The Pope proved himself a vigorous diplomat in the Syrian crisis, which made him an 'authoritative voice internationally,' the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, said, as he outlines his diplomatic vision.
- Vatican Insider
In an interview with Italian Catholic news daily Avvenire, Parolin, who will be created cardinal in a few days time, talked about the current international situation, the reform of the Roman Curia, the role of the Commissions for Reference, the Vatileaks scandal and the 'pastoral conversion' Pope Francis has asked for from the whole Church.
'The tasks and objectives of papal diplomacy – Parolin explained – are those which the Pope outlined in his first meeting with the various ambassadors to the Holy See in March 2013: to build bridges in order to promote dialogue and use negotiation as a means to solve conflicts, spread fraternity, fight against poverty and build peace.
'The Pope has no other 'interests' or 'strategies' and neither do those who represent him abroad... In a diverse world which risks being divided' – he continued – 'Vatican diplomacy can and must stand by the side of people and populations in order to help them realise that their differences are an asset and a resource and to help bridge these differences as peacefully as possible, to build a human and fraternal world, where there is room for everyone, particularly the weak and vulnerable.'
During the interview, Pope Francis’ right-hand man stated that the aim of reforming the Roman Curia is 'to turn it into a streamlined, flexible, less bureaucratic and more efficient instrument in service of the Pope, the bishops, the universal Church and the local churches.' Parolin conceded that 'it is not enough to reform the structures, although this is necessary; there also needs to be a permanent personal conversion.'
What the Secretary of State said about the Commissions for Reference on the IOR and the economic and administrative structure of the Holy See was also significant: 'Their roles and functions were outlined in the documents that established them.
'I would like to stress that these commissions are temporary bodies of “reference” and their task is to provide the Pope and the Council of eight Cardinals with suggestions and proposals in their respective fields of expertise. So they are not intended as a means of counter-balancing the power of the Roman Curia. Their work as well as their mandate is about to conclude.'
Moving to the Vatileaks scandal, Parolin said: 'That was an incredibly painful time and I wish and hope with all my heart that it is over for good. What lesson have we learnt from it? The whole affair unfairly caused a great deal of suffering to Pope Benedict XVI and many others, many were dragged into the scandal and the damage done to the cause of Christ was by no means small.'
FULL STORY Parolin lays out his roadmap for diplomacy (Vatican Insider)