rules that are applicable to subjects of international law, therefore formulating practical answers in legal terms to prevent, resolve or regulate conflicts and to avoid their possible degeneration into the irrationality of armed force.”
“But,” Cardinal Parolin highlighted,“it is above all an activity that demonstrates how the aim pursued is primarily religious and as such is about being true ‘workers for peace’, and not ‘workers for war or at least agents of misunderstanding,’ as Pope Francis reminds us.”