US embassy cable - 01VATICAN1286

VATICAN - "VIEWS FROM THE HILL"

Identifier: 01VATICAN1286
Wikileaks: View 01VATICAN1286 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Vatican
Created: 2001-03-07 13:06:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL PHUM PGOV KMDR SOCI TBIO IR IZ IS AM EG IT PHUM PGOV KMDR SOCI TBIO IR IZ IS AM EG IT VT MEPP VTPREL MEPP
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 001286 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE), EUR/CACEN, EUR/PD/PA, 
DRL/IRF, NEA/ENA, NEA/IAI, NEA/NGA, 
FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 24/01 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PHUM, PGOV, KMDR, SOCI, TBIO, IR, IZ, IS, AM, EG, IT, PHUM, PGOV, KMDR, SOCI, TBIO, IR, IZ, IS, AM, EG, IT, VT, MEPP, VTPREL, MEPP 
SUBJECT: VATICAN - "VIEWS FROM THE HILL" 
 
 
1.   THE FEBRUARY 17 - 23 EDITION OF NEWS AND VIEWS FROM 
VATICAN CITY. 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  01286  01 OF 02  072227Z 
CONTENTS: 
 
- VATICAN CRITICIZES AIR STRIKES ON IRAQ 
- MEPP: VATICAN SAYS PEACE A DISTANT REALITY 
- NO MENTION OF GENOCIDE IN PAPAL MESSAGE TO ARMENIANS 
- VATICAN INTERVENTION IN ITALIAN NATIONAL ELECTIONS 
- BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH OK "WITHIN LIMITS" 
- NO RED HATS FOR NEW EASTERN-RITE CARDINALS 
 
-------------------------------------- 
VATICAN CRITICIZES AIR STRIKES ON IRAQ 
-------------------------------------- 
 
2.   VATICAN SECRETARY OF STATE (PM EQUIVALENT) CARDINAL 
ANGELO SODANO HAS CONDEMNED FORCE AS A MEANS OF BRINGING 
STABILITY TO THE GULF REGION. THE CARDINAL SAID THE 
VATICAN HOPES THAT "VIOLENT METHODS DO NOT CONTINUE. IF 
YOU WANT PEACE, YOU HAVE TO PREPARE FOR PEACE." HE SAID 
SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT PROBLEMS CAN BE RESOLVED WITH 
FORCE, "BUT THE HOLY SEE THINKS DIFFERENTLY." SODANO ALSO 
RENEWED THE VATICAN'S CONDEMNATION OF THE UN ECONOMIC 
EMBARGO DIRECTED AGAINST IRAQ SINCE THE END OF THE GULF 
WAR. HE NOTED THAT MANY COUNTRIES SHARED THE VATICAN'S 
POSITION, AND SAID, "WE HOPE WISDOM WILL PREVAIL." 
(COMMENT: THE VATICAN IS UNLIKELY TO TAKE UP ANY POSITION 
THAT MIGHT THREATEN THE RELATIVE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM 
ENJOYED BY THE SMALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES IN THE GULF 
REGION. THE VATICAN ALSO SEEKS TO ENSURE A SMOOTH VISIT 
FOR THE POPE WHEN HE VISITS SYRIA IN MAY AND TO MAINTAIN 
THE GOOD WILL NECESSARY FOR AN EVENTUAL PAPAL VISIT TO 
IRAQ PRESENTLY ON THE BACKBURNER. END COMMENT). 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  01286  01 OF 02  072227Z 
 
---------------------------------------- 
POPE AND EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT DISCUSS MEPP 
---------------------------------------- 
 
