At the presentation of Father Antonio Spadaro’s book “The Atlas of Francis. Vatican and International Politics” the Vatican Secretary of State sketched a picture of the ‘diplomacy of mercy’ carried out by Pope Francis in these ten years of pontificate, which allows the Holy See to be a ‘super partes’ actor in the international arena.
By Valerio Palombaro
Ten years after the beginning of Pope Francis’ pontificate, his call for a “diplomacy of mercy” is becoming increasingly clear, says Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The Vatican Secretary of State was speaking at an event at the headquarters of the Jesuit review La Civiltà Cattolica, on the occasion of the presentation of Father Antonio Spadaro’s book “The Atlas of Francis. Vatican and International Politics’.
According to Cardinal Parolin, the power of this message “is to change the meaning of historical processes” in the understanding that “no one should ever be considered as definitively lost in relations between States.”
“Dialogue, even in the most difficult situations, is desired for the sake of peace,” the Secretary of State pointed out, noting that “the Holy See firmly believes in multilateralism” and with its diplomatic action “will always be willing to commit itself to peace.”
The solution to conflicts, he observed, “does not come by dividing” and therefore it is always possible “to leave a door open” to dialogue.
Cardinal Parolin then refered to a perspective that must “include and not exclude the enemy,” as this can be considered “the triumph of mercy.”
The “diplomacy of mercy” that keeps the door of dialogue open
At a moment in history marked by the war in Ukraine, in which “two billion people live in areas afflicted by conflict” and in which “the pieces of the Third World War are coming together,” he reasons it is necessary for diplomacy “not to be at the service of national interests” so as to open the door to “innovative strategies” for “effective and sustainable” solutions.
The Holy See, Cardinal Parolin observed, can thus always be “an actor super partes” since “its first interest” is in the lives of peoples and especially those who suffer.
“Whoever makes war forgets humanity, does not start from the people and does not look at the concrete lives of the people,” the Cardinal stressed, quoting the words of Pope Francis.
Peace, according to the Cardinal, is therefore only the beginning of a broader process that can also overcome the social causes of poverty.
“The great challenges of our time are all global,” Parolin concluded, highlighting migration issues and climate change.
Giorgia Meloni’s speech
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni also spoke at the book presentation.
In her view, mercy can also be “the fulcrum of political action.'”Meloni cites “the Mattei plan” for Africa announced by her government to define “development cooperation as a weapon of freedom.”
Regarding the war in Ukraine, Meloni said that it must be clear that “there is an aggressed and there is an aggressor.” “If we do not help the aggressed to defend themselves, we will not have peace,” she said.
“The Holy See is best placed to favour a negotiated solution,” the Premier concluded, noting that this is possible “precisely because it is not motivated by national interests.”