US embassy cable - 01VATICAN1615

VATICAN - "VIEWS FROM THE HILL"

Identifier: 01VATICAN1615
Wikileaks: View 01VATICAN1615 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Vatican
Created: 2001-03-23 13:28:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PREL PHUM SOCI IS GR KN KS PHUM SOCI IS GR KN KS 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 001615 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE), EUR/SE, EAP/K, NEA/IAI, 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  01615  01 OF 02  231320Z 
EUR/PD/PA, AF/E, AF/W, AF/S, DRL/IRF 
 
FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 48/01 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PHUM, SOCI, IS, GR, KN, KS, PHUM, SOCI, IS, GR, KN, KS, VT, MEPP, VTPREL, MEPP 
SUBJECT: VATICAN - "VIEWS FROM THE HILL" 
 
 
1.   (U) THE MARCH 17 - 23 EDITION OF NEWS AND VIEWS FROM 
VATICAN CITY. 
 
CONTENTS: 
 
- SOUTH KOREAN ARCHBISHOP LIKES POTUS RECIPE FOR KOREA 
- VATICAN OFFICIAL CONFIRMS PAPAL VISIT TO ATHENS 
- PAPAL SUPPORT FOR ARAB CHRISTIANS 
- VATICAN ADMITS NUNS SEXUALLY ABUSED BY PRIESTS 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
SOUTH KOREAN ARCHBISHOP LIKES BUSH POLICY ON KOREA 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
2.   (U) SEOUL'S CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP NICHOLAS CHEONG JIN-SUK 
HAS DECLARED PRESIDENT BUSH'S POLICIES TOWARDS NORTH KOREA 
"VERY PRUDENT." IN A VATICAN CITY INTERVIEW WITH MISSIONARY 
NEWS AGENCY "FIDES," THE ARCHBISHOP WAS ASKED WHETHER THE 
BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S POLICIES WOULD HAMPER NORTH/SOUTH 
KOREA CONTACT. CHEONG REPLIED, "THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT'S 
POLICIES DO NOT AFFECT OUR (THE CATHOLIC CHURCH) WORK. OUR 
PRESIDENT, KIM DAE-JUNG IS, PERHAPS, A LITTLE OVER 
ENTHUSIASTIC. PRESIDENT BUSH IS VERY PRUDENT." WHEN ASKED 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  01615  01 OF 02  231320Z 
ABOUT RUMORS THAT HE HAD BEEN INVITED TO TRAVEL TO PYONGYANG 
TO PREPARE FOR AN EVENTUAL PAPAL VISIT, THE ARCHBISHOP 
AFFIRMED THAT HE HAD RECEIVED A VERBAL INVITATION ONLY. 
(NOTE: ARCHBISHOP CHEONG IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE 
ECCLESIASTICAL ADMINISTRATION OF PYONGYANG IN THE ABSENCE OF 
A NORTH KOREAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY. END NOTE). 
 
