Vatican’s Secretary of State to EWTN: Truth Must be "fearlessly upheld"

Cardinal Pietro Parolin speaks at an EWTN dinner in Frascati, Italy, Oct. 19, 2022. | Daniel Ibáñez / CNA

The Vatican’s Secretary of State told employees and collaborators of EWTN this week that the truth must be “fearlessly upheld” with a merciful and listening style.

Speaking at a dinner in Frascati, Italy, Oct. 19, Cardinal Pietro Parolin recalled the words of Mother Angelica, the founder of EWTN, who said, “You cannot go to heaven hating someone. Forgive now. Be compassionate now. Be patient and grateful now.”

Parolin said the Catholic media should not spread hate, but “promote a non-hostile communication.”

“The truth, and the values deriving from it, must be fearlessly upheld,” he continued. “This proclamation, however, should be formulated in a merciful style by those who patiently listen to the women and men of our time, who walk with them, even making themselves the interpreters of their suffering and their concerns.”

The secretary of state, who is the second most powerful person in the Vatican after the pope, addressed EWTN during the global Catholic television network’s seventh European affiliates meeting.

Parolin underlined that “truth, for us Christians, is a Person, the Person of Jesus Christ who, as St. Paul says, holds all things together.”

“It is this encounter that ensures that communication does not remain simply a profession which conveys information but that understands and sets this responsibility within a broader horizon than the albeit important dissemination of news,” he said.

The cardinal recalled Mother Angelica’s saying, “it is our duty to speak the truth, and each person can either assume or not assume this duty. But the truth must above all be within us.”

“We should always keep this statement in mind and have the same awareness: the truth does not belong to us — we serve the truth,” Parolin commented. “And we can serve it only in love and in unity.”


The secretary of state also said the Catholic media has an important role in evangelization.

“This is why it is good that they feel that they are an active part of the life of the Church, first of all by living in a spirit of communion with the Bishop of Rome,” he said, adding that this spirit of communion “is all the more urgent today in a time marked by overly-dramatic debates, also within the Church, which do not even spare the person and the Magisterium of the pontiff.”

He referenced Jesus’ prayer for Peter in Luke 22:31–32: “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”

“The devil always seeks to sift us like wheat, but Jesus’ prayer for Peter and his successors is our anchor of salvation,” Parolin said.

“May this spirit of communion with the pope be the distinctive sign of your work,” he said. “May this be ‘felt’ and ‘touched’ in your television broadcasts, as well as in your articles and in your multimedia programmes. May every one of your viewers or readers recognize EWTN as a work of God at the service of the truth, ecclesial communion, and the good of humanity.”

Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.