12 January 2018
Pope in Chile and Peru: 'It won't be easy, but it will be exciting.'
The Vatican's Secretary of State speaks out on Pope Francis' latest visit to the continent of his birth
Pope Francis is going to Chile and Peru as the "universal pastor" of the Church to meet local churches and help them face the challenges of today's world, according to the Vatican Secretary of State.
In an interview with Vatican News, Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the first challenge is that of the indigenous populations. He referred to the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region that Pope Francis has convoked for next year, and said the question revolves around “the role and contribution of these populations within single nations and their society”.
The second challenge, Cardinal Parolin added, is that of corruption.
“A topic the Pope feels strongly about and to which he has returned in very pointed language is corruption, which hinders development and the reduction of poverty and misery,” he said, admitting: “It won’t be an easy visit, but it will definitely be an exciting one.”
Cardinal Parolin said 2018 will be characterised “by the Church’s special attention on young people, that is, on their hopes, goals, and the challenges facing them". Central to this will be the World Meeting of Families that takes place in Dublin, Ireland on 21-26 August, just ahead of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome, focussing “on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment”.
Cardinal Parolin said an important, innovative aspect is “the Church’s new relationship with young people, expressed in a paradigm of responsibility, which excludes any type of paternalism.”
“The Church and the Pope are asking young people… what contribution they can make to the Gospel and its proclamation, today,” he said.
He also addressed the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, Cardinal Parolin said the document comes from a "new paradigm" that Pope Francis is carrying forward with "wisdom, prudence, and patience". Besides some of the content, ifficulties around the document arise from "this change of attitude the Pope is asking of us", he added. “I believe Amoris laetitia – besides being the Church’s embrace of the family and its problems in today’s world, truly helping to incarnate the Gospel within the family, which is already a Gospel: the Gospel of the family – is at the same time a invitation for families to help by collaborating and contributing to the Church’s growth.”
On Curial reform, Parolin said the Pope is focused “on the deeper spirit which must animate every reform of the Curia, which is the fundamental dimension of Christian life, that is, conversion”.
This attitude, he said, takes precedence over “structural reforms, with the promulgation of new laws, norms, nominations, etc.”
Reform should make the Roman Curia “a real aid to the Pope for the proclamation of the Gospel”.
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