The Bilderberg Group is meeting in Turin this week, and Cardinal Pietro Parolin will be present. Cardinal Parolin is the Vatican’s Secretary of State, arguably the most senior official in the Vatican and the nearest thing the Holy See has to a prime minister.
The Bilderberg Group is viewed by conspiracy theorists as something of a shadow world government, but a quick look at the list of participants, published on its website, reveals something a lot less threatening. While there are many famous names there from the worlds of banking, academia, journalism and politics, few are people who currently hold the levers of power in national governments.
But the cardinal’s presence is certainly worthy of comment, especially as he has not been invited before and will be the only religious figure present. The Church is deeply committed to dialogue, but, as often happens, has difficulty in finding the right partners for dialogue, particularly with the sort of people who will be well represented at Bilderberg.
One hopes that His Eminence, in the various meetings and on their fringes, will find people who wish to talk to him about the Church’s social teaching, for example. Other matters that may be aired will be environmental issues, on which the Church has something to say, and, one hopes, life issues as well.