PAROLIN: ”FRANCIS WANTS TO BE A PEACEMAKER WHEREVER HE GOES” The Vatican secretary of state tells Osservatore Romano: "If Pope Francis uses certain words or expressions, he usually does so to sympathize with the pain of those in front of him"

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Pope Francis has “a strong desire to be a peacemaker, wherever he goes. From this point of view, also political situations or strategic plans become of secondary importance”. These are the words pronounced by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, in an interview with L’Osservatore Romano about the Pope’s journeys to the Caucasus, a few days after the announcement of the program of his visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan (30 September-2 October) that follows, in fact, the one to Armenia (24-26 June), which took place last month. “In the concrete case – Parolin said – I do not think we cannot think of an easy solution to all the problems that concern the Caucasus as region. They require effort, political will and ability to compromise. But Pope Francis went to Caucasian countries with great humility, first trying to listen, to understand and, consequently, to encourage every initiative of dialogue and openness towards the other.”

With regard to Bergoglio’s mentioning his wish for a peaceful solution through what he called “viable solutions” while in Armenia, that is paths that can be actually walked, “it is a general hope that remains valid, I suppose, also for the subsequent stages of his journey to Southern  Caucasus” Parolin said. “As for the ‘viable solutions’ on the concrete issue of Nagorno Karabakh – the Secretary of State went on to say – there is already an international tool created by OSCE and called the Minsk Group. I note that, after the painful renewal of the conflict at the beginning of April, the representatives of that body have mentioned a resumption of their initiatives in search of a lasting solution, possibly through a compromise between the parties. We can only hope that these efforts will be fruitful.”

“If Pope Francis uses certain words or expressions, he usually does so to sympathize with the pain of those in front of him, to express his closeness to those who are suffering and to entrust them to the Lord through prayer – the prelate said -. In the concrete case, it is something even wider: I think the gestures and the words of the Holy Father have been quite explicit. He is pushed by one deep desire, that is, that every side, even those who have suffered great injustices in the past, to move towards sincere openness and show willingness to seek, gradually, forgiveness and reconciliation.”

“I will just mention a few lines of the speech he delivered in the meeting with the civil authorities and the diplomatic corps – Parolin continued – where he expressed his hope that everyone will multiply efforts to make dialogue always prevail in international disputes, along with the constant and genuine search for peace and cooperation between States and with the unwavering commitment of the international organizations to build trust that will favor the achievement of lasting agreements and will look towards the future.”

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