Pietro Parolin

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His Eminence
Pietro Parolin
Cardinal Secretary of State
Ināra Mūrniece tiekas ar Svētā Krēsla Valsts sekretāru (26363562894)-1(cropped).jpg
Appointed 15 October 2013
Predecessor Tarcisio Bertone, SDB
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Santi Simone e Giuda Taddeo a Torre Angela
Member of the Council of Cardinal Advisers
Orders
Ordination 27 April 1980
by Arnoldo Onisto
Consecration 12 September 2009
by Benedict XVI
Created Cardinal 22 February 2014
by Francis
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1955-01-17) 17 January 1955 (age 63)
Schiavon, Italy
Denomination Roman Catholicism
Previous post Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela (2009–2013)
Titular Archbishop of Aquipendium (2009–2014)
Alma mater Pontifical Gregorian University
Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
Motto Latin: Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi?
(Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?)
Signature Pietro Parolin's signature
Coat of arms Pietro Parolin's coat of arms
Ordination history of
Pietro Parolin
History
Priestly ordination
Ordained by Bishop Arnoldo Onisto
Date of ordination 27 April 1980
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecrator Pope Benedict XVI
Co-consecrators Tarcisio Bertone, SDB
William Joseph Levada
Date of consecration 12 September 2009
Cardinalate
Elevated by Pope Francis
Date of elevation 22 February 2014
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Pietro Parolin as principal consecrator
Aldo Giordano 14 December 2013
Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen 17 May 2014
Marek Zalewski 31 May 2014
Wojciech Załuski 9 August 2014
Joël Mercier 19 March 2015
Paolo Rocco Gualtieri 30 May 2015
Piergiorgio Bertoldi 2 June 2015
Alberto Ortega Martin 10 October 2015
Pierantonio Pavanello 20 February 2016
Paul Tighe 27 February 2016
Gábor Pinter 15 July 2016
Styles of
Pietro Parolin
Coat of arms of Pietro Parolin.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Pietro Parolin (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpjetro paroˈliŋ]; born 17 January 1955) is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. A cardinal since 2014, he has served as the Secretary of State since 15 October 2013. Before that he worked in the diplomatic service of the Holy See for thirty years.

He speaks native Italian, fluent English and French, and near-native Spanish.[1]

Early life

Parolin was born in Schiavon, Province of Vicenza, the son of a hardware store manager and an elementary school teacher. He has one sister and a brother. When he was ten years old, his father died in a car accident.[2] After he was ordained on 27 April 1980, he took up graduate studies in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University and in diplomacy at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He entered the Holy See's diplomatic service in 1986 at the age of 31.

He served for three years in the Nunciature of Nigeria where he became familiar with the problems in Christian-Muslim relations.

At the Nunciature of Mexico from 1989 to 1992, he contributed to the final phase of the extensive work begun by Archbishop Girolamo Prigione which led to the legal recognition of the Catholic Church in 1992 and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Mexico after 130 years. These laborious negotiations led to Mexico officially shedding the country’s secular and anti-clerical imprint, which extended to its Constitution.[2][3]

Working in Rome, he was country director for Spain, Andorra, Italy, and San Marino.

Undersecretary of State for Relations with States

Parolin was Undersecretary of State for Relations with States from 30 November 2002 to 17 August 2009.

Parolin has also been at the forefront of Vatican efforts to approve and implement the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Addressing the International Atomic Energy Agency on 18 September 2006, at its headquarters in Vienna, Parolin referred to this treaty as "the basis to pursue nuclear disarmament and an important element for further development of nuclear energy applications for peaceful purposes." He said: "Since this treaty is the only multilateral legal instrument currently available, intended to bring about a nuclear weapons-free world, it must not be allowed to be weakened. Humanity deserves no less than the full cooperation of all states in this important matter."[citation needed]

Concerning recent developments in international negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, the Vatican official reaffirmed "that the present difficulties can and must be overcome through diplomatic channels, making use of all the means that diplomacy has at its disposal and considers necessary to eliminate all the elements which objectively impede mutual trust."[citation needed]

In September 2007 at the opening of the UN he argued that, "We often hear in the halls of the United Nations of 'the responsibility to protect'. The Holy See believes that applies also in the context of climate change. States have a shared 'responsibility to protect' the world’s climate through mitigation/adaptation, and above all a shared 'responsibility to protect' our planet and ensure that present and future generations be able to live in a healthy and safe environment".[4]

Parolin represented the Vatican in a variety of sensitive assignments, including trips to North Korea and Vietnam[5] as well as the 2007 Annapolis Conference on the Middle East convened by the Bush administration to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks[6].

