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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02VATICAN4742
2002-10-01 11:28:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Vatican
Cable title:  

HOLY SEE TO TAKE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CONCERNS TO

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  KIRF  SOCI  PL  RS  VT 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 004742 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), EUR/RUS, DRL/IRF

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2007
TAGS: PGOV PREL KIRF SOCI PL RS PREL KIRF SOCI PL RS VT VTPGOV
SUBJECT: HOLY SEE TO TAKE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CONCERNS TO
OSCE: STRATEGY FOR RUSSIAN VISA RELIEF

REF: A. A) VATICAN 4657


B. Q B) MOSCOW 13859

C. Q C) VATICAN 3492

D. Q D) VATICAN 3527

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 04742 01 OF 02 011200Z
CLASSIFIED BY: POLOFF GHFROWICK, REASON 1.5 (B), (D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 004742

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), EUR/RUS, DRL/IRF

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2007
TAGS: PGOV PREL KIRF SOCI PL RS PREL KIRF SOCI PL RS VT VTPGOV
SUBJECT: HOLY SEE TO TAKE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CONCERNS TO
OSCE: STRATEGY FOR RUSSIAN VISA RELIEF

REF: A. A) VATICAN 4657


B. Q B) MOSCOW 13859

C. Q C) VATICAN 3492

D. Q D) VATICAN 3527

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 04742 01 OF 02 011200Z
CLASSIFIED BY: POLOFF GHFROWICK, REASON 1.5 (B), (D)


1. (C) FOLLOWING THE HOLY SEE'S REBUKE OF RUSSIA BEFORE OSCE
CHIEFS OF MISSION TO THE HOLY SEE FOR ITS SERIES OF
EXPULSIONS AND VISA DENIALS TO CATHOLIC CLERGY (REF A),
VATICAN OSCE DESK OFFICER TOLD POLOFF SEPTEMBER 30 THAT THE
HOLY SEE PLANS TO SEEK REDRESS WITHIN THE OSCE FOR THE
CANCELLATION OF VISAS AND/OR EXPULSION OF FIVE CATHOLIC
CLERGY BY RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES. FM JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN HAS
DECIDED TO PURSUE THE ISSUE IN THE OSCE BY INVOKING ALREADY
AGREED OSCE AND UN LANGUAGE FROM DECLARATIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS
AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. IN DOING SO, THE HOLY SEE HOPES TO
AVOID SINGLING OUT RUSSIA FOR FAILINGS SHARED BY A NUMBER OF
OTHER MOSTLY FORMER SOVIET OSCE MEMBER STATES. THE HOLY SEE
BELIEVES THE RUSSIAN VISA REFUSALS AND EXPULSIONS HAVE
CREATED A &REAL OBSTACLE FOR PEOPLE TO EXERCISE THEIR
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN RUSSIA TODAY.8 END SUMMARY.


2. (C) HOLY SEE OSCE DESK OFFICER MONS. ETTORE BALESTRERO
OUTLINED FOR POLOFF SEPTEMBER 30 THE HOLY SEE,S OSCE-BASED
STRATEGY TO PRESSURE RUSSIA TO REVERSE A SERIES OF RECENT
VISA DENIALS AND EXPULSIONS OF CATHOLIC CLERGY (REFS C AND
D). THEY ARE SEEKING RUSSIAN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ITS
COMMITMENTS ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AS LEVERAGE TO GET RUSSIAN
AUTHORITIES TO ISSUE THE CATHOLIC CLERGY ENTRY AND VISAS THEY
HAVE RECENTLY DENIED. BALESTRERO TOLD US THE HOLY SEE
INTENDS TO PURSUE THE CASE IN THE OSCE, INITIALLY AT THE

OCTOBER 4 PC IN VIENNA. THEY HOPE TO GAIN AGREEMENT THERE TO
PURSUE A DECLARATION REAFFIRMING FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TO BE ISSUED AT THE PORTO MINISTERIAL IN
DECEMBER. THE HOLY SEE CONSIDERS THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT'S
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 VATICA 04742 01 OF 02 011200Z
VISA REFUSALS AND EXPULSIONS AS SERIOUS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
ISSUES THAT HAVE CREATED A &REAL OBSTACLE FOR PEOPLE TO
EXERCISE THEIR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN RUSSIA TODAY.8 AT THE
SAME TIME, BALESTRERO SAID HE DIDN'T DETECT ANY ANTI-CATHOLIC
SENTIMENT IN HIS RUSSIAN INTERLOCUTORS AT THE WARSAW HUMAN
DIMENSION MEETING, BUT HE ENCOUNTERED THE SAME COMMENT
REPORTED REF A -) THAT THIS WAS A MATTER FOR THE HOLY SEE TO
WORK OUT DIRECTLY WITH THE ORTHODOX CHURCH.


3. (C