reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Cardinal Parolin answers questions about the Pope's surgery and the peace initiatives of Cardinal Zuppi concerning Ukraine/Russia
Cardinal Parolin: We are close to the Pope, praying for quick recovery
In response to journalists' questions regarding the surgery Pope Francis is undergoing Wednesday afternoon, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, says the Pope will be in hospital for "the time necessary for the operation" after which he believes "he will resume activity, even if from a hospital bed". He also speaks about Cardinal Zuppi's Ukraine mission to help ease tensions.
By Salvatore Cernuzio
Speaking to journalists outside the newly inaugurated Info Point for the Jubilee 2025, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, said "we are close to the Pope with our affection, we accompany him with our prayers, hoping that everything will be resolved as soon as possible." Pope Francis is undergoing surgery at Rome's Gemelli hospital in the early afternoon of Wednesday 7 June.
The Holy See Press Office released details on the operation on Wednesday morning, explaining that the surgical operation consists of "a laparotomy and abdominal wall surgery under general anaesthesia" by his medical team, after which he will need to stay "several days" in the hospital for recovery.
Cardinal Parolin met with journalists midday on Wednesday following the inauguration of the Info Point Iubilaeum 2025 on Via della Conciliazione, the information and welcome centre for all pilgrims who will participate in the forthcoming Jubilee. The inauguration opened with a prayer and a Gospel reading with Archbishop Rino Fisichella, pro prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelisation, next to Cardinal Parolin who then blessed the structure which has already been open for some time.
Pope Francis in hospital
Cardinal Parolin then met with the journalists present and answered questions about the Pope's surgery, the second colon operation now after the first one almost two years ago in 2021. Asked if he was worried about the surgery, the Cardinal said: "I don't know what to say, as I don't have additional information one way or the other," over and above the statement issued by the Holy See Press Office. He added that the statement offers medical details that are helpful to have an overall understanding of what is happening and the operation that is required.
In response to another journalist's question, he said there had been no transfer of powers. And regarding the duration of the operation, he explained that it could be a few hours, whatever time necessary for the operation, and then later from a hospital bed he could resume activity. He added that if there were things that required an urgent decision, they would be take to the Pope at Gemelli Hospital
Mission of Cardinal Zuppi
Journalists also asked Cardinal Parolin about the visit of Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, president of Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), to Kyiv as the first part of the "mission" entrusted to him by the Pope to "ease tensions" in suffering Ukraine. He answered that "Cardinal Zuppi's mission is intended as a collaboration, a further contribution that the Holy See can also make to peace." He added further that he believes "nothing new has happened with respect to what President Zelensky had explained to the Pope" during the private audience of last 13 May when they met.
During that occcasion, the Ukrainian leader asked for help from the Pope and the Holy See exclusively to bring home Ukrainian children deported to Russia and the President explained to the Pope his nation's peace formula as the only effective way to achieve a just peace. "Ukraine's position is always the same," Cardinal Parolin clarified, "but the reality of talking to each other and hearing slightly different positions and perspectives can certainly be useful and conducive to peace. Regarding what developments will come out, I don't know, we will have to see."
Possible visit to Moscow
Regarding a possible visit of Cardinal Zuppi to Moscow, the Secretary of State reported that "we will see with him (Cardinal Zuppi) what further steps to take." "On the Pope's part," he reiterated, "the idea began as a mission to be carried out in the two capitals, so the prospect of Moscow should remain open, but concretely we will see." At the moment, a meeting is scheduled between Cardinals Parolin and Zuppi "as soon as (Cardinal Zuppi) returns", then "of course we will report back to the Pope."