wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02VATICAN3823
2002-08-02 14:09:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Vatican
Cable title:  

FOREIGN MINISTER TAURAN ON MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA:

Tags:   IS  PHUM  PREL  PGOV  KIRF  RS  VT  VTIS 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 003823 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), NEA, DRL/IRF AND EUR/RUS
HELSINKI PASS ST PETERSBURG
MOSCOW PASS TO VLADIVOSTOK

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2012
TAGS: IS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS VT VTIS VTIS VTIS
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER TAURAN ON MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA:
SKEPTICAL OF SHARON; PERPLEXED BY MOSCOW

REF: A. A) VATICAN 3503

B. B) VATICAN 3527

C. C) VATICAN 3492
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 03823 01 OF 02 021542Z

CLASSIFIED BY: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES D. BRENT HARDT.
REASONS 1.5 (B) AND D).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 003823

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), NEA, DRL/IRF AND EUR/RUS
HELSINKI PASS ST PETERSBURG
MOSCOW PASS TO VLADIVOSTOK

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2012
TAGS: IS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS VT VTIS VTIS VTIS
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER TAURAN ON MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA:
SKEPTICAL OF SHARON; PERPLEXED BY MOSCOW

REF: A. A) VATICAN 3503

B. B) VATICAN 3527

C. C) VATICAN 3492
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 03823 01 OF 02 021542Z

CLASSIFIED BY: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES D. BRENT HARDT.
REASONS 1.5 (B) AND D).


1. SUMMARY: (C) VATICAN FOREIGN MINISTER ARCHBISHOP

JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN TOLD CHARGE JULY 25 THAT THE HOLY SEE
REMAINS SKEPTICAL OF PRIME MINISTER SHARON'S WILLINGNESS TO
ACCEPT A POLITICAL SOLUTION, AND VIEWS THE JULY 22 ISRAELI
ACTION IN GAZA AS EVIDENCE OF SHARON'S PREFERENCE FOR A
MILITARY SOLUTION. TAURAN WAS EVEN-HANDED, CONDEMNING
PALESTINIAN ACTIONS, AND EXPRESSING DOUBT THAT EITHER SHARON
OR ARAFAT WOULD BE ABLE TO SURMOUNT THEIR PREDILECTIONS AND
TAKE THE STEPS NEEDED TO MOVE TOWARD A PEACE PROCESS. FOR
THAT REASON, THE VATICAN CONTINUES TO FAVOR THE CONVENING OF
A PEACE CONFERENCE AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY. THE HOLY SEE
ALSO BELIEVES THAT SOME FORM OF INTERNATIONAL FORCE IS NEEDED
TO SEPARATE THE TWO SIDES AND PROVIDE A BREATHING SPACE TO

DAMPEN CURRENT HIGH EMOTIONS. TAURAN REITERATED THE HOLY
SEE'S MOUNTING CONCERN FOR THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT'S RECENT
ACTIONS TO DENY VISAS TO ARCHBISHOP MAZUR AND TO RESTRICT
VISAS FOR OTHER CATHOLIC PRIESTS. ARCHBISHOP TRICARICO, WHO
MOST CLOSELY TRACKS RUSSIAN ISSUES IN THE HOLY SEE, INDICATED
THAT NOW IS THE TIME FOR UNEQUIVOCAL INDICATIONS OF U.S.
SUPPORT FOR GREATER RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN RUSSIA. END SUMMARY.