------------------------------- 
POPE TO TRAVEL TO ATHENS IN MAY 
------------------------------- 
3.   (U) POPE JOHN PAUL II WILL MAKE A PILGRIMAGE TO ATHENS, 
GREECE ON MAY 4 AND 5. VATICAN SUBSTITUTE SECRETARY OF STATE 
(INTERIOR MINISTER EQUIVALENT) ARCHBISHOP LEONARDO SANDRI 
ANNOUNCED THE DATES AFTER A MARCH 20 MEETING IN ATHENS WITH 
THE HEAD OF THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH THERE. THE POPE'S STOP 
IN THE GREEK CAPITAL WILL BE THE FIRST ON A PILGRIMAGE THAT 
WILL ALSO TAKE HIM TO DAMASCUS, SYRIA AND MALTA. THE 
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE FOR ATHENS CALLS FOR THE POPE TO BE 
GREETED AT THE AIRPORT BY STATE AND ORTHODOX CHURCH 
AUTHORITIES. HE WILL MAKE A VISIT TO THE SITE OF THE ANCIENT 
AREOPAGUS, WHERE SAINT PAUL WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE PREACHED TO 
THE ATHENIANS, AND THEN MEET ORTHODOX LEADER ARCHBISHOP 
CHRISTODOLOS AND GREECE'S PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
PAPAL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR ARAB CHRISTIANS: MEPP 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
4.   (U) POPE JOHN PAUL II HAS CALLED FOR AN IMMEDIATE 
RESUMPTION OF NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN PALESTINIAN AND ARAB 
LEADERS. AS HE MET WITH A GROUP OF BISHOPS FROM ARAB 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        VATICA  01615  01 OF 02  231320Z 
COUNTRIES, THE PONTIFF SAID THE "TRAGIC" EVENTS OF RECENT 
DAYS HAD "TESTED" HIS HOPES FOR PEACE IN THE REGION. HE 
URGED THE BISHOPS TO DO ALL THEY CAN TO KEEP CATHOLICS FROM 
LEAVING THE REGION. HE PARTICULARLY STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE 
OF MAINTAINING A CHRISTIAN PRESENCE IN JERUSALEM AND 
DESCRIBED DIALOGUE WITH JEWS AND MOSLEMS AS AN URGENT AND 
NECESSARY TASK. IN HIS CONCLUDING REMARKS, THE POPE 
MENTIONED SO-CALLED TRAGIC SITUATIONS IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES 
IN THE REGION INCLUDING IRAQ WHERE "THE EMBARGO CONTINUES TO 
CLAIM VICTIMS." HE SAID TOO MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE WERE PAYING 
THE CONSEQUENCES FOR AN "ILL-FATED" WAR, WHOSE EFFECTS 
CONTINUE TO FALL ON THE WEAKEST AND THE DEFENSELESS. THE 
POPE ALSO CALLED ON ARAB STATES IN NORTH AFRICA TO SHOW 
HOSPITALITY TOWARD REFUGEES FLEEING THE CIVIL WAR AND FAMINE 
IN SUDAN. 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
VATICAN ACKNOWLEDGES SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIESTS 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
5.   (SBU) IN A RARE STATEMENT ACKNOWLEDGING FAULT, VATICAN 
SPOKESMAN JOAQUIN NAVARRO-VALLS SAID MARCH 20 THAT THERE WAS 
A PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF NUNS BY PRIESTS IN SOME 
MISSIONARY TERRITORIES. HE SAID THE VATICAN WAS WORKING TO 
CORRECT THE SITUATION. THE STATEMENT WAS IN RESPONSE TO A 
MARCH 16 ARTICLE IN U.S. CATHOLIC WEEKLY, NATIONAL CATHOLIC 
REPORTER THAT CITED FOUR REPORTS BY SENIOR MEMBERS OF 
WOMEN'S RELIGIOUS ORDERS ASSERTING THAT SEXUAL ABUSE OF NUNS 
BY PRIESTS, INCLUDING RAPE, WAS A SERIOUS PROBLEM, 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 05        VATICA  01615  01 OF 02  231320Z 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTO7054 
 
PAGE 01        VATICA  01615  02 OF 02  231320Z 
ACTION EUR-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AF-00    ACQ-00   CA-02    CIAE-00  USNW-00 
      DODE-00  DOEE-00  DS-00    EAP-00   FBIE-00  UTED-00  VC-00 
      H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   M-00 
      AC-01    NEA-00   NSAE-00  OCS-03   OES-01   OIC-02   PA-00 
      PM-00    ACE-00   P-00     SCT-00   SP-00    IRM-00   SSO-00 
      SS-00    TEST-00  T-00     USIE-00  R-00     SNIS-00  NISC-00 
      PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /012W 
                  ------------------D63E4F  231330Z /38 
R 231328Z MAR 01 
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0000 
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE 
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 
AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 
AMEMBASSY SEOUL 
NSC WASHDC 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 001615 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE), EUR/SE, EAP/K, NEA/IAI, 
 
EUR/PD/PA, AF/E, AF/W, AF/S, DRL/IRF 
 
FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 48/01 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  01615  02 OF 02  231320Z 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PHUM, MEPP, SOCI, IS, GR, KN, KS, VT 
SUBJECT: VATICAN - "VIEWS FROM THE HILL" 
 
ESPECIALLY IN AFRICA. ONE OF THE AUTHORS TOLD A VATICAN CITY 
NEWS AGENCY THAT SHE WAS VERY PLEASED THE VATICAN HAD ISSUED 
ITS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. (COMMENT: THE VATICAN HAS BECOME 
INCREASINGLY SENSITIZED TO INCIDENTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY 
CLERGY, PARTICULARLY IN COUNTRIES LIKE THE US, AUSTRALIA AND 
ENGLAND. WE EXPECT THE REPORTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIESTS IN 
MISSIONARY TERRITORIES TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY AND DEALT WITH 
PROFESSIONALLY. END COMMENT). MERANTE 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 
 

 2001VATICA01615 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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