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Cardinal Parolin addresses a UN meeting in New York Cardinal Parolin addresses a UN meeting in New York  (AFP or licensors)

Cardinal Parolin meets with Russia’s Lavrov at UN in New York

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

By Alessandro De Carolis

We must always engage in dialogue, "because there is always the possibility that in dialogue we can change things."

Pope Francis spoke those words last week on the flight back to Rome from Kazakhstan, as he talked to journalists.

The Pope was speaking about the Holy See’s diplomatic mission, especially in regard to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, offered further proof of that guiding principle on Thursday, as he met with Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister.

The encounter took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, which is taking place in New York.

Cardinal Parolin calling for a ban on nuclear testing

Separately, on Wednesday, the Cardinal had spoken at the 10th meeting of the Friends of the CTBT – a group established in 2002 and consisting of Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands.

On that occasion, the Secretary of State reaffirmed that “as global tensions rise and we hear rhetoric threatening the use of nuclear weapons, it is more crucial than ever to bring the CTBT into force with rising global tensions and rhetoric threatening the use of nuclear weapons.” (CTBT stands for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty)

Peace begins when weapons are silent

Cardinal Parolin's statement echoes Pope Francis’ countless calls to disarmament and the need to put a stop to the arms trade.

Even on Wednesday, at the General Audience, Pope Francis reiterated his closeness and support for the Ukrainian people, whom he called "noble and martyred."

He also emphasized how in this "tragic war" some people "are thinking about nuclear weapons,” calling it “a madness."

The Pope also shared with those present the account of Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner, who recently returned from his latest mission from war-torn Ukraine.

"He told me of the pain of this people, the savage actions, the monstrosities, the tortured corpses they find," said the Pope. And again he insisted on the only path forward: "Let us not forget: peace is possible when weapons are silent and dialogue begins!"

22 September 2022, 21:26