By Deborah Castellano Lubov

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Even if only little and gradual steps are evident, through our renewed deal with China, our hope is to work toward greater religious freedom

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, expressed this to ZENIT when its Senior Vatican Correspondent asked him about underlying motivations behind the China deal.

The Italian prelate was speaking at the private event, titled “Advancing and Defending Religious Freedom Through Diplomacy,” today, Sept. 30, 2020.

Organized by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich, the event took place in a large room of the Westin Excelsior on Rome’s iconic Via Veneto, next door to the American Embassy, in compliance with anti-Covid 19 rules and provisions.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, Cardinal Parolin, and Archbishop Gallagher gave the keynote speeches, and were introduced by a reflection of Ambassador Callista Gingrich. (ZENIT will be bringing our readers interventions).

Cardinal Parolin will meet U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, privately tomorrow in the Vatican.

After confirming that the Vatican will be going ahead with the renewal of the Provisional Agreement, ZENIT asked whether the Vatican’s motivation to continue with the agreement was to eventually lead to better religious freedom in the Asian country.

“We are for the policy of small steps, you know it well, the policy of small steps,” he began.

“And we believe that every result, even if not striking or inconspicuous, or which at first does not seem to give great results, is however a step forward, towards the affirmation of greater religious freedom,” he said.

During the interview of Cardinal Parolin with ZENIT English and other journalists present, the Vatican Secretary of State responded to other questions regarding the Holy See’s deal with China and about the dismissal of Cardinal Becciu.

“We have decided to go ahead [with the deal],” the Cardinal said, after much thought and a long journey. “We know that there are many resistances, many oppositions, many criticisms, we know this and we take note of it, and not only do we take note of it, but we also take it into account, because it is a very delicate matter, but we believe that this is the path, too.”

“We all agree on the purpose, we all want religious freedom. The problem is how to achieve this path. It is important for us to dialogue,” he said.

“The defense and promotion of religious freedom is the main purpose of papal diplomacy, in addition to promoting peace,” Cardinal Parolin said.

“We exist for this,” he underscored, noting: “The moment we no longer defend religious freedom, we will fail in our nature and the purpose for which we exist.”

The challenge is not “what,” but “how,” he said, expressing “there can be different points of view, different positions and different proposals.”

US Secretary of State, #MikePompeo, @SecPompeo, speaking at Symposium along with #CardinalParolin & #ArchbishopGallagher on ‘Advancing & Defending #ReligiousFreedom Through Diplomacy’ #USHolySee @USinHolySee @CallyGingrich ( of Zenit’s Sr Correspondent @DeborahLubov) pic.twitter.com/SUrIs0ISCq

— ZenitEnglish (@zenitenglish) September 30, 2020

At an event this month at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See, Cardinal Parolin was asked about prospects for renewing the provisional agreement with the Asian superpower, and whether this seems likely, he said: “Yes, I really think so, our intention is that it be prolonged, that we continue to adopt it ad experimentum, as has been done in these two years, in order to further verify its usefulness for the Church in China.”

The Vatican official has since confirmed that this deal will be renewed.

ZENIT plans to obtain and provide a full English translation of Cardinal Parolin’s full intervention at today’s event.

NOTE: This article will be updated throughout the day.

The post FEATURE: Cardinal Parolin to ZENIT: Motivation for China Deal, ‘Little Steps Toward Greater Religious Freedom’ appeared first on ZENIT – English.

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