--------------
SHARON SEEKING MILITARY SOLUTION?
--------------


2. (C) ARCHBISHOP JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN PROVIDED CHARGE WITH THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 VATICA 03823 01 OF 02 021542Z
HOLY SEE'S CURRENT ASSESSMENT OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA
DURING A JULY 25 COURTESY CALL. ON THE MIDDLE EAST, TAURAN
REGARDED ISRAEL'S JULY 22 RAID ON GAZA AS FURTHER EVIDENCE
FOR HIS CONVICTION THAT SHARON WAS NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN A
POLITICAL SOLUTION. TAURAN, WHO SERVED AS PAPAL NUNCIO IN
LEBANON DURING ISRAEL'S 1980'S INCURSIONS, RECOUNTED A
CONVERSATION SHARON HAD WITH LEBANESE CHRISTIANS AT THAT
TIME. SHARON HAD OBSERVED THAT CHRISTIANS AND JEWS LIVING IN
A HOSTILE ARAB SEA COULD ONLY SURVIVE BY BEING IN A
CONTINUOUS STATE OF WAR. TAURAN WRYLY REMARKED THAT THIS HAD
BEEN TRIED CENTURIES BEFORE DURING THE CRUSADES, BUT THE
RESULTS DID NOT LEND MUCH SUPPORT SHARON'S THESIS. THE HOLY
SEE SEES LITTLE EVIDENCE THAT SHARON HAS CHANGED HIS VIEWS,
AND REMAINS SKEPTICAL THAT SHARON IS COMMITTED TO A POLITICAL
SOLUTION. "SHARON PREFERS A MILITARY SOLUTION," TAURAN
CONCLUDED, "AND HAS YET TO REALIZE THAT THERE CAN BE NO
SATISFACTORY MILITARY SOLUTION."


3. (C) BECAUSE OF THE INTRANSIGENCE OF BOTH SHARON AND
ARAFAT, THE HOLY SEE BELIEVES THE PARTIES NEED THE IMPETUS OF
AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE TO HELP THEM MOVE BEYOND THE
CURRENT STALEMATE. TAURAN ALSO BELIEVES THAT SOME FORM OF AN
INTERNATIONAL FORCE IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT THE TIT-FOR-TAT
CYCLE OF VIOLENCE AND GIVE BOTH SIDES THE BREATHING SPACE
THEY NEED TO DAMPEN EMOTIONS AND THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT A
LASTING POLITICAL SOLUTION. CHARGE OUTLINED TO TAURAN THE
U.S. APPROACH, STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF IMPROVING THE
SECURITY SITUATION AND THEN BEGINNING PARALLEL WORK ON
PALESTINIAN REFORMS AND IMPROVEMENTS IN PALESTINIAN
CONDITIONS WHILE WORKING TOWARD THE PRESIDENT'S VISION OF TWO
STATES WITHIN THREE YEARS. TAURAN, WHO HAD JUST RETURNED
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 VATICA 03823 01 OF 02 021542Z
FROM DISCUSSIONS WITH FOREIGN MINISTER DE VILLEPIN IN FRANCE,
WELCOMED THE CURRENT DIRECTION, BUT ALSO EMPHASIZED THE
IMPORTANCE OF TAKING URGENT STEPS TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR
PALESTINIANS.

--------------
POPE STILL WAITING TO HEAR FROM PUTIN
--------------


4. (C) AS REPORTED REFS (B) AND (C), POPE JOHN PAUL II HAD
WRITTEN TO PRESIDENT PUTIN OVER TWO MONTHS AGO SEEKING
CLARIFICATION OF RUSSIA'S DENIAL OF ENTRY TO POLISH
ARCHBISHOP MAZUR FOR THE IRKUTSK DIOCESE. TAURAN INDICATED

NOTE: NOT PASSED TO ABOVE ADDRESSEE(S)

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ3482

PAGE 01 VATICA 03823 02 OF 02 021544Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
DS-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 LAB-01 VCE-00
NEA-00 NSAE-00 PC-01 IRM-00 SS-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /004W
-------------- D3E33F 021544Z /38
P 021409Z AUG 02
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY
SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ALMATY PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BAKU PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY CHISINAU PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY KIEV PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY TASHKENT PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY

AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 003823

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), NEA, DRL/IRF AND EUR/RUS
HELSINKI PASS ST PETERSBURG
MOSCOW PASS TO VLADIVOSTOK

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2012
TAGS: IS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS VT VTIS VTIS VTIS
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER TAURAN ON MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA:
SKEPTICAL OF SHARON; PERPLEXED BY MOSCOW

THAT THE HOLY SEE HAS STILL NOT RECEIVED A RESPONSE FROM
PUTIN, AND REMAINS MYSTIFIED AS TO WHY HE HAS YET TO RESPOND.
"ALL WE WERE ASKING FOR WAS AN EXPLANATION OF WHY BISHOP
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 03823 02 OF 02 021544Z
MAZUR WAS DENIED ENTRY INTO RUSSIA," TAURAN NOTED, "NOTHING
MORE." TAURAN REITERATED HIS APPRECIATION FOR PRESIDENT
BUSH'S EARLIER WILLINGNESS TO RAISE THE POPE'S CONCERNS ABOUT
THIS CASE WITH PRESIDENT PUTIN, AND SUGGESTED THAT ADDITIONAL
ENCOURAGEMENT MIGHT BE NEEDED.


