Cardinal Parolin calls for unity, not division, in response to global crises
By Giancarlo La Vella
Cardinal Pietro Parolin spoke briefly and frankly with journalists on Wednesday, addressing the situation in Ukraine, the cardinal's recent trip to Africa to represent Pope Francis, and the appointment of three women to key posts in the Curia. The Vatican Secretary of State made his remarks at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See in Rome, where he was speaking on the water crisis, which mainly affects the poorest countries, on the occasion of the presentation of the book Il senso della sete. L’acqua tra geopolitica, diritti, arte e spiritualità (“The Sense of Thirst: Water between Geopolitics, Rights, Arts, and Spirituality”) by Fausta Speranza.
Constant concern for Ukraine
“The Pope wants to go to Ukraine and he will go as soon as possible,” said Cardinal Parolin, confirming the Pontiff's desire to travel to Kyiv to show his closeness to the Ukrainian people devastated by the violence of war. For the moment, the Pope’s upcoming journey to Canada is imminent and has been confirmed.
Responding to a question about the global consequences of the conflict in Ukraine and the turmoil it is causing in European governments, Cardinal Parolin said: “I believe that in the current world scenario, the more stable a government is, the more it is able to cope with the many challenges; these are epochal challenges. No one could have imagined that a generalized crisis would result from this war, both in terms of food and energy. So clearly, when there is someone in charge of the situation, this facilitates solutions.” He emphasised, “We must all work together and not divide ourselves!”
Visit to Africa
Regarding his recent trip to Africa, the Cardinal Secretary of State said: “I went to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan to assure the inhabitants of the two countries that the Pope intends to go. The trip was only postponed because of his health conditions.” Cardinal Parolin explained that a suitable time period must be chosen in order to avoid the rainy seasons, which would make the papal visit difficult. He also noted that these periods in South Sudan do not coincide with those in the Democratic Republic of Congo and therefore the visit must be planned carefully.
Women appointed to curial positions
The Cardinal also spoke about Pope Francis’ appointment of three women to the Dicastery of Bishops, which was announced on Wednesday. “The Church's openness to the world of women continues,” Cardinal Parolin said, noting that up to this point, no women had ever been a part of this “very important office,” which is responsible for preparing the dossiers to be submitted to the Pope for the appointment of prelates. He noted, too, that the appointment of women to the Dicastery follows from the reform of the Roman Curia implemented by the Holy Father in the recently promulgated Apostolic Constitution Praedicate evangelium.