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Archbishop Pietro Parolin Secretary of State

2013-09-01 L’Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis has named as Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin. This morning, Saturday, 31 August, the Pontiff made public having accepted the resignation of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone -  who has held the position since 15 September 2006 – asking him to retain his responsibilities until 15 October, Archbishop Parolin will take possession of his new office. On that occasion the Holy Father will receive the superiors and officials of the  Secretariat of State in order to thank Cardinal Bertone for the service he has rendered  in these years and to present his successor. Pope Francis has Pope Francis greets  Archbishop Parolin during the audience granted to the Papal diplomats  (21 June)also reconfirmed in their respective responsibilities the Substitute for General Affairs, the Secretary for Relations with States, the Prefect of the Papal Household,  the Assessor for General Affairs and the Undersecretary for Relations with States.

The 58-year-old native of Schiavon,  Vicenza, Italy, where he was born 17 June 1955, Archbishop Parolin has vast experience in  the Holy See's diplomatic service, begun in 1986 as part the Pontifical representation in Nigeria and following that in 1989 in Mexico.  From 1992 he worked in the Secretariat of State for 17 years, before being sent in 2009 to Venezuela as Apostolic Nuncio.

 “At this moment, in which my appointment as Secretary of State is made public,” he said in a statement released to the Holy See Press Office, “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,” he continued,  “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!.”