St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican CNS photo/Paul Haring

Vatican won’t be ‘paralyzed by fear,’ says cardinal

By  Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News
  • November 18, 2015

VATICAN CITY - Even though the Vatican may be a target for terrorism, it won’t be “paralyzed by fear,” said the Vatican’s Secretary of State.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin also backed global military action against ISIS militants, who claimed responsibility for the Nov. 13 attack in Paris that killed at least 129 people. Parolin echoed Pope Francis’ declaration of August 2014 that “stopping the unjust aggressor is legitimate.”

“What happened in France highlights the fact that no one can consider themselves excluded from (the threat of) terrorism,” Parolin told French paper La Croix in an interview published Nov. 15.

“The Vatican could be a target because of its religious significance. We are capable of increasing the level of security in the Vatican and the surrounding area. But we will not let ourselves be paralyzed by fear.”

Numerous reports note that a video released by ISIS following the attacks said other member countries of the U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq and Syria could be next on the list of targets. Among locations threatened were London, Washington and Rome.

Pope Francis is likely the biggest target in Rome and the Vatican City State, Parolin said, but the pontiff won’t let fear deter him. “These events don’t change the Pope’s agenda at all,” he said.

Parolin referred to the Pope’s comments the day after the Paris attacks, in which Francis referred to them as part of “a piecemeal third world war.”

The cardinal explained that “piecemeal” refers to a war “that has not been declared, an asymmetric war. A war fought away from the battlefields, in which the victims are innocent young, adult and elderly people.”

It also means that “we do not know where the next incident is going to take place,” he said. After Paris, “Daesh (ISIS) shockingly warned that this was only the beginning. Everywhere, these are acts of terrorism linked to Islamist fundamentalism.”

When asked if the Holy See takes Pope Francis’ stance that “stopping the unjust aggressor is legitimate” when it comes to ongoing airstrikes in Syria, Parolin said “yes, because blind violence is intolerable, whatever its origin may be.”

Pope Francis voiced support for international intervention in Iraq while on board a flight from South Korea to Rome Aug. 18, 2014.
In his interview with La

Croix, Parolin said “there is no justification for what happened” in Paris and that a global mobilization of forces is needed in response.

“A mobilization of all means of security, of police forces and of information, to root out this evil of terrorism,” he said. He said this also includes spiritual resources in order to provide “a positive response to evil.”

Pope Francis has previously supported opening a dialogue with extremists, saying that while difficult, it’s possible. But Parolin is doubtful.

“I don’t think that it’s possible to dialogue with fundamentalists,” he said last month. “One can offer to dialogue, but I don’t see many opportunities of establishing a dialogue.”

He said that feelings of revenge are natural after attacks such as those in Paris, but stressed that “we must fight against this urge.”

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