wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02VATICAN3962
2002-08-13 09:22:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Vatican
Cable title:  

VATICAN-CHINA: HOLY SEE WELCOMES U.S. PUSH ON

Tags:   PREL  PHUM  KIRF  CH  VT 
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 VATICAN 003962 

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENUTTI); DRL/IRF (FARR); EAP/C

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/13/2012
TAGS: PREL PHUM KIRF CH VT
SUBJECT: VATICAN-CHINA: HOLY SEE WELCOMES U.S. PUSH ON
DIALOGUE, BUT EXPECTS LITTLE MOVEMENT PRIOR TO PARTY
CONGRESS

REF: A. (A)BEIJING 8227

B. (B)BEIJING 8237

C. (C)BEIJING 8241

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

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 03962 130928Z


1. (C) SUMMARY: HOLY SEE CHINA DESK OFFICER, MONSIGNOR
GIANFRANCO ROTA-GRAZIOSI WELCOMED AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR
INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM HANFORD'S EFFORTS TO
ENCOURAGE CHINA TO OPEN A DIALOGUE WITH THE HOLY SEE, BUT
EXPECTS LITTLE PROGRESS UNTIL AFTER THE LEADERSHIP PICTURE IS
CLEARER FOLLOWING THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY'S CONFERENCE
THIS FALL. HE DESCRIBED THE CHINESE SUGGESTION THAT THE
VATICAN'S LACK OF CLARITY ON TAIWAN WAS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE
TO PROGRESS AS A SMOKESCREEN FOR THE PRC'S OWN INDECISION,
SINCE THE VATICAN HAD REPEATEDLY MADE CLEAR ITS WILLINGNESS
TO MOVE ITS EMBASSY TO BEIJING. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) DCM AND ACTING POLCHIEF MET AUGUST 12 WITH HOLY SEE
CHINA DESK OFFICER ROTA-GRAZIOSI TO REVIEW THE OUTCOME OF
AMBASSADOR HANFORD'S AUGUST 5 VISIT TO CHINA (REFTELS) AND
DISCUSS POTENTIAL AREAS OF PROGRESS IN THE RUN-UP TO THE
PRESIDENT'S OCTOBER MEETING WITH PRESIDENT JIANG. DCM
OBSERVED THAT AMBASSADOR HANFORD WAS SEEKING TO BUILD A
DIALOGUE WITH OFFICIALS RESPONSIBLE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
ISSUES AND TO IDENTIFY SPECIFIC AREAS WHERE PROGRESS MAY BE
POSSIBLE, INCLUDING RESUMPTION OF A DIALOGUE WITH THE
VATICAN, CHANGES IN RELIGIOUS REGISTRATION LAWS, AND THE
PROVISION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION TO CHILDREN.



3. (C) ON OPENING OF A DIALOGUE WITH THE VATICAN, DCM NOTED
THE PRC OFFICIALS' ASSERTION THAT THEY WANTED TO NORMALIZE
RELATIONS WITH THE VATICAN, IF ONLY THE VATICAN COULD CLARIFY
ITS RELATIONS WITH TAIWAN. ROTA-GRAZIOSI SAW THIS AS A
DELAYING TACTIC TO MASK THE CHINESE OWN UNCERTAINTY OVER HOW
TO PROCEED ON RELIGIOUS ISSUES, AN UNCERTAINTY COMPOUNDED BY
THE UPCOMING COMMUNIST PARTY LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE. HE NOTED
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 VATICA 03962 130928Z
THAT SECRETARY OF STATE SODANO HAS TWICE MADE EXPLICIT THE
HOLY SEE'S WILLINGNESS TO MOVE ITS EMBASSY TO BEIJING
"TONIGHT NOT TOMORROW" IF THE PRC WAS PREPARED TO OPEN
RELATIONS, SO THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT WHERE THE HOLY SEE STANDS
ON TAIWAN. ROTA-GRAZIOSI SAID THE VATICAN WAS PREPARED TO
MAKE "THE LEAP OF FAITH" TO THE PRC'S "ONE-CHINA" POLICY,
EVEN WHILE HE LAMENTED THAT THIS DID NOT REALLY REFLECT
TAIWAN'S GLOBAL ROLE AND STATUS.



4. (C) REACTING TO THE CONCERN RAISED TO AMBASSADOR HANFORD
ABOUT THE NEED FOR THE POPE TO APOLOGIZE FOR THE OCTOBER 2000
CANONIZATION OF CHINESE MARTYRS, MONSIGNOR ROTA-GRAZIOSI
SAID THE POPE "WOULD NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR THE CANONIZATION."
ON THE OTHER HAND, HE NOTED THAT THE POPE HAD ALREADY
APOLOGIZED FOR THE CHURCH'S "MISTAKES" IN THE PAST. HE
LAMENTED THAT THE HOLY SEE HAS YET TO HEAR ANY FORMAL
RECOGNITION OF OR RESPONSE TO THIS OCTOBER 2001 APOLOGY.



5. (C) ROTA-GRAZIOSI EXPRESSED APPRECIATION FOR USG EFFORTS
TO FOSTER A DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE HOLY SEE AND CHINA AND FOR
OUR EFFORT TO PRESS FOR SHORTER AND MEDIUM-TERM CHANGES IN
RESTRICTIVE CHINESE POLICIES. HE WAS SKEPTICAL, HOWEVER,
THAT CHINA WOULD BE ABLE TO MOVE FORWARD, ADDING THAT IT WILL
"TAKE YEARS, IF NOT DECADES" FOR THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT TO
TRULY BE PREPARED TO EMBRACE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. HE EXPECTS
THE PRC WILL CONTINUE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT TAIWAN AND THE POPE'S
CANONIZATION OF CHINESE MARTYRS TO AVOID AN OPEN DIALOGUE
WITH THE VATICAN. ROTA-GRAZIOSI SAID THE HOLY SEE BELIEVES
PROGRESS FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CHINA CAN BEST BE MADE BY
PROMOTING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN THE BROADEST SENSE FOR ALL
BELIEFS. HE EXPRESSED HOPE THAT USG EFFORTS WILL PAY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 VATICA 03962 130928Z
DIVIDENDS, BUT SAID CHANGING THE PRC'S ATTITUDES IS "LIKE
DROPS OF WATER SCULPTING THE STONE".
HARDT

CONFIDENTIAL

>


2002VATICA03962 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL