Cardinal Parolin in Mexico to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations
By Devin Watkins
“We are facing challenging times caused by various ideologies and vested interests that seem to want to supplant true Gospel values.”
The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, offered that assessment of the global situation in his homily at Mass to open the 112th Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference of Mexico.
The Eucharistic celebration was held in the National Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Monday afternoon, and was concelebrated by Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera López of Monterrey, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Mexico, and Cardinal Aguiar Retes, the Primate of Mexico.
‘Assisting those suffering through solidarity’
Cardinal Parolin expressed his joy for the opportunity to celebrate with Mexico’s Bishops during the Easter Season “under the gaze of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” the patroness of the Americas.
The Cardinal also lamented the “countless men and women who continue to suffer due to discrimination, corruption, and lack of justice.” He called it a “situation of suffering” that requires Christian communities to “commit to building unity and seek to make effective choices in order to achieve the common good.”
The Cardinal Secretary of State urged Mexico’s Bishops, priests, and religious to keep their eyes open “to the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are deprived of dignity.”
Dialogue within the Church
Mexico’s Bishops are focusing the work of their Plenary Assembly, concluding on 29 April, on the Church’s synodal journey, which is also the focus of the 1st Ecclesial Assembly of Mexico, being held in parallel with the Bishops’ meeting.
The Bishops’ Conference released a statement earlier this week describing the week of meetings as a time to engage in “closeness and dialogue” with lay people, members of consecrated life, bishops, priests, deacons, seminarians, and all people of good will.
The meetings are touching on topics like violence in Mexico, wars across the world, and the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as seeking ways to solve various problems in the Latin American nation.
30th anniversary of diplomatic ties
On Tuesday, an academic conference took place in Mexico City to mark the 30th anniversary since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Holy See.
The event, entitled “Open Secularism and Religious Freedom: A Contemporary Vision”, was attended by Cardinal Parolin, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and a host of Mexican academics.
Mexico and the Holy See signed an agreement on 21 September 1992 that reestablished diplomatic ties, based on common values and joint actions to promote respect for human rights, while accounting for the importance of Catholicism in Mexico and the separation between Church and State.
At the time, Cardinal Parolin took part in laying the groundwork for that historic moment, since he was part of the Apostolic Delegation to Mexico in 1989 to 1991, along with then-Apostolic Delegate to Mexico, Archbishop Girolamo Prigione.
Episcopal ordination of new Nuncio
Cardinal Parolin arrived in Mexico last Saturday, and traveled to the Diocese of Autlán, in the state of Jalisco.
He presided over Mass and the Episcopal ordination of Javier Herrera Corona, whom Pope Francis has appointed as the new Apostolic Nuncio to Gabon and the Republic of Congo.