“Sign of a renewed path” – Cardinal Parolin’s visit to Moscow
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, spoke about his visit to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. He said “At this historic moment, in which we witness an increase of tensions and conflicts in different parts of the world,” Cardinal says, “peace is a clear and imperative priority for Pope Francis and for me personally.”
Cardinal Parolin said his talk with President Vladimir Putin would be primarily about the search for “dialogue,” “peace” and the “common good,” The present situation in the Middle East and Syria and in Ukraine, and the conflicts in other parts of the world “are subject to the constant attention and concern of the Holy See.” Therefore, he explained, “the necessity and urgency to seek peace and the way to pursue it, will certainly be one of the main topics of the conversations.”
“The Church,” Cardinal Parolin stressed, “does not cease to remind all lawmakers of the planet not to put national interests, or at least particular interests, ahead the common good – not the law of force but the force of law – for the development of the whole man and of all men, and the harmony and cooperation between nations. And the method is always dialogue.”
Cardinal Parolin highlighted the urgency of “a more effective cooperation between the different Confessions” and of a “greater understanding between the Churches.” Though he stated “The purpose of my visit goes beyond the preparation of a possible visit of the Holy Father to Russia,” the Cardinal did not exclude the possibility of Pope Francis visiting Russia in the near future. “I hope that, with God’s help, I can offer a contribution in this direction,” he said.
Below is an 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”
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.”