2015-11-16 Vatican - Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, has granted an interview to France’s Catholic newspaper La Croix, saying “in this world torn by violence, now is the right time to launch an offensive of mercy”.

In the interview with La Croix newspaper, Cardinal Parolin spoke about the terrorist attacks which took place in Paris on Friday, calling the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy the perfect opportunity to mobilize “all spiritual resources to provide a positive response to evil”.

“It is understandable that after the attacks there are feelings of revenge,” he said, “but we must fight against this urge. The Pope wants the Jubilee to help people see eye-to-eye, understand one another, and overcome hatred. After these attacks, this goal is strengthened. We receive the mercy of God to adopt this attitude toward others. The Merciful is also the most beautiful name of God for Muslims, who could be involved in this holy year, as the Holy Father desires.”

General mobilization needed

Turning to events following Friday’s attack, the Cardinal Secretary of State said “As the Pope said, there is no justification for what happened. It will take time to recover from such a terrible shock. I am touched by the strength of the French authorities’ reactions. There is a desire in the people to continue life there where the terrorists sought to interrupt and crush it.”

“In reaction, what is needed is a general mobilization of France, of Europe, and of the whole world. A mobilization of all means of security, of police forces, and of information, to root out this evil of terrorism. But also a mobilization which would involve all spiritual resources to provide a positive response to evil. That passes through education to the refutation of hatred, giving responses to the young people who leave for jihad. There is a need to convoke all the actors, political and religious, national and international. There is a great need to combat this together. Without this union, this difficult battle will not be won. And it is necessary to involve the Muslim community; they must be part of the solution.”

'Blind violence is intolerable'

When asked if the Holy Father still upholds his words from August of 2014 that “it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor”, Cardinal Parolin said “Yes, because blind violence is intolerable, whatever its origin may be.”

He said, “The Pope cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church which says ‘The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.’ This corresponds to the legitimate defense of a State within its borders to protect its citizens and repel terrorists. In occasion of a foreign intervention, it is necessary to seek out legitimacy through the organizations which the international community has given itself. Our role is to remember these conditions, not to specify means to stop the aggressor.”

Pope’s Jubilee schedule unchanged

“What happened in France shows, in an even more powerful way, that no one is excluded from terrorism. The Vatican could be a target because of its religious significance. We can augment the level of security measures in the Vatican and its surroundings, but they cannot paralyze us with fear. Therefore, nothing will be changed in the Pope’s schedule,” Cardinal Parolin affirmed.