5. (C) ARCHBISHOP TRICARICO, THE VATICAN'S TOP RUSSIA EXPERT
WAS MORE INSISTENT THAT OUTSIDE PRESSURE WOULD BE NECESSARY
TO FOCUS THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT ON THE IMPORTANCE OF
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. TRICARICO LAMENTED THAT RUSSIA'S RECENT
PRESSURE AGAINST THE CHURCH AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM MORE
BROADLY APPEARED TO HAVE BEEN SUBMERGED BY BROADER WESTERN
PRIORITIES IN SEEKING RUSSIAN COOPERATION IN THE WAR ON
TERRORISM. HE BELIEVED, HOWEVER, THAT THE SITUATION WAS AT A
CRITICAL JUNCTURE, AND THAT RUSSIA NEEDED TO HEAR A LOUD AND
CONSISTENT MESSAGE FROM THE U.S. AND EUROPE THAT RUSSIA
NEEDED TO RESPECT RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS IF IT WANTED TO
INTEGRATE MORE CLOSELY WITH THE WEST.


6. (C) TRICARICO EXPRESSED PLEASURE WITH A RECENT PROVINCIAL
COURT DECISION IN THE SIBERIAN CITY OF MAGADAN ALLOWING AN
ALASKAN PRIEST TO REMAIN AS PASTOR OF A CATHOLIC PARISH IN
THAT REMOTE CITY. FATHER MICHAEL SHIELDS, PASTOR NATIVITY OF
JESUS PARISH SINCE 1994, HAD BEEN CHALLENGED BY THE
PROVINCIAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE ON THE GROUNDS THAT FOREIGNERS
CANNOT BE PASTORS IN RUSSIA. THE COURT TOOK ONLY 10 MINUTES
TO DECIDE IN SHIELD'S FAVOR. THE CASE COULD HAVE A POSITIVE
IMPACT BEYOND THE PROVINCE, TRICARICO SUGGESTED, BUT THAT IS
FAR FROM CERTAIN.

--------------
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 VATICA 03823 02 OF 02 021544Z
COMMENT
--------------


7. (C) TAURAN REITERATED HIS APPRECIATION FOR THE
OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW MIDDLE EAST EVENTS WITH THE PRESIDENT
AND SECRETARY POWELL DURING THEIR MAY VISIT TO THE VATICAN,
AND REAFFIRMED HIS DESIRE TO STAY IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH THE
U.S. ON DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN THE QUARTET AIMED AT ADVANCING
THE PRESIDENT'S VISION FOR PEACE.


8. (C) (COMMENT CONTINUED) ON THE CHURCH IN RUSSIA, THE
VATICAN'S LEVEL OF CONCERN IS CLEARLY MOUNTING, AS THE ISSUE
HAS COME UP IN A RANGE OF DISCUSSIONS WITH SENIOR CURIAL
OFFICIALS. THE HOLY SEE SEEMS AT A LOSS FOR HOW TO PROCEED
-- GIVEN THAT PRESIDENT PUTIN APPEARS UNWILLING TO RESPOND TO
THE POPE -- AND IS CLEARLY SIGNALING ITS INTEREST IN
ADDITIONAL SIGNS OF U.S. SUPPORT FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN
RUSSIA AND SPECIFICALLY FOR CLARIFICATION OF THE VISA
SITUATION FOR PRIESTS. WE WOULD WELCOME EMBASSY MOSCOW'S
ASSESSMENT OF WHAT IS BEHIND THE CURRENT STONEWALLING AND HOW
BEST TO ENGAGE THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT ON THIS ISSUE.
HARDT

