The Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said on Tuesday that the world “needs a change of mentality” when responding to humanitarian emergencies and the plight of all those suffering from forced displacement as a result of conflicts or disasters. He also said the main challenge arising from the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul was “to put into action” the promises made during the meeting. The Cardinal was leading the Holy See’s delegation to the summit and was speaking to our correspondent there, Linda Bordoni.
Asked whether he was happy with the outcome so far as the summit, Cardinal Parolin said whilst happy to be there, the main challenge is “to put into action” the promises and plans made during the meeting, warning that it depends on the willingness of leading international players to take concrete action.
“The important thing, as usual, is the political will.”
Saying “we need a change of mentality” in our response to humanitarian emergencies, Cardinal Parolin said he hoped that this change would be “the result” or outcome of this summit. However, he went on to warn that we will not be able to change our mentality unless, as Pope Francis explained, “we learn from those who are suffering.”
Turning to the important role of faith-based groups in humanitarian emergencies, the cardinal pointed out that “sometimes they are the first to arrive after a disaster … and are the last to leave.” He said these organisations like Caritas Internationalis, for example, show “mercy and charity” to those who are suffering which he described as the main characteristic of the Catholic Church.
Source: Vatican Radio