Sunday, September 01, 2013


The Holy Father Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Cardinal Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone ashad  long been anticipated.

Pope Francis has announced the appointment of the new Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin. His Grace is an Italian from the Diocese of Vicenza . He was born on 17th January, 1955, and ordained Priest on 27th April, 1980.He is a Canon Lawyer and entered the Holy See's Diplomatic Service in 1986.He has been the Papal Representative in Nigeria, Mexico and has worked in the secretariat of State.Since August 2009 he has been Apostolic Nuncio in Venezuela.His Episcopal Ordination was carried out by Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Parolin speaks Italian, French, English and Spanish.

Upon his appointment Archbishop Parolin issued the following statement :

                                                        ARCHBISHOP PIETRO PAROLIN

At this moment, in which my appointment as Secretary of State is made public, I desire to express deep and affectionate gratitude to the Holy Father, Francis, for the unmerited trust he is showing me, and to make known to him once again my willingness and complete availability to work with him and under his guidance for the greater glory of God, the good of the Holy Church, and the progress and peace of humanity, that humanity might find reasons to live and to hope.
I feel very strongly the grace of this call, which is yet another and the latest of God’s surprises in my life. Above all, I feel the full weight of the responsibility placed upon me:  this call entrusts to me a difficult and challenging mission, before which my powers are weak and my abilities poor. For this reason, I entrust myself to the merciful love of the Lord, from whom nothing and no one can ever separate me, and to the prayers of all. I thank all those who have shown and who, starting now, will show me understanding, as well as for any and all manner of help that anyone might desire to offer me in my new undertaking.
My thoughts go to my family and to all the persons who have been part of my life: in the parishes into which I was born and in which I served; in the dear Diocese of Vicenza; at Rome; in the countries in which I have worked – from Nigeria, to Mexico, and most recently in Venezuela, which I am sorry to leave. I think also of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, who ordained me bishop, I think of the Secretariat of State, which was my home for many years, of His Eminence, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, of the other Superiors, colleagues and collaborators and of the whole Roman Curia, as well as of all those who represent the Holy Father and the Holy See diplomatically around the world. I owe a great debt to them all.
It is with trepidation that I place myself in this new service to the Gospel, to the Church and to Pope Francis, but also with trust and serenity – disposed – as the Holy Father has asked us from the beginning – to walk, to build and to profess.
May our Lady, whom I like to invoke under her titles as Our Lady of Monte Berico, Guadalupe and Coromoto, give us, "The courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Lord’s Cross; to build the Church on the Lord’s blood which was poured out on the Cross; and to profess the one glory: Christ crucified. And in this way, the Church will go forward."
And, as they say in Venezuela, "¡Que Dios les bendiga!".
Caracas, 31 agosto 2013
[01197-02.01] [Original text: Italian - working translation]

It remains to be seen how the role of Secretary of State will evolve in the re-organisation of the Curia. Since the time of Bl.Pope John Paul II its importance has been elevated to the highest level with all other dicasteries reporting through it to the Holy Father. For a very large part of that time the Secretary of State was Cardinal Angelo Sodano whose influence has perhaps not always worked to Cardinal Bertone's advantage as his successor.

Archbishop Parolin's statement above is most impressive and encouraging.

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