Pietro Parolin ny statssekretær

Da er det altså offisielt: Den erfarne diplomaten, erkebiskop Pietro Parolin (58), ble lørdag utnevnt til ny statssekretær fra 15. oktober.

Pietro ParolinParolin tar over rollen som "nummer to" i Vatikanet etter kardinal Tarcisio Bertone (78), som har besatt embetet de siste åtte år.

Utnevnelsen er den første store utskiftningen i kurien under pave Frans, som har tatt seg god tid til å finne mannen han mener er den rette til å bistå ham i den mye omtalte kuriereformen. Valget av Parolin er først og fremst viktig ved at det igjen "bringer diplomatiet i førersetet" til posisjonen som statssekretær, skriver vatikankjenneren John Thavis.

Kardinal Bertone trådte inn i rollen som statssekretær under pave Benedikt, uten noen form for diplomatisk utdannelse eller erfaring, og er av mange blitt kritisert for sin lederstil og kommunikasjonsevner.

Pietro Parolin ble født i Schiavon (bispedømmet Vicenza) i Italia den 17. januar 1955. Han trådte inn i det pavelige diplomati i 1986, og har tjent i nuntiaturene i Nigeria, Mexico, og senest Venezuela.

I perioden 2002-2009 var italieneren undersekretær for Statssekreteriatets seksjon for relasjoner med statene, en slags viseutenriksminister. Her jobbet han blant annet med Den hellige stols forhold til Israel, Kina og Vietnam.

58-åringen er forøvrig den yngste lederen av statssekretariatet siden Eugenio Pacelli, senere pave Pius XII, som ble utnevnt i 1930 - i en alder av 54. 

Parolin kommenterte lørdag utnevnelsen slik:

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