Catholic University honors Cardinal Parolin

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WASHINGTON — The Second Vatican Council continues to have an enduring impact on the Catholic Church and on the papacy of Pope Francis, according to the Vatican's top diplomat, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

 

That gathering of bishops from around the world presented a new paradigm of a "world church — a church with a global dimension," said the cardinal, who is the Vatican's secretary of state.

During a mid-November visit to the United States that included celebrating a Mass in Baltimore to mark the centenary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Parolin stopped in Washington to deliver an address at The Catholic University of America.

He spoke on the topic "The Council: A Prophecy That Continues With Pope Francis." Afterward, he received a received an honorary doctorate in theology from the university.

In his Nov. 14 talk, he said that although Vatican II occurred more than 50 years ago (1962-65), "it certainly retains for the church a prophetic character."

Cardinal Parolin said the main consequences of the council included the introduction of local languages in the liturgy, and a "new awareness of a church that is historically realized in more diverse cultural contexts."

Noting themes that have been stressed by Pope Francis, the cardinal said Vatican II sowed seeds of synodality and paved the way for "a church that lives in a conciliar way" with collaborative and consultative efforts underway at every level of the church. "No more parishes or dioceses without pastoral councils, no more countries without episcopal conferences," he said.

That process, he added, has proven to be irreversible. "In the end, is this not the most beautiful inheritance that the council could have prepared for us?" he asked.

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, Catholic University's chancellor, offered an invocation and then introduced Cardinal Parolin. He noted the prelate is known as an expert in Mideast affairs who was responsible for efforts bringing Israelis and Palestinians together for peace talks. In Asia, Cardinal Parolin  was instrumental in efforts to build up ties between the Vatican and Vietnam, Cardinal Wuerl said.

"In this whole process, Cardinal Parolin has always been able to put the face of the church and the face of Christ's love into diplomatic action," Cardinal Wuerl said.

Cardinal Parolin spoke to the Catholic University audience in Italian, while a translation in English appeared on video screens via closed captioning. Guests included Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

John Garvey, president of Catholic University, conferred the honorary doctorate on the cardinal, who said he was thankful for receiving the honor "from such a faithful and prestigious university." He also was thankful for being invited to speak at the university, which he said "is dedicated to the formation of hearts and minds."

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017