CONFIDENTIAL

>
@@@OASYS@@@

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ3138

PAGE 01 VATICA 03823 01 OF 02 021428Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
DS-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 LAB-01 VCE-00
NEA-00 NSAE-00 PC-01 IRM-00 SS-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /004W
-------------- D3D4EE 021428Z /38
P 021409Z AUG 02
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY
SECSTATE WASHC PRIORITY
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PIORITY
EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORTY
AMEMBASSY ALMATY PRIORITY
AMEBASSY ASHGABAT PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BAKU PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY
MEMBASSY CHISINAU PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY KIEVPRIORITY
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY TASHKENT PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY

AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 003823

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), NEA, DRL/IRF AND EUR/RUS
HELSINKI PASS ST PETERSBURG
MOSCOW PASS TO VLADIVOSTOK

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2012
TAGS: IS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS VT VTIS VTIS VTIS
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER TAURAN ON MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA:
SKEPTICAL OF SHARON; PERPLEXED BY MOSCOW

REF: A. A) VATICAN 3503
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 03823 01 OF 02 021428Z

B. B) VATICAN 3527

C. C) VATICAN 3492

CLASSIFIED BY: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES D. BRENT HARDT.
REASONS 1.5 (B) AND D).


1. SUMMARY: (C) VATICAN FOREIGN MINISTER ARCHBISHOP
JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN TOLD CHARGE JULY 25 THAT THE HOLY SEE
REMAINS SKEPTICAL OF PRIME MINISTER SHARON'S WILLINGNESS TO
ACCEPT A POLITICAL SOLUTION, AND VIEWS THE JULY 22 ISRAELI
ACTION IN GAZA AS EVIDENCE OF SHARON'S PREFERENCE FOR A
MILITARY SOLUTION. TAURAN WAS EVEN-HANDED, CONDEMNING
PALESTINIAN ACTIONS, AND EXPRESSING DOUBT THAT EITHER SHARON
OR ARAFAT WOULD BE ABLE TO SURMOUNT THEIR PREDILECTIONS AND
TAKE THE STEPS NEEDED TO MOVE TOWARD A PEACE PROCESS. FOR
THAT REASON, THE VATICAN CONTINUES TO FAVOR THE CONVENING OF
A PEACE CONFERENCE AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY. THE HOLY SEE
ALSO BELIEVES THAT SOME FORM OF INTERNATIONAL FORCE IS NEEDED
TO SEPARATE THE TWO SIDES AND PROVIDE A BREATHING SPACE TO
DAMPEN CURRENT HIGH EMOTIONS. TAURAN REITERATED THE HOLY
SEE'S MOUNTING CONCERN FOR THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT'S RECENT
ACTIONS TO DENY VISAS TO ARCHBISHOP MAZUR AND TO RESTRICT
VISAS FOR OTHER CATHOLIC PRIESTS. ARCHBISHOP TRICARICO, WHO
MOST CLOSELY TRACKS RUSSIAN ISSUES IN THE HOLY SEE, INDICATED
THAT NOW IS THE TIME FOR UNEQUIVOCAL INDICATIONS OF U.S.
SUPPORT FOR GREATER RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN RUSSIA. END SUMMARY.

--------------
SHARON SEEKING MILITARY SOLUTION?
--------------
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 VATICA 03823 01 OF 02 021428Z


