By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
ROME (CNS) — Conflicts cannot be resolved “by dividing,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.
It is always possible to “leave a door open” for dialogue, he said, and an approach that seeks to “include and not exclude the enemy” represents “the triumph of mercy.”
The cardinal was speaking March 13 at the headquarters of the Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica for the presentation of a book by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, the journal’s director. The book, available only in Italian, is titled “L’Atlante di Francesco. Vaticano e politica internazionale,” (The Atlas of Francis. Vatican and International Policy). Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni also spoke at the event and Vatican News reported excerpts of their remarks.
Cardinal Parolin said the power of Pope Francis’ “diplomacy of mercy” is that it never considers anyone or anything “as definitively lost in relations between nations.”
“Dialogue, even in the most difficult situations, is desired for the sake of peace,” he said.
Some “two billion people live in areas troubled by conflict,” he said, and all the many “pieces of World War III are being welded together.”
Therefore, he said, it is necessary for diplomacy “not to be at the service of national interests,” but to open the door to “innovative strategies” and come up with “effective and sustainable” solutions.
The Holy See can be “super partes” (above all parties) when it comes to diplomatic efforts, he said, since its primary interest is people’s lives, especially the lives of those who suffer.
“Those who wage war forget humanity; they do not start from the people, and they do not look at the concrete lives of the people,” the cardinal said.
Regarding the war in Ukraine, Meloni said it is important to be clear that there is a side that has been “attacked and there is an aggressor,” and there will be no peace if people do not help those targeted defend themselves.
The only and most effective thing to do, she said, “is to support those who are defending themselves” so the “principle” of might over right does not win, she said.
“The Holy See is best suited to promote a negotiated solution,” she said, “precisely because it is not motivated by national interests.”
On the sidelines of the book presentation, Cardinal Parolin and Meloni met privately to discuss the Vatican’s and Italy’s strongly differing policies over immigration just over two weeks after a migrant boat shipwrecked off the coast of Cutro in Italy’s southern province of Crotone, which killed at least 78 people.
Vatican News said the cardinal commented later that it is necessary to “translate” Pope Francis’ teaching about welcoming and integration into national policies.
“It has been highlighted,” he said, “how policies many times are of containment, of restriction,” while “we should move to a more open, welcoming policy.”