Vatican Secretary of State: The Catholic Church Is ‘Pacifist’

The Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin attends at the 150th anniversary of
AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

ROME — Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin has asserted the Catholic Church is “pacifist,” at least in a certain sense, Vatican News revealed Tuesday.

“The Church follows the example of her Lord: she believes in peace, works for peace, fights for peace, bears witness to peace, and tries to build it. In this sense she is pacifist,” Cardinal Parolin declared.

In all this, the Church follows the only compass it has — the Gospel — whose pages are full of “announcement of peace, promise and gift of peace. The angels invoke it at the moment of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. He himself offers it to his disciples just after his resurrection.”

At the same time, the cardinal recognized that “the Catechism of the Catholic Church provides for legitimate defense. Peoples have the right to defend themselves if attacked,” but added that “this legitimate armed defense must be exercised within certain conditions that the Catechism itself enumerates.”

These conditions include that all other means of putting an end to the aggression have proved impracticable or ineffective; that there are serious prospects of success; that the use of arms does not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated, Parolin noted.

“Even today in the tragic Ukrainian affair, the willingness to enter into real peace negotiations and to accept the offer of third-party mediation does not seem to emerge at the moment,” the cardinal stated.

“As is evident, it is not enough for one of the parties to propose it or hypothesize it unilaterally, but it is essential that both express their will in this sense,” he added.

Still in reference to Ukraine, Parolin warned of “the possibility of a negative leap towards the joining of the pieces into a truly worldwide conflict.”

“I believe that we are not yet able to predict or calculate the consequences of what is happening,” he continued. “Thousands of deaths, cities destroyed, millions of displaced people, the devastated natural environment, the risk of famine due to the lack of wheat in many parts of the world, the energy crisis.”

“How is it possible that we do not recognize that the only possible answer, the only viable way, the only viable prospect is that of stopping the weapons and promoting a just and lasting peace?” he asked.


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