As the Vatican's "deputy foreign minister" he dealt with all the sensitive dossiers on the Holy See's relations with Vietnam (he was partly responsible for paving the way to full diplomatic relations between the two) and the legal issues between the Vatican and Israel which remain unresolved. At the beginning of Pope Benedict's pontificate, direct contact was re-established with China.[2]

During his time as undersecretary Parolin scored some significant breakthroughs, such as cementing ties between the Holy See and Vietnam, re-establishing direct contact with Beijing in 2005 and helping secure the liberation of 15 British navy personnel captured by Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf in April 2007.[7]

Talks between the government and Vatican have been held since 1990. Vietnam has one of Asia's largest Catholic populations, with more than 6 million followers. In the latest round of talks,[when?] a senior Vatican delegation spent the week in Vietnam meeting with Hanoi officials in the hope of laying the groundwork for formal diplomatic relations. Parolin held talks with the Vietnamese government in February 2009 where they agreed that:

Vice Minister Quoc Cuong emphasised Vietnam's consistent policy on the freedom of belief as well as the achievements and current situation on religious affairs in Vietnam in recent years. Vice Minister Cuong expressed his wish for the Holy See's active contribution to the life of the Catholic community in Vietnam, the strengthening of solidarity between religions and of the entire Vietnamese population, and the strong cohesion of the Catholic Church in Vietnam with the nation through practical contributions to national construction. During the meeting, the two sides held in-depth and comprehensive discussions on bilateral relations, including issues related to the Catholic Church in Vietnam. The two sides also acknowledged the encouraging development in the relations between Vietnam and the Holy See since 1990. The two sides agreed that the first meeting of the Joint Working Group was a new and important step forward in their bilateral relations and greater efforts should be made to further promote bilateral ties.[8]

The two sides agreed to hold the second meeting of the Joint Working Group at a future date.[9]

Nuncio

Cardinal Parolin during a mass in Caracas, July 2012

On 17 August 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Parolin Titular Archbishop of Aquipendium Parolin and Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela. He was consecrated a bishop on 12 September 2009 by Benedict, with Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone and William Cardinal Levada as co-consecrators. The Venezuela assignment was expected to be difficult, since conflicts between the State and the Church in Venezuela were on the rise as President Hugo Chavez attempted to advance his socialist revolution.[10]

Secretary of State

Obama meets Cardinal Parolin, 27 March 2014

On 31 August 2013, Pope Francis appointed Parolin Secretary of State, replacing Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Parolin took office on 15 October.[11][1]

Parolin became, at 58, the youngest Secretary of State since 1929, when Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) was appointed to the position at the age of 53. He said: "The pope's initiatives have given the secretary of state an impetus and have also created a new diplomatic momentum." When asked if he would be spearheading a new diplomatic offensive for peace, he noted that it was a complicated question but said, "Yes, I hope that we can recoup" that drive. "We have this great advantage in respect to other churches, to other religions: We can count on an international institutional presence through diplomacy," he said.[12]

On 16 December, Parolin was named to a five-year renewable term as a member of the Congregation for Bishops.[13] On 19 February 2014 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

Parolin was made a cardinal, Cardinal-Priest of Santi Simone e Giuda Taddeo a Torre Angela, at a general consistory on 22 February 2014.[14] In July 2014, Pope Francis named him the ninth member of the Council of Cardinal Advisers.

In 2014 Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro invited Cardinal Parolin to mediate talks between his government and opposition in hopes of stemming violence that has killed dozens in the nation's worst unrest in a decade. He asked that Parolin, a former nuncio to Venezuela be named a "good faith witness" to a dialogue the [parties had agreed upon after two months of protests. Venezuela's opposition coalition had indicated that current nuncio, Archbishop Aldo Giordano, would be attending the first formal talks. Henrique Capriles, the opposition's two-time presidential candidate who narrowly lost an election to Maduro the year before, confirmed he would take part in the discussions.[15]

In December 2014 Cardinal Parolin asked the U.S. to find an "adequate humanitarian solution" for prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, a reflection of Pope Francis' concern that prisoners be treated with dignity and not be subject to inhumane treatment. Parolin made the request during a Vatican meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The Vatican said they discussed the U.S. commitment to closing the facility and that Parolin expressed the Holy See's desire that "favourable attention be paid to finding adequate humanitarian solutions for current inmates".[16]

