In Padua, Cardinal Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Holy See, gave an insight into the current thougts of the Holy Father. Speaking at the inauguration of the academic year for the Theological Faculty of Triveneto in Padua, the Cardinal commented on recent issues and the Holy Father's thoughts and plans, particularly on terrorism, Africa, the Middle East, Cuba, the Armenian genocide, as well as on the dangers of fundamentalism.
Terrorism and the Vatican
On the recent revelation that the Vatican was an intended target of terrorists recently arrested in Italy, Cardinal Parolin commented that the “Pope is calm”, but for authorities “there is fear and it is proper, but there is not an exaggerated preoccupation with the issue, but certainly we need to be alert.” The Cardinal also mentioned that as a precaution all Vatican buildings are being guarded.
On Africa Cardinal Parolin said “after visiting Korea, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, late last year and early this year, the Pope would like to dedicate more attention to Africa,” and continued “plans are already underway to visit the continent, especially the countries that are currently faced with conflict and difficulty.”
“The Pope has asked that the forces of the so-called Islamic State be stopped,” Cardinal Parolin went on to continue, saying that the Pope “suffers to see the walls that have arisen between the communities in the Middle East,” and that the “ongoing conflicts run the risk of fragmenting the whole region.” The Cardinal also mentioned that “for this reason, the Holy See is working to guarantee constant communication and collaboration between the different communities and also to denounce the violence that is now a daily occurrence in the region.”
On the topic of Cuba the Cardinal said that “The
Pope will go to Cuba during his planned visit to South America, especially because
of the warming of relations after a long period of coldness and misunderstanding and
conflict. However this process has just started and things are still fragile. It
is not easy that after many years of non-communication and imcomprehension, to build
a climate of mutual confidence.” Cardinal Parolin said that the Pope’s visit to the
country will be an “encouragement of the process.”
With regards to the current issue of fundamentalism,
the Cardinal commented that "Pope Francis speaks constantly on the dangers of fundamentalism,
whether it is cultural, relgious or theological. With fundamentalism there is a grave
threat to the political order because of the indefinite violence that it produces."
The Cardinal concluded that "It is up to religious people to question themselves
and to participate in the construction of peace."
The Armenia Genocide
Concerning the anniversary of the genocide in Armenia and the Pope’s comments, Cardinal Parolin said “the Pope spoke clearly and always in terms f reconciliation. When the Pope recalled the incident, it was not to elicit any animosity, but rather to approach the issues fairly, and attempt to find new ways of understanding and cooperation.”
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