2. (C) ARCHBISHOP JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN PROVIDED CHARGE WITH THE
HOLY SEE'S CURRENT ASSESSMENT OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA
DURING A JULY 25 COURTESY CALL. ON THE MIDDLE EAST, TAURAN
REGARDED ISRAEL'S JULY 22 RAID ON GAZA AS FURTHER EVIDENCE
FOR HIS CONVICTION THAT SHARON WAS NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN A
POLITICAL SOLUTION. TAURAN, WHO SERVED AS PAPAL NUNCIO IN
LEBANON DURING ISRAEL'S 1980'S INCURSIONS, RECOUNTED A
CONVERSATION SHARON HAD WITH LEBANESE CHRISTIANS AT THAT
TIME. SHARON HAD OBSERVED THAT CHRISTIANS AND JEWS LIVING IN
A HOSTILE ARAB SEA COULD ONLY SURVIVE BY BEING IN A
CONTINUOUS STATE OF WAR. TAURAN WRYLY REMARKED THAT THIS HAD
BEEN TRIED CENTURIES BEFORE DURING THE CRUSADES, BUT THE
RESULTS DID NOT LEND MUCH SUPPORT SHARON'S THESIS. THE HOLY
SEE SEES LITTLE EVIDENCE THAT SHARON HAS CHANGED HIS VIEWS,
AND REMAINS SKEPTICAL THAT SHARON IS COMMITTED TO A POLITICAL
SOLUTION. "SHARON PREFERS A MILITARY SOLUTION," TAURAN
CONCLUDED, "AND HAS YET TO REALIZE THAT THERE CAN BE NO
SATISFACTORY MILITARY SOLUTION."


3. (C) BECAUSE OF THE INTRANSIGENCE OF BOTH SHARON AND
ARAFAT, THE HOLY SEE BELIEVES THE PARTIES NEED THE IMPETUS OF
AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE TO HELP THEM MOVE BEYOND THE
CURRENT STALEMATE. TAURAN ALSO BELIEVES THAT SOME FORM OF AN
INTERNATIONAL FORCE IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT THE TIT-FOR-TAT
CYCLE OF VIOLENCE AND GIVE BOTH SIDES THE BREATHING SPACE
THEY NEED TO DAMPEN EMOTIONS AND THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT A
LASTING POLITICAL SOLUTION. CHARGE OUTLINED TO TAURAN THE
U.S. APPROACH, STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF IMPROVING THE
SECURITY SITUATION AND THEN BEGINNING PARALLEL WORK ON
PALESTINIAN REFORMS AND IMPROVEMENTS IN PALESTINIAN
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 VATICA 03823 01 OF 02 021428Z
CONDITIONS WHILE WORKING TOWARD THE PRESIDENT'S VISION OF TWO
STATES WITHIN THREE YEARS. TAURAN, WHO HAD JUST RETURNED
FROM DISCUSSIONS WITH FOREIGN MINISTER DE VILLEPIN IN FRANCE,
WELCOMED THE CURRENT DIRECTION, BUT ALSO EMPHASIZED THE
IMPORTANCE OF TAKING URGENT STEPS TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR
PALESTINIANS.

--------------
POPE STILL WAITING TO HEAR FROM PUTIN
--------------


4. (C) AS REPORTED REFS (B) AND (C), POPE JOHN PAUL II HAD
WRITTEN TO PRESIDENT PUTIN OVER TWO MONTHS AGO SEEKING
CLARIFICATION OF RUSSIA'S DENIAL OF ENTRY TO POLISH
ARCHBISHOP MAZUR FOR THE IRKUTSK DIOCESE. TAURAN INDICATED

NOTE: NOT PASSED TO ABOVE ADDRESSEE(S)

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ3133

PAGE 01 VATICA 03823 02 OF 02 021427Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
DS-00 EAP-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 LAB-01
VCE-00 NEA-00 DCP-01 NSAE-00 PC-01 SS-00 DSCC-00
DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /005W
-------------- D3D4B6 021428Z /38
P 021409Z AUG 02
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY
SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ALMATY PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BAKU PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY CHISINAU PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY KIEV PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY TASHKENT PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY

AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 003823

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), NEA, DRL/IRF AND EUR/RUS
HELSINKI PASS ST PETERSBURG
MOSCOW PASS TO VLADIVOSTOK

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2012
TAGS: IS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF RS VT VTIS VTIS VTIS
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER TAURAN ON MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA:
SKEPTICAL OF SHARON; PERPLEXED BY MOSCOW

THAT THE HOLY SEE HAS STILL NOT RECEIVED A RESPONSE FROM
PUTIN, AND REMAINS MYSTIFIED AS TO WHY HE HAS YET TO RESPOND.
"ALL WE WERE ASKING FOR WAS AN EXPLANATION OF WHY BISHOP
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 03823 02 OF 02 021427Z
MAZUR WAS DENIED ENTRY INTO RUSSIA," TAURAN NOTED, "NOTHING
MORE." TAURAN REITERATED HIS APPRECIATION FOR PRESIDENT
BUSH'S EARLIER WILLINGNESS TO RAISE THE POPE'S CONCERNS ABOUT
THIS CASE WITH PRESIDENT PUTIN, AND SUGGESTED THAT ADDITIONAL
ENCOURAGEMENT MIGHT BE NEEDED.