The Holy See was credited with playing a major role in the reestablishment of U.S.-Cuba relations.[17][18] Parolin moderated the October 2014 meeting between Cuban and U.S. officials as their negotiations neared an agreement.[19] In 2015, Cardinal Parolin was asked whether the normalisation of Cuba – U.S. relations pointed toward a new "golden age" of Vatican diplomacy. He said that "the president of the United States has already thanked the Pope for the support he has given to this important step" and said: "Holy See diplomacy is always there, to help to build bridges". Parolin also said the Holy See's diplomacy "is now more active…(not only) waiting, but also proposing (solutions for peace), since there are so many conflicts."[20]

Parolin called for an intervention in Libya to stop a possible alliance between the country's Islamic government and the Islamic State. Parolin spoke about the chaos there after ISIS beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, describing the incident as "terrifying" and the situation "grave". He stressed the need for "a quick response". Parolin added that "any armed intervention must be carried forward under the framework of international law" and "under the umbrella of the United Nations".[21][22]

In May 2015, after the passage of the Marriage Equality Referendum in Ireland, which extended marriage rights to same-sex couples, Parolin said: "I was very saddened by this result. I don't think we can speak only about a defeat for Christian principles, but a defeat for humanity."[23][24] In June 2015, he visited Abu Dhabi to inaugurate Saint Paul's Church in Musaffah, the city's the second Catholic parish .[25]

Cardinal Parolin has stressed the importance of continuity. He believes Pope Francis simply tries to guide the church to be the church of Christ and that he is not starting a revolution. He defends the importance of unchangeable dogmas and asserts the relevance of sacred tradition. He said celibacy is a discipline that could be changed but that it cannot simply be dismissed as outdated.[26] In a keynote speech at the Pontifical Gregorian University in February 2016, Cardinal Parolin defended celibacy as a "gift" that must be received and nurtured with "joyful perseverance" and criticized the suggestion that the shortage of vocations be addressed by modifying the requirement of priestly celibacy.[27]

In May 2016 Parolin visited Estonia to mark the 25th anniversary of the reintroduction of diplomatic relations between Estonia and the Holy See. He spoke at the University of Tartu on the precise meaning of their international relations.[28]

Parolin was appointed a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in October 2016.

Following the resignation of Marie Collins from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Parolin said she quit because she wanted to "shake the tree" in the Vatican. Collins said some members of the Church's administration, the Roman Curia, have hindered and blocked the commission's efforts, naming the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Parolin called the lack of cooperation from some Vatican offices "shameful".[29]

Parolin told Italy's La Stampa the flow of migrants and refugees into Europe is testing "the spirit of solidarity and subsidiarity" of the European Union, and acknowledged the large number of people fleeing to the continent poses a security problem. "Terrorism certainly finds fertile ground in poverty, lack of jobs, and social marginalization", he said, adding that since World War II, Europe has tried to "free itself" from its cultural heritage and values, and this has created a vacuum in which young people cannot find the answers to their existential questions.[30]

In 2017, Parolin became the Vatican’s first Secretary of State in 19 years to visit Moscow.[31]

In a 2018 interview with Cardinal Joseph Zen on Sino-Holy See relations, Zen said “Pope Francis does not know the real Communist Party in China, but Parolin should know. He was there [in the Secretariat of State] so many years, so he must know. He may be happy to encourage the pope to be optimistic about the negotiations … but that’s dangerous. Pope Francis needs someone to calm him down from his enthusiasm.” Zen added that “It seems the Secretary of State wants to have a solution anyway. He is so optimistic. That’s dangerous. I told the pope that he [Parolin] has a poisoned mind. He is very sweet, but I have no trust in this person. He believes in diplomacy, not in our faith.”[32][33]

Parolin has been called papabile, a possible future pope, after Pope Francis.[34][35][36][37][38][39]

