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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cardinal Parolin explains the diplomatic activity of the Holy See in the service of peace

Vatican City, 11 March 2015 (VIS) – This morning Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin gave a Lectio Magistralis at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome, during the “Dies Academicus”, the annual study day dedicated to a theme that the different departments of the university analyse from the perspectives of various fields of study (theology, philosophy, history, culture, canon law, social sciences, missiology, psychology, spirituality, etc). This year's theme was “Peace: gift of God, human responsibility, Christian commitment”. The title of the Secretary of State's Lectio Magistralis was “The diplomatic activity of the Holy See in the service of peace”.

“The diplomatic activity of the Holy See is not content to observe events or evaluate their importance; nor can it remain merely a critical voice”, affirmed Cardinal Parolin. “It acts to facilitate the coexistence and cohabitation of various nations, to promote fraternity between peoples, where the term fraternity is a synonym for effective collaboration, true cooperation, harmonious and orderly, of a solidarity structured in favour of the common good and that of individuals. And the common good, as we know, has more than a link with peace. The Holy See works substantially on the international scene not to guarantee a generic security – made more difficult in this period of lasting instability – but to sustain an idea of peace as the fruit of just relations, of respect for international law, of the protection of fundamental human rights beginning with those of the least among us, the most vulnerable”.

“The diplomacy of the Holy See has a clear ecclesial function”, he added: “if it is the tool of communion that unites the Roman Pontiff with the Bishops at the head of the local Churches, or that guarantees the life of the local Churches in relation to the civil authorities, I dare say that it is also the vehicle of the Successor of Peter for reaching the peripheries, both ecclesiastically and in terms of the human family. … In the field of civil society, which forms of ethical guidance would be lacking were the Holy See not present in different intergovernmental contexts, in the areas of cooperation, disarmament, the struggle against poverty, the eradication of hunger, care for the sick, and promoting literacy?”.

Cardinal Parolin went on to explain that “papal diplomacy is entrusted the task of working in favour of peace following the methods and rules that are applicable to subjects of international law, therefore formulating practical answers in legal terms to prevent, resolve or regulate conflicts and to avoid their possible degeneration into the irrationality of armed force. But”, he concluded, “it is above all an activity that demonstrates how the aim pursued is primarily religious and as such is about being true 'workers for peace', and not 'workers for war or at least agents of misunderstanding', as Pope Francis reminds us”.

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