Cardinal Pietro Parolin (archive photo) Cardinal Pietro Parolin (archive photo)  (ANSA)

Cardinal Parolin on Pope Francis’ pontificate: No reversals on reforms

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin discusses key issues roiling the Church during the presentation of the new book, “Five questions agitating the Church”, by noted Vaticanist Ignazio Ingrao.

By Vatican News staff reporters

Answering the question, “What will happen with the reforms undertaken by Pope Francis?” Cardinal Pietro Parolin insisted on the need for prayer and patience, and said that discernment will indicate, at its own pace, “how to continue and what to make institutional.” Although some people might worry – or hope for – reversals, the Holy See’s Secretary of State said, “Precisely because it is the action of the Spirit, there can be no U-turn.”

Cardinal Parolin was speaking at the presentation of a new book by vaticanista Ignazio Ingrao, entitled Five Questions Agitating the Church. The multifaceted and wide-ranging volume covers a wide variety of news and current events, including a discussion of the Magisterium of Pope Francis and various documents promulgated during his pontificate.

Ecclesia semper reformanda

In his introduction, Ingrao speaks of “irreversible processes” that must be matched by a necessary “pastoral response” as well as “an ethical and moral response.” 

Echoing that sentiment, Cardinal Parolin highlighted the Latin expression Ecclesia semper reformanda, “the Church is always in need of reform”. He explained this means that “the Church must always be brought back to its proper form”, recalling the teaching of Lumen gentium that the Church, “which includes sinners in its bosom” is “in need of purification, advancing on the path of penance and renewal”.

Difficulties as opportunities

Cardinal Parolin went on to reflect on the book’s title, and specifically the choice of the verb “agitates” (in Italian: “agitano”), which “seems to invite the reader to peruse the text with that awareness and prudence with which we approach” the account of the storm on the Sea of Galilee, found in the Gospel of Matthew. The disciples’ journey across the lake shows that every crossing involves challenges, which can be seen not only as difficulties and dangers, but also as opportunities; and these, the Cardinal said, are “a part of God’s wise pedagogy by which he educates us, and makes us mature and progress.” 

Cardinal Parolin then touched briefly on several other questions posed by the author, addressing topics including the role of young people and women in the Church, the rise of Pentecostal churches, and the Synod on Synodality.

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25 April 2024, 12:14