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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02ROME3175 2002-06-28 06:58:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REPORT - ITALY FACTUAL UPDATE

Tags:   PHUM KIRF IT EUN 
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					  UNCLAS ROME 003175 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DRL/CRA FOR ACTION, DRL/IRF, DRL/PHD/ EUR/WE, EUR/RA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KIRF IT EUN
SUBJECT: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REPORT - ITALY FACTUAL UPDATE

REF: A. STATE 77941

B. ROME 2473

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ROME 03175 280643Z


1. (U) PER INSTRUCTIONS (REF A), EMBASSY ROME SUBMITS TWO
FACTUAL UPDATES TO ITS PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED (REF B) 2002
INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM (IRF) REPORT. BOTH UPDATES
INVOLVE SECTION II ("STATUS OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM"),
SUBSECTION "LEGAL/POLICY FRAMEWORK."



2. (SBU) 1ST FACTUAL UPDATE: PARAS 3 AND 4 (OF 2001 IRF
REPORT), LAST SENTENCE: SUBSTITUTE COMPLICATED VICE SET BACK.
THE SENTENCE WILL THEN READ: DIVISIONS AMONG THE COUNTRY'S
MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS, AS WELL AS ITS MULTIPLE MUSLIM
IMMIGRANT GROUPS, COMPLICATED THAT COMMUNITY'S EFFORTS TO
SEEK AN INTESA. COMMENT: DEVELOPMENTS BOTH INSIDE AND
OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT IN JUNE QUICKENED THE PACE OF ACTIVITY
THAT COULD LEAD TO A GOI-MUSLIM COMMUNITY INTESA.



3. (SBU) 2ND FACTUAL UPDATE: PARA 6:

- DELETE OLD 2ND, 3RD, AND 4TH SENTENCES (WHICH INVOLVE 1999
AND 2000 MATERIAL).
- FOLLOW WITH OLD 7TH SENTENCE (BUT PLEASE CORRECT "PRESIDENT
CARLO CIAMPI" TO READ: PRESIDENT CARLO AZEGLIO CIAMPI), THEN
ADD THE FOLLOWING: RESPONDING TO THE POPE'S JANUARY 2002 CALL
FOR CATHOLIC JURISTS TO BOYCOTT DIVORCE CASES, JUSTICE
MINISTER ROBERTO CASTELLI HIGHLIGHTED THAT JUDGES CANNOT
EXERCISE "CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION" IN DISCHARGING THEIR
DUTIES. IN JUNE 2002, PARLIAMENT PASSED A VATICAN-INSPIRED,
RESTRICTIVE ASSISTED FERTILITY BILL THAT DREW SUPPORT FROM
CATHOLIC LEGISLATORS ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM (AND WHICH
SECULAR CONSERVATIVES AND COMMUNISTS JOINED TO OPPOSE).
- FOLLOW WITH OLD 5TH AND 6TH SENTENCES, THEN ADD THE
FOLLOWING: ATTEMPTS BY INDIVIDUAL TEACHERS TO REMOVE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 ROME 03175 280643Z
CRUCIFIXES FROM THE CLASSROOM, IN DEFERENCE TO MUSLIM
STUDENTS, NONETHELESS HAVE DRAWN NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL
CRITICISM FOR "EXCESSIVE ZEAL."

(THE PARA WILL THEN READ): WHILE ROMAN CATHOLICISM IS NO
LONGER THE STATE RELIGION, ITS ROLE AS THE DOMINANT ONE
OCCASIONALLY GIVES RISE TO PROBLEMS - SOME OVERT, OTHERS
SUBTLY SOCIETAL. SUBSEQUENT TO A SERIES OF CHURCH
CONSULTATIONS WITH POLITICAL LEADERS PRIOR TO MAY 2001
ELECTIONS, PRESIDENT CARLO AZEGLIO CIAMPI UNDERLINED THE
SECULAR NATURE OF THE STATE AND THE CONSTITUTION'S EXPLICIT
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. RESPONDING TO THE POPE'S
JANUARY 2002 CALL FOR CATHOLIC JURISTS TO BOYCOTT DIVORCE
CASES, JUSTICE MINISTER ROBERTO CASTELLI HIGHLIGHTED THAT
JUDGES CANNOT EXERCISE "CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION" IN
DISCHARGING THEIR DUTIES. IN JUNE 2002, PARLIAMENT PASSED A
VATICAN-INSPIRED, RESTRICTIVE ASSISTED FERTILITY BILL THAT
DREW SUPPORT FROM CATHOLIC LEGISLATORS ACROSS THE POLITICAL
SPECTRUM (AND WHICH SECULAR CONSERVATIVES AND COMMUNISTS
JOINED TO OPPOSE). THE CONTINUING PRESENCE OF CATHOLIC
SYMBOLS, SUCH AS CRUCIFIXES, WHICH MAY BE FOUND HANGING ON
COURTROOM OR GOVERNMENT OFFICE WALLS, HAS DRAWN CRITICISM AND
HAS BEEN THE OBJECT OF LAWSUITS. IN APRIL 2000, THE COURT OF
CASSATION RULED IN FAVOR OF A SCHOOLTEACHER WHO ASSERTED THAT
CRUCIFIXES SHOULD NOT BE PRESENT AT VOTING SITES MAINTAINED
BY A SECULAR STATE. ATTEMPTS BY INDIVIDUAL TEACHERS TO
REMOVE CRUCIFIXES FROM THE CLASSROOM, IN DEFERENCE TO MUSLIM
STUDENTS, NONETHELESS HAVE DRAWN NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL
CRITICISM FOR "EXCESSIVE ZEAL."
SEMBLER

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 ROME 03175 280643Z

UNCLASSIFIED

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2002ROME03175 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED