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Cardinal Parolin speaks on Ukraine war, legitimate defense

August 09, 2022

» Continue to this story on Vatican News

CWN Editor's Note: The Church always favors peace, but acknowledges the right to national defense, the Vatican Secretary of State told an interview.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that the Catholic Church “believes in peace, works for peace, fights for peace, witnesses to peace and seeks to build it. In this sense she is pacifist.”

However, in the same interview with Limes magazine, Cardinal Parolin acknowledged that “the Catechism of the Catholic Church provides for self-defense. Peoples have the right to defend themselves if attacked.”

The cardinal explained that any use of force must be limited, must be a last resort, and must be proportional—in accordance with traditional just-war principles. He also emphasized that nations caught up in war have a moral obligation to seek a negotiated solution.

Applying these principles to the war in Ukraine, Cardinal Parolin said with regret that “there does not seem to emerge at the moment any readiness to engage in real peace negotiations.” Both sides must be willing, he added. He remarked that Pope Francis, with his repeated calls for peace talks, seems to be “a voice crying out in the wilderness.”

On other issues, the Vatican Secretary of State said:

  • Pope Francis hopes to visit Kiev, and is ready to travel to Moscow “in the presence of conditions that are truly helpful to peace.” (That phrase suggested that recent statements by the Russian government and of the Russian Orthodox Church, suggesting a continued support for aggression, could be an obstacle.)
  • On the Vatican’s secret agreement with China, “I can say that steps have been taken, but that not all obstacles and difficulties have been overcome.”
  • The possibility of an escalation in Ukraine, leading to a global confrontation, cannot be dismissed. But the Vatican is also concerned about a “Third World War fought piecemeal,” in many different conflicts around the world.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.

 


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