|Cardinal Secretary of State|
|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
|Ordination||27 April 1980
by Arnoldo Onisto
|Consecration||12 September 2009
by Benedict XVI
|Created Cardinal||22 February 2014
17 January 1955 |
|Previous post||Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela (2009–2013)
Titular Archbishop of Aquipendium (2009–2014)
|Alma mater||Pontifical Gregorian University
Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
|Motto||Quis nos Separabit A Caritate Christi?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
|Coat of arms|
|Ordination history of Pietro Parolin|
|Ordained by||Bishop Arnoldo Onisto|
|Date of ordination||27 April 1980|
|Principal consecrator||Pope Benedict XVI|
|Co-consecrators||Tarcisio Bertone, SDB
William Joseph Levada
|Date of consecration||12 September 2009|
|Elevated by||Pope Francis|
|Date of elevation||22 February 2014|
|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|
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Pietro Parolin (Italian pronunciation: [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. He was elevated to the cardinalate on 22 February 2014.
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. 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.
Undersecretary of State for Relations with States
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."
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".
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.
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.
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.
On 17 August 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr. Parolin to a new position as apostolic nuncio to Venezuela.
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.
The two sides agreed to hold the second meeting of the Joint Working Group at a future date.
On 17 August 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr Parolin Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela and Titular Archbishop of Aquipendium. and on 12 September 2009, with Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone and William Cardinal Levada as co-consecrators, conferred episcopal consecration 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
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.
On 16 December, Archbishop Parolin was appointed as a member of the Congregation for Bishops for a five-year renewable term. 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. He was created first-ever 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. That same month, Parolin received the Sash of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, Mexico's highest. 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.
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."
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”. After the announcement to reestablish of US-Cuba relations the Holy See was credited with playing a major role. 
During the inauguration of the new wing at the Pontifical North American College in 2015, Cardinal Parolin was asked whether the normalisation of Cuba – U.S. relations pointed 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.”
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.”
In May 2015, reacting to the passage of the Marriage Equality Referendum in Ireland, which extended marriage rights to same-sex couples, Cardinal Parolin described it as not just a "defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity". In June 2015, he visited Abu Dhabi in June 2015 to inaugurate Saint Paul's Church in Musaffah, only the second Catholic parish in Abu Dhabi.
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. Like Pope Francis he said celibacy is a discipline that could be changed but that it cannot simply be dismissed as outdated. 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 attempts at getting rid of celibacy to combat vocations shortages.
In May 2016 Parolin visited Estonia, marking 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 the definition of the Holy See and the State’s international relations.
Cardinal Parolin was appointed a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in October 2016.
Cardinal Parolin congratulated President-elect Donald Trump on his election and assured him of prayers for his success. "We congratulate the new president and hope his governance may truly be fruitful," said Parolin, speaking Wednesday in a brief interview with Vatican Radio. "We assure him of our prayers that the Lord may enlighten him and sustain him in service to his country, naturally, but also in service to the well-being and peace of the world," said the cardinal. "I believe that today there is need for all of us to work to change the global situation, which is a situation of grave wounds, of grave conflict."
Following the resignation of Marie Collins from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Cardinal Parolin said she quit because she wanted to “shake the tree” in the Vatican. Collins had said some members of the Church’s governing body, known as the Roman Curia, have hindered and blocked the work being done by the commission. Talking to America magazine later on, she specifically named the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera quotes Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, as saying that there have been specific episodes which led Collins to take the step she did.
Cardinal Parolin, told Italy’s La Stampa the current 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 told the newspaper, but added 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.
- Italy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Germany: Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Romania: Order of the Star of Romania
- Mexico: Band of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
- "Il Papa nomina Mons. Pietro Parolin nuove segretario di stato" (in Italian). Radio Vaticana. 2013-08-31. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
- "List of New Cardinals Named by Pope Francis". VOA.
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- "Dettaglio decorato – Parolin Rev.mo Mons. Pietro" (in Italian). Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
- "High-level event on climate change". Vatican.va. 2007-09-24. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- "Francis reboots Vatican system with new Secretary of State". National Catholic Reporter.
- "Cardinal Parolin Played Key Role in U.S.-Cuba Negotiations". National Catholic Register.
- "Religious freedom, diplomatic relations in talks between Holy See and Hanoi". Asia News (PIME). 20 February 2009.
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- "Consistory - 2014". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "Videos - Catholic Online". Catholic.org. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- "Diario Oficial de la Federación". DOF. 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- "Kard. Parolin otrzymał najwyższe odznaczenie Meksyku - Artykuł". Niedziela.pl. 2014-07-11. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- "Venezuela reaches out to Vatican No. 2 to mediate crisis". Reuters.
- "Vatican asks US to find 'humanitarian solution' for Guantánamo prisoners". theguardian.com. December 15, 2014.
- John Hooper. "Renewed US-Cuba relations biggest success in Vatican diplomacy in decades". the Guardian.
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- "Top Vatican Official: Washington, NYC likely stops on papal trip". Catholic News Agency.
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- "Vatican Secretary of State urges 'quick response' to crisis in Libya". Catholic News Agency.
- "Cardinal Parolin: Action needed in Libya, but through the United Nations". news.va.
- "Vatican says Ireland gay marriage vote is 'defeat for humanity'". theguardian.com. May 27, 2015.
- "Vatican cardinal calls Irish gay vote ‘defeat for humanity’". The Financial Times. May 27, 2015.
- "Second catholic church in Abu Dhabi inaugurated". Khaleej Times. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
- Allen Jr., John L. (2013-09-11). "New Secretary of State Parolin on celibacy, democracy | National Catholic Reporter". Ncronline.org. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
- "Cardinal Parolin: scrapping celibacy is no solution to vocations crisis". Thetablet.co.uk. 2016-02-09. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
- "Card. Parolin defines diplomatic relations of the Holy See". News.va. 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
- McElwee, Joshua J. (2016-11-09). "Vatican's Cardinal Parolin offers prayers for President-elect Trump | National Catholic Reporter". Ncronline.org. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
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- "Un Cardenal "papabile" visita México". AFN Tijuana.
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- Anura Guruge. "Next Pope After Pope Francis (i.e., Papabili 2014/2015) by Filip Mazurczak". popes-and-papacy.com.
- "MondayVatican – Vatican » The real Pope Francis and his real enemies - MondayVatican". mondayvatican.com.
- "Pietro Parolin - największy sojusznik papieża w reformie Kościoła?". Wiadomosci.gazeta.pl. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pietro Parolin.|
|Undersecretary for Relations with States
|Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela
17 August 2009 – 15 October 2013
|Catholic Church titles|
|Archbishop of Aquipendium
17 August 2009 – 22 February 2014
|President of the Interdicasterial Commission on Particular Churches
15 October 2013 – present
|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
titular church established
|Cardinal-Priest of Santi Simone e Giuda Taddeo a Torre Angela
22 February 2014 – present
|Cardinal Secretary of State
15 October 2013 – present