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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01VATICAN1286 2001-03-07 13:06:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vatican
Cable title:  

VATICAN - "VIEWS FROM THE HILL"

Tags:   PREL PHUM PGOV KMDR SOCI TBIO IR IZ IS AM EG IT VT MEPP VTPREL 
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					  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 SOCI TBIO IR IZ IS AM EG IT PHUM PGOV KMDR SOCI TBIO IR IZ IS AM EG IT VT MEPP VTPREL MEPP
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