3.   DURING A FEBRUARY 20 MEETING WITH EGYPT'S PRESIDENT 
MUBARAK, POPE JOHN PAUL II CALLED FOR AN END TO THE 
VIOLENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND A RESUMPTION OF PEACE 
TALKS. THE POPE SPOKE PRIVATELY TO MUBARAK FOR ABOUT 30 
MINUTES. THE VATICAN LATER DISCLOSED THAT THE MAIN TOPIC 
OF CONVERSATION WAS THE PEACE PROCESS AND THE NEED FOR "A 
CLIMATE OF DQTENTE AND DIALOGUE." (SEPTEL TO FOLLOW). THE 
VATICAN STATEMENT SAID PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS LINKED 
TO "RESPECT FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW ON THE PART OF ALL AND 
IN THE CONVICTION THAT THE PEOPLES HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS 
AND DUTIES." VATICAN FM, ARCHBISHOP JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN, 
ALSO HELD DISCUSSIONS WITH HIS EGYPTIAN COUNTERPART, AMR 
MOUSSA. ON FEBRUARY 18, POPE JOHN PAUL LAMENTED THE 
INCREASE IN PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI VIOLENCE AND SAID THE 
PROSPECTS FOR PEACE WERE GROWING DIM. MEANWHILE, THE 
VATICAN AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL, ARCHBISHOP PIETRO SAMBI, 
CALLED ON TOURISTS AND PILGRIMS NOT TO ABANDON JERUSALEM 
AND THE HOLY LAND. HE SAID VISITORS SHOULD NOT HEED 
"ALARMING MEDIA REPORTS ACCORDING TO WHICH THE HOLY LAND 
IS DROWNED IN TERROR." SAMBI SAID PRECAUTIONS HAD TO BE 
TAKEN, BUT THAT PILGRIMS SHOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BY THE 
PRESENT VIOLENCE. (COMMENT: SAMBI EARLIER EXPRESSED 
CONCERN ABOUT THE FALL OFF IN PILGRIMS AND TOURISTS 
IMPACTING ECONOMICALLY ON PALESTINIANS, BOTH MOSLEM AND 
CHRISTIAN. HIS ASSURANCES ABOUT PILGRIM SAFETY SUGGEST 
THE ISSUE CONTINUES TO BE SIGNIFICANT FOR THE VATICAN 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        VATICA  01286  01 OF 02  072227Z 
WHICH SEEKS TO SUSTAIN THE CHRISTIAN PRESENCE IN THE 
REGION. END COMMENT). 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
-- 
POPE ACKNOWLEDGES 1915 SUFFERING OF TURKISH ARMENIANS; 
DOES NOT MENTION GENOCIDE 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
-- 
 
4.   POPE JOHN PAUL II HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THE "UNHEARD OF 
SUFFERINGS" AND "MASSACRES" THAT ARMENIANS ENDURED AT THE 
END OF THE NINETEENTH AND BEGINNING OF THE TWENTIETH 
CENTURIES, THAT CULMINATED IN THE "TRAGIC EVENTS" OF 
1915. THE STATEMENT WAS INCLUDED IN A LETTER MARKING THE 
17 CENTURIES OF CHRISTIANITY IN ARMENIA. THE VATICAN 
HOSTED ARMENIA'S CATHOLIC PATRIARCH AND A HOST OF 
RELIGIOUS AND CIVIC LEADERS FOR CELEBRATIONS DURING THE 
WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 18. THE POPE USED THE OCCASION TO 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ0898 
 
PAGE 01        VATICA  01286  02 OF 02  072228Z 
ACTION EUR-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00  DODE-00  SRPP-00  EB-00    UTED-00 
      VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     AC-01 
      NEA-00   NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00    PM-00 
      PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    SS-00    STR-00   TRSE-00 
      T-00     USIE-00  PMB-00   PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00 
        /008W 
                  ------------------CEEC04  072228Z /69 
R 071306Z MAR 01 
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0000 
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE 
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 
AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 
AMEMBASSY CAIRO 
AMEMBASSY YEREVAN 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 001286 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE), EUR/CACEN, EUR/PD/PA, 
DRL/IRF, NEA/ENA, NEA/IAI, NEA/NGA, 
 
FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 24/01 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PHUM, PGOV, KMDR, MEPP, SOCI, TBIO, IR, IZ, 
IS, AM, EG, IT, VT 
 
SUBJECT: VATICAN - "VIEWS FROM THE HILL" 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  01286  02 OF 02  072228Z 
EXPRESS HIS DESIRE TO VISIT ARMENIA AND TO FURTHER THE 
VATICAN'S GOOD ECUMENICAL RELATIONS WITH THE COUNTRY'S 
APOSTOLIC (ORTHODOX) COMMUNITY. (COMMENT: THE VATICAN AND 
THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH IN ARMENIA ENJOY EXCELLENT 
RELATIONS. THE POPE AND THE FORMER CATHOLICOS (LEADER) 
HAD DEVELOPED A WARM FRIENDSHIP. THEOLOGICAL DISPUTES 
BETWEEN CATHOLICS AND APOSTOLIC ARMENIANS WERE RESOLVED 
IN 1996. FULL UNITY BETWEEN THE TWO CHURCHES WOULD BE A 
COUP FOR THE VATICAN AND A GOAL WHICH WILL GOAD THE 
VATICAN TO MAKE FURTHER PRO-ARMENIAN POLITICAL 
STATEMENTS. OTHER ORTHODOX CHURCHES ARE LIKELY TO FOLLOW 
CLOSELY THE OUTCOME OF SUCH A "TEST CASE." END COMMENT). 
 
