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Archbishop Pietro Parolin Secretary of State

· To take possession of his office on 15 October ·

He expresses gratitude to the Pope and complete readiness to work for the good of the Church

Pope Francis has appointed as Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin. On Saturday morning, 31 August, the Pontiff publicly announced that he had accepted the resignation of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone — who has held the position since 15 September 2006 — asking him to remain in office until 15 October, when 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 his faithful service and to present his successor. Pope Francis has also reconfirmed in their respective offices 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.

Archbishop Parolin is a 58-year-old native of Schiavon, Vicenza, Italy, where he was born 17 June 1955. He has vast experience in the Holy See’s diplomatic service, begun in 1986 as part of 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 to Venezuela as Apostolic Nuncio in 2009.

“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 wish to express my deep and affectionate gratitude to the Holy Father, Francis, for the unmerited trust he is showing me, and to assure him once again of my willingness and complete availability to work with him and under his guidance for the greater glory of God, the good of Holy Church, and the progress and peace of humanity, so that humanity find reasons to live and to hope.

“I feel very strongly”, the Archbishop 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. As of now, I thank everyone for their understanding and for any help they may offer me in my new office.

“My thoughts turn to my family and to all the people who have been part of my life: in the parish where I was born and those in which I have served; in my beloved Diocese of Vicenza; in Rome; in the countries where I have worked — Nigeria, Mexico, and most recently Venezuela, which I leave with regret. I think also of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who ordained me bishop, I think of the Secretariat of State, which was formerly 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 the papal representatives. I indebted to them all.

“It is with trepidation that I enter this new service to the Gospel, to the Church and to Pope Francis, but also with trust and serenity, ready — as the Holy Father has asked us from the beginning — to walk, to build and to rebuild, and to profess. May our Lady, whom I like to invoke by her titles of 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!”.

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