5. (C) ARCHBISHOP TRICARICO, THE VATICAN'S TOP RUSSIA EXPERT
WAS MORE INSISTENT THAT OUTSIDE PRESSURE WOULD BE NECESSARY
TO FOCUS THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT ON THE IMPORTANCE OF
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. TRICARICO LAMENTED THAT RUSSIA'S RECENT
PRESSURE AGAINST THE CHURCH AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM MORE
BROADLY APPEARED TO HAVE BEEN SUBMERGED BY BROADER WESTERN
PRIORITIES IN SEEKING RUSSIAN COOPERATION IN THE WAR ON
TERRORISM. HE BELIEVED, HOWEVER, THAT THE SITUATION WAS AT A
CRITICAL JUNCTURE, AND THAT RUSSIA NEEDED TO HEAR A LOUD AND
CONSISTENT MESSAGE FROM THE U.S. AND EUROPE THAT RUSSIA
NEEDED TO RESPECT RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS IF IT WANTED TO
INTEGRATE MORE CLOSELY WITH THE WEST.


6. (C) TRICARICO EXPRESSED PLEASURE WITH A RECENT PROVINCIAL
COURT DECISION IN THE SIBERIAN CITY OF MAGADAN ALLOWING AN
ALASKAN PRIEST TO REMAIN AS PASTOR OF A CATHOLIC PARISH IN
THAT REMOTE CITY. FATHER MICHAEL SHIELDS, PASTOR NATIVITY OF
JESUS PARISH SINCE 1994, HAD BEEN CHALLENGED BY THE
PROVINCIAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE ON THE GROUNDS THAT FOREIGNERS
CANNOT BE PASTORS IN RUSSIA. THE COURT TOOK ONLY 10 MINUTES
TO DECIDE IN SHIELD'S FAVOR. THE CASE COULD HAVE A POSITIVE
IMPACT BEYOND THE PROVINCE, TRICARICO SUGGESTED, BUT THAT IS
FAR FROM CERTAIN.

--------------
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 VATICA 03823 02 OF 02 021427Z
COMMENT
--------------


7. (C) TAURAN REITERATED HIS APPRECIATION FOR THE
OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW MIDDLE EAST EVENTS WITH THE PRESIDENT
AND SECRETARY POWELL DURING THEIR MAY VISIT TO THE VATICAN,
AND REAFFIRMED HIS DESIRE TO STAY IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH THE
U.S. ON DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN THE QUARTET AIMED AT ADVANCING
THE PRESIDENT'S VISION FOR PEACE.


8. (C) (COMMENT CONTINUED) ON THE CHURCH IN RUSSIA, THE
VATICAN'S LEVEL OF CONCERN IS CLEARLY MOUNTING, AS THE ISSUE
HAS COME UP IN A RANGE OF DISCUSSIONS WITH SENIOR CURIAL
OFFICIALS. THE HOLY SEE SEEMS AT A LOSS FOR HOW TO PROCEED
-- GIVEN THAT PRESIDENT PUTIN APPEARS UNWILLING TO RESPOND TO
THE POPE -- AND IS CLEARLY SIGNALING ITS INTEREST IN
ADDITIONAL SIGNS OF U.S. SUPPORT FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN
RUSSIA AND SPECIFICALLY FOR CLARIFICATION OF THE VISA
SITUATION FOR PRIESTS. WE WOULD WELCOME EMBASSY MOSCOW'S
ASSESSMENT OF WHAT IS BEHIND THE CURRENT STONEWALLING AND HOW
BEST TO ENGAGE THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT ON THIS ISSUE.
HARDT

NOTE: NOT PASSED TO ABOVE ADDRESSEE(S)

CONFIDENTIAL

>


2002VATICA03823 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL