Vatican cardinal urges unity with universal Church on Germany visit

Reflecting on the concept of synodality, he quoted Pope Francis as saying that it is “a path that culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, who is called to speak as shepherd and teacher of all Christians.”

Addressing prominent German Church leaders including Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki and Bishop Georg Bätzing, Parolin noted that Sts. Peter and Paul had contrasting characters that led to “lively debates.”

But the apostles allowed these “striking differences” to build an even deeper unity within the early Church, he commented.

The 66-year-old Italian cardinal said: “It is indeed important to return to a unity that does not depend on agreeing to shared visions and orientations, as is common in politics, but on theological-spiritual rootedness in God.”

Parolin took part in a symposium on June 30 at the apostolic nunciature in Berlin, devoted to the centenary of diplomatic relations and attended by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

“How could we here in Berlin forget the great contribution of Pope John Paul II to the fall of the Berlin Wall, which is rightly called the ‘Wall of Shame,’” Parolin asked in his address.

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