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Cardinal Parolin: Amoris Laetitia is a ‘paradigm shift’

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin (SERGEI GAPON/AFP/Getty Images)

Amoris Laetitia marked a “paradigm shift” for the Church, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin has said.

Cardinal Parolin, who is regarded as the second most senior official in the Church after the Pope himself, said the document resulted from a “new paradigm that Pope Francis is carrying forward with wisdom, with prudence, and also with patience.”

“Probably, the difficulties that came up and that still exist in the Church, beyond certain aspects of its content, are due precisely to this change of attitude that the Pope is asking of us,” he said.

“It’s a paradigm change, and the text itself insists on this, that’s what is asked of us – this new spirit, this new approach! So every change always brings difficulties, but these difficulties have to be dealt with and faced with commitment.”

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The cardinal did not clarify exactly what the “paradigm shift” involved, but most debate since the publication of Amoris Laetitia has centred on the possible opening up of Communion to Catholic who are civilly divorced and remarried.

The cardinal made his remarks in an interview with Vatican News, the Vatican’s recently launched official media outlet.

He also said that “notable steps forward have been achieved” in the Pope’s attempts at reforming the Curia, but said the real aim is “coversion” rather than bureaucratic change.

“It’s not so much a matter of structural reforms, with the promulgation of new laws, new norms, personnel appointments, and so on,” he said. “It’s more about the deep spirit that has to animate every reform of the Curia, and it’s the fundamental dimension of the Christian life, which is conversion.”