Pietro Parolin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
His Eminence
Pietro Parolin
Cardinal Secretary of State
Pietro Cardinal Parolin.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 Cardinals
Ordination 27 April 1980
by Arnoldo Onisto
Consecration 12 September 2009
by Benedict XVI
Created Cardinal 22 February 2014
by Pope Francis
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Pietro Parolin
Born (1955-01-17) 17 January 1955 (age 60)
Schiavon, Italy
Nationality Italian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Residence Vatican
Previous post
  • Quis nos Separabit A Caritate Christi?
  • (Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?)
Coat of arms
Styles of
Pietro Parolin
Coat of arms of Pietro Parolin.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Pietro Parolin (/ˈpjetro paroˈliŋ/ born 17 January 1955) is an Italian cardinal of the Catholic Church. He has served as the Secretary of State since 15 October 2013.[1] He was elevated to the cardinalate in the consistory that occurred on 22 February 2014. [2]

Early life[edit]

Parolin was born in Schiavon, Province of Vicenza, as 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.[3] After he was ordained on 27 April 1980, he took up graduate studies in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University and at the same time diplomacy at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He entered the Holy See's diplomatic service in 1986 at the age of 31, and has served the Holy See as a diplomat for 20 years, in the nunciatures of Nigeria and Mexico.

He served for three years in the Nunciature of Nigeria and another three (1989–1992) in the Nunciature of Mexico. In Nigeria he became familiar with the problems in Christian-Muslim relations. During his time in Mexico 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. These laborious negotiations led to Mexico officially shedding the country’s secular and anti-clerical imprint, which extended to its Constitution.[3]

In Rome he was as country director for Spain, Andorra, Italy, San Marino. He speaks native Italian, fluent English and French, and near-native Spanish.

Undersecretary of State for Relations with States[edit]

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, Austria, Msgr. 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."

In 2005 Msgr Parolin was awarded Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.[4]

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."

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".[5]

Parolin represented the Vatican in a variety of sensitive assignments, including trips to North Korea and Vietnam as well as the 2007 “Annapolis Conference” on the Middle East convened by the Bush administration.[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. It was in this context that Benedict XVI sent Chinese Catholics the June 2007 Letter.[3]

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]

On 17 August 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr. Parolin to a new position as apostolic nuncio to Venezuela.

Vietnam talks[edit]

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. Msgr. 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]


Archbishop Parolin during a mass in Caracas, July 2012

On 17 August 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr Parolin Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela and Titular Archbishop of Aquipendium.[10] and on 12 September 2009, with Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone and William Cardinal Levada as co-consecrators, conferred episcopal ordination on him and on two other recently appointed apostolic nuncios Gabriele Giordano Caccia and Franco Coppola. Parolin's 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.

Secretary of State[edit]

President Obama meets Cardinal Parolin, 27 March 2014

On 31 August 2013 Pope Francis announced the appointment of Archbishop Parolin as Secretary of State, replacing Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.[11][12] Archbishop Parolin took office on 15 October.

Archbishop Parolin became, at 58, the youngest Secretary of State since 1929, when Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli (the future 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.[13]

On 16 December, Archbishop Parolin was appointed as a member of the Congregation for Bishops for a five-year renewable term.[14] On 19 February 2014 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

Parolin was inducted into the College of Cardinals at a general consistory on 22 February 2014. [15][16] He was created Cardinal-Priest of Santi Simone e Giuda Taddeo a Torre Angela. In July 2014, Pope Francis named him the ninth member of the Council of Cardinal Advisers.[17] That same month, Parolin received the Sash of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, Mexico's highest.[18] In 1989-1992, the future cardinal worked in the Apostolic Nunciature in Mexico and played an instrumental role in reestablishing relations between the Holy See and Mexico after 130 years.[19]

In 2014 Venezuela's government formally invited Cardinal Parolin to mediate talks with the opposition in hopes of stemming violence that has killed dozens in the nation's worst unrest in a decade. In a letter, President Nicolas Maduro's government asked that Parolin, a former nuncio to Venezuela be named a "good faith witness" to a dialogue agreed 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 to Maduro in a vote last year, confirmed he would take part in the discussions. "I will go to defend the truth," he told reporters. "Debate doesn't mean our people stop protesting. Quite the opposite. Peaceful protest must continue because the problems continue."[20]

In December 2014 Cardinal Parolin asked the US to find an “adequate humanitarian solution” for prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, a reflection of Pope Francis’s vocal concern that prisoners be treated with dignity and not be subject to inhumane treatment. Cardinal Parolin, made the request during a Vatican meeting with John Kerry. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev Federico Lombardi said the two sides discussed the US commitment to closing the facility. He said Parolin expressed the Holy See’s desire that “favourable attention be paid to finding adequate humanitarian solutions for current inmates”.[21] After the announcement to reestablish of US-Cuba relations the Holy See was credited with playing a major role.[22] [23]

