Artillery in action in the war in Ukraine Artillery in action in the war in Ukraine 

Parolin: A truce in Ukraine is “not only feasible, but urgent”

In an interview with Italian weekly “Famiglia cristiana,” Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin says first and foremost, weapons must be silenced and if partisan interests prevail, “we are destined to have no future.”

By Vatican News staff writer

The salvation of the planet is ultimately a matter of strategy. There are strategies of engagement, of realistic dialogue, of the ‘gesture of trust’ capable of overcoming the rigidity of hatred and the wounds that every conflict inflicts everywhere. And there are the schemes of war that foment the opposite: partisan interests, “violence, prevarication, economic and ideological colonization, the law of the strongest.” For Cardinal Pietro Parolin, there is no doubt that with the second kind of program, humanity risks “falling into a spiral of no return, with catastrophic consequences.”

There is no justice without forgiveness

The Secretary of State spoke with the Italian weekly Famiglia cristiana, in an interview that will be published in Thursday’s edition. His remarks are prompted by the appeals Pope Francis has been making with insistent regularity since February, seeking an end to the tragedy that has devastated Ukraine. “I consider the truce not only feasible, but necessary and urgent,” says the Secretary of State, who reiterates that “peace is built on justice and right.” However, quoting John Paul II, he also notes that “there is no justice without forgiveness.” Forgiveness, in turn, requires conversion, that is, “a change of attitude reflected in actions.”

“Putting an end to the clash of arms”

Cardinal Parolin makes no predictions. “I am not in a position to tell you what peace is possible,” he notes, but certainly “putting an end to the clashing of arms, the bombing, the destruction, is a necessary first step.” It is a step, he says, that must be “accompanied and favoured not by threatening gestures, but by gestures of trust and goodwill, that create the conditions for dialogue and open the way to negotiations. The Pope has been clear on this.”

Unfortunately, notes the cardinal, “we have almost become accustomed to the news about the war: not only do I consider the truce feasible, but I consider it necessary and urgent. We hope and pray that Francis’ appeal will be heard.”

Open to a meeting despite everything

And it is in this spirit that, he maintains, despite “misunderstandings,” “the doors remain open and dialogue is not interrupted” with regard to a possible meeting between the Pope and Kirill, the Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow. “On the part of the Holy See, the desire has never waned, even if circumstances have prevented it from becoming a reality. We sense that there is also this desire on the part of the Orthodox Church.”

At the same time, the Cardinal Secretary of State notes that it is not only the situation in Ukraine that concerns the Pope. Cardinal Parolin urges us not to forget “the tragedy of Syria, Yemen, Tigray, the escalation of tensions in the Far East… Even if some conflicts are less publicized, no war is less sorrowful than others; no life that is worth less [than another]”

12 October 2022, 15:22