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Vatican worried by populism, nationalism, Secretary of State says

February 15, 2017

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, said that “all the issues that Italy and the Holy See hold dear were tackled” during bilateral talks this week, marking the anniversary of the Lateran Accords that established the status of the Vatican city-state.

Cardinal Parolin said that he expressed the concern of the Catholic Church about pending Italian legislation on end-of-life care. More generally, he said that the Vatican took a keen interest in “social emergencies” such as youth unemployment and migration.

Speaking generally about European affairs, the cardinal told reporters that the Vatican is worried by the trends toward nationalism and populism. “The inability to welcome and integrate can be dangerous,” he said, saying that it is “never a good policy.” He recognized the tensions within the European community, and suggested that they may point to “an opportune moment to reset the political relationship on a new basis.”


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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Feb. 16, 2017 3:45 AM ET USA

    Integration seems to me to be a two-way street. One must ask whether the failure to integrate by aliens into European society is the host country rejecting the alien or the alien rejecting the host country and refusing to integrate, or even trying forcibly to change the host country, by violence if necessary, to resemble his or her home country. To integrate well, you must try to love your host country, not hate it.

  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 15, 2017 6:15 PM ET USA

    Populism is mentioned numerous times in the Gospels: the Pharisees were looking for a way to arrest Jesus, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded Him as a prophet. Establishment could accomplish so much more without that pesky populism.