----------------------------------- 
BLURRING OF CHURCH-STATE SEPARATION 
----------------------------------- 
 
5.   THE VATICAN HAS DEFENDED STEPPING INTO THE ITALIAN 
POLITICAL ARENA BY SAYING ITALIAN POLITICIANS REQUESTED 
CONSULTATIONS WITH ITS OFFICIALS. VATICAN SECRETARY OF 
STATE, CARDINAL ANGELO SODANO, HAS RECEIVED LEADERS FROM 
LEFT AND RIGHT WING POLITICAL PARTIES. HE CLAIMED THE 
VATICAN "LIMITED ITSELF" TO EXPLAINING ITS POSITION ON 
MORAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
VATICAN SUPPORTS BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH "WITHIN LIMITS" 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
6.   THE VATICAN'S TOP BIOMEDICAL EXPERT, BISHOP ELIO 
SGRECCIA, SAYS HE SUPPORTS BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH. IN AN 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  01286  02 OF 02  072228Z 
INTERVIEW WITH VATICAN RADIO, SGRECCIA SAID THE VATICAN 
APPRECIATES AND ENCOURAGES SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH WHEN IT IS 
GEARED TOWARDS "THE PREVENTION AND HEALING OF ILLNESSES 
AND THE RELIEF OF HUMAN SUFFERING." THE BISHOPS STRESSED 
THAT RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTATION MUST SHOW RESPECT FOR 
ALL HUMAN LIFE FROM CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH, AND 
ESPECIALLY WHEN SUBJECTS ARE UNABLE TO CONSENT TO 
PROCEDURES. BISHOP SGRECCIA REAFFIRMED THE VATICAN'S 
OPPOSITION TO THE USE OF FETAL STEM CELLS FOR RESEARCH 
UNLESS THE CELLS CAME FROM SPONTANEOUSLY ABORTED FETUSES. 
THE VATICAN ACCEPTS RESEARCH USING STEM CELLS TAKEN FROM 
THE UMBILICAL CORD OF NEWBORN INFANTS AND FROM ADULTS. 
SGRECCIA SAID THE VATICAN ALSO SUPPORTS BIOTECHNOLOGY AS 
LONG AS PROPER SAFEGUARDS ARE MAINTAINED, CONSUMERS 
INFORMED OF MODIFIED ORGANISMS IN THEIR FOOD AND ECONOMIC 
ADVANTAGES SHARED. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
NO RED HATS FOR EASTERN-RITE CARDINALS 
-------------------------------------- 
 
7.   IN A SIGN OF RESPECT FOR EASTERN-RITE CHURCHES 
UNITED TO ROME, THREE NEW CARDINALS DID NOT RECEIVE THE 
TRADITIONAL RED "BEANIES" AND BRIM-LESS "BIRETTAS" DURING 
A FEBRUARY 21 VATICAN CITY CEREMONY. THE MODIFICATION OF 
THE CEREMONY REFLECTS CURRENT VATICAN POLICY TOWARDS 
ANCIENT NON-ROMAN CATHOLIC COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE UNIQUE 
RITUALS, LANGUAGE AND TRADITIONS. ONE OF THE NEW 
CARDINALS AND HEAD OF THE VATICAN OFFICE FOR EASTERN 
CHURCHES, SYRIAN PATRIARCH MOUSSA DAOUD SAID NOT 
RECEIVING THE RED HAT SIGNIFIED THAT THE ORIENTAL-RITE 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        VATICA  01286  02 OF 02  072228Z 
CARDINALS CONTINUE TO BE LINKED TO THEIR LOCAL CHURCHES 
AND DO NOT BECOME MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY OF ROME. (NOTE: 
CARDINALS ARE TRADITIONALLY MEMBERS OF THE ROMAN CLERGY. 
"NON-ROMAN" CARDINALS ARE GIVEN TITLE TO ONE OF ROME'S 
CHURCHES ALTHOUGH THIS WAS NOT THE CASE FOR THE NEW 
CARDINAL-PATRIARCHS FROM SYRIA AND EGYPT. THE UKRAINIAN 
EASTERN-RITE CARDINAL IS A MONK. HE DID NOT RECEIVE A RED 
HAT, BUT WAS GIVEN TITLE TO ONE OF ROME'S CHURCHES. END 
NOTE). BOGGS 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 
 

 2001VATICA01286 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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