Distinctions

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Povoledo, Elisabetta (31 August 2013). "Pope Appoints Diplomat as Vatican Secretary of State". New York Times. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "The talents of the priest and diplomat Fr. Pietro Parolin". Vatican Insider. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Kard. Parolin otrzymał najwyższe odznaczenie Meksyku - Artykuł". Niedziela.pl. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "High-level event on climate change". Vatican.va. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  5. ^ "Francis reboots Vatican system with new Secretary of State". National Catholic Reporter. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  6. ^ Allen Jr., John L. (26 November 2007). "Parolin to represent the Holy See at Annapolis". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "Cardinal Parolin Played Key Role in U.S.-Cuba Negotiations". National Catholic Register. 
  8. ^ "Religious freedom, diplomatic relations in talks between Holy See and Hanoi". Asia News (PIME). 20 February 2009. 
  9. ^ "Vietnam Embassy - Joint Press Release: The first meeting of the Vietnam-Holy See Joint Working Group in Hanoi". vietnamembassy-myanmar.org. 
  10. ^ Allen, Jr., John L. (18 August 2009). "Pope sends top diplomat to deal with Chavez". 
  11. ^ "Il Papa nomina Mons. Pietro Parolin nuove segretario di stato" (in Italian). Vatican Radio. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Glatz, Carol (9 September 2013). "Vatican's new top diplomat ready to ramp up network for peace". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "List of New Cardinals Named by Pope Francis". VOA. 
  15. ^ "Venezuela reaches out to Vatican No. 2 to mediate crisis". Reuters. 
  16. ^ "Vatican asks US to find 'humanitarian solution' for Guantánamo prisoners". The Guardian. 15 December 2014. 
  17. ^ John Hooper. "Renewed US-Cuba relations biggest success in Vatican diplomacy in decades". The Guardian. 
  18. ^ "Cardinal Parolin: on Holy See's role in US/Cuba agreement". Vatican Radio. 
  19. ^ Yardley, Jim; Piangiani, Gaia (17 December 2014). "Pope Francis Is Credited With a Crucial Role in U.S.-Cuba Agreement". New York Times. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  20. ^ "Top Vatican Official: Washington, NYC likely stops on papal trip". Catholic News Agency. 
  21. ^ "Vatican Secretary of State urges 'quick response' to crisis in Libya". Catholic News Agency. 
  22. ^ "Cardinal Parolin: Action needed in Libya, but through the United Nations". Vatican Radio. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  23. ^ "Vatican says Ireland gay marriage vote is 'defeat for humanity'". The Guardian. 27 May 2015. 
  24. ^ "Vatican cardinal calls Irish gay vote 'defeat for humanity'". Financial Times. 27 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "Second catholic church in Abu Dhabi inaugurated". Khaleej Times. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  26. ^ Allen Jr., John L. (11 September 2013). "New Secretary of State Parolin on celibacy, democrac". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  27. ^ "Cardinal Parolin: scrapping celibacy is no solution to vocations crisis". The Tablet. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  28. ^ "Card. Parolin defines diplomatic relations of the Holy See". Vatican Radio. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  29. ^ McElwee, Joshua J. (6 March 2017). "Cardinal Muller responds to Collins and defends not answering survivors' letters". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  30. ^ "Top Vatican official says Europe in a 'deep malaise'". CRUX. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  31. ^ "The Vatican's secretary of state visits Moscow for the first time in 19 years". The Economist. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ Zen attacks Vatican efforts to rehabilitate government-appointed Chinese bishops
  34. ^ "Un Cardenal "papabile" visita México". AFN Tijuana. 
  35. ^ [2][dead link]
  36. ^ "MondayVatican – Vatican » Pope Francis: Which Peripheries? - MondayVatican". mondayvatican.com. 
  37. ^ Anura Guruge. "Next Pope After Pope Francis (i.e., Papabili 2014/2015) by Filip Mazurczak". popes-and-papacy.com. 
  38. ^ "MondayVatican – Vatican » The real Pope Francis and his real enemies - MondayVatican". mondayvatican.com. 
  39. ^ "Pietro Parolin - największy sojusznik papieża w reformie Kościoła?". Wiadomosci.gazeta.pl. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  40. ^ "Dettaglio decorato – Parolin Rev.mo Mons. Pietro" (in Italian). Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  41. ^ "Diario Oficial de la Federación" (in Spanish). DOF. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 

External links

  • "Parolin Card. Pietro". Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2017. 
  • Interview, Nuncio to Venezuela, 2013
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Celestino Migliore
Undersecretary for Relations with States
2002–2009
Succeeded by
Ettore Balestrero
Preceded by
Giacinto Berloco
Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela
17 August 2009 – 15 October 2013
Succeeded by
Aldo Giordano
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Luigi Boccadoro
Archbishop of Aquipendium
17 August 2009 – 22 February 2014
Succeeded by
Fabio Fabene
Preceded by
Tarcisio Bertone
President of the Interdicasterial Commission on Particular Churches
15 October 2013 – present
Incumbent
President of the Interdicasterial Commission for the Church in Eastern Europe
15 October 2013 – present
Protector of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
15 October 2013 – present
Preceded by
titular church established
Cardinal-Priest of Santi Simone e Giuda Taddeo a Torre Angela
22 February 2014 – present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Tarcisio Bertone
Cardinal Secretary of State
15 October 2013 – present
Incumbent
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