Cardinal Parolin, during the inauguration of the new wing at the Pontifical North American College in 2015 was asked if the normalisation of Cuba – U.S. relations points toward a new “golden age” of Vatican diplomacy, Cardinal Parolin said that “the president of the United States has already thanked the Pope for the support he has given to this important step,” and stressed that “Holy See diplomacy is always there, to help to build bridges.” Cardinal Parolin also mentioned that perhaps the Holy See’s diplomacy “is now more active…(not only) waiting, but also proposing (solutions for peace), since there are so many conflicts.”[24]

Cardinal 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 in the North African country after ISIS beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, describing the incident as “terrifying”. He stressed the need for “a quick response” saying that the “situation is grave.” Parolin added that “any armed intervention must be carried forward under the framework of international law” and “under the umbrella of the United Nations.”[25][26][27]

Parolin has been mentioned as a papabile, or possible future pope, after the pontificate of Pope Francis. [28][29][30][31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Il Papa nomina Mons. Pietro Parolin nuove segretario di stato" (in Italian). Radio Vaticana. 2013-08-31. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  2. ^ "List of New Cardinals Named by Pope Francis". VOA. 
  3. ^ a b c "The talents of the priest and diplomat Fr. Pietro Parolin". Vatican Insider. 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  4. ^ "Dettaglio decorato – Parolin Rev.mo Mons. Pietro" (in Italian). Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  6. ^ "Francis reboots Vatican system with new Secretary of State". National Catholic Reporter. 
  7. ^ Cardinal Parolin Played Key Role in U.S.-Cuba Negotiations
  8. ^ Religious freedom, diplomatic relations in talks between Holy See and Hanoi. Asia News (PIME). Published: 20 February 2009.
  9. ^ Joint Press Release: The first meeting of the Vietnam-Holy See Joint Working Group in Hanoi
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Appointment of new Secretary of State". Holy See Press Office. 
  12. ^ "Resignation of the Secretary of State and Appointment of the New Secretary of State". 
  13. ^ "Vatican's new top diplomat ready to ramp up network for peace". Catholic News Service. 
  14. ^ http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/de/bollettino/pubblico/2013/12/16/0845/01901.html
  15. ^ "Until Created Cardinal, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Will Be PRO-Secretary Of State, Holy See, Not Secretary Of State.". New Hampshire - The Live Free or Die State. 
  16. ^ "Consistory - 2014". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Catholic Online. "Pope adds Secretary of State Pietro Parolin as member of Council of Cardinals". 
  18. ^ "DOF - Diario Oficial de la Federación". 
  19. ^ "Tygodnik Katolicki Niedziela - Kard. Parolin otrzymał najwyższe odznaczenie Meksyku". 
  20. ^ "Venezuela reaches out to Vatican No. 2 to mediate crisis". Reuters. 
  21. ^ "Vatican asks US to find 'humanitarian solution' for Guantánamo prisoners". theguardian.com. December 15, 2014. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ [2]
  24. ^ [3]
  25. ^ [4]
  26. ^ [5]
  27. ^ Cardinal Parolin: Action needed in Libya, but through the United Nations
  28. ^ "Un Cardenal "papabile" visita México". AFN Tijuana. 
  29. ^ http://laotraopinion.com.mx/tmp/notas/pietro-parolin-el-primer----papabile--�-de-francisco/382
  30. ^ http://www.mondayvatican.com/vatican/pope-francis-which-peripheries
  31. ^ http://popes-and-papacy.com/wordpress/next-pope-after-pope-francis-i-e-papabili-20142015-by-filip-mazurczak/

External links[edit]

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: Pope Benedict XVI
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Aldo Giordano 14 December 2013
Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen 17 May 2014
Marek Zalewski 31 May 2014
Wojciech Załuski 9 August 2014

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Celestino Migliore
Undersecretary for Relations with States
30 October 2002 – 17 August 2009
Succeeded by
Ettore Balestrero
Preceded by
Luigi Boccadoro
Archbisop of Acquapendente
17 August 2009 – 22 February 2014
Succeeded by
Fabio Fabene
Preceded by
Tarcisio Bertone
President of Interdicasterial Commission on Particular Churches
15 October 2013 – present
President of Interdicasterial Commission for the Church in Eastern Europe
15 October 2013 – present
Protector of Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
15 October 2013 – present
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Giacinto Berloco
Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela
17 August 2009 – 15 October 2013
Succeeded by
Aldo Giordano
Political offices
Preceded by
Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State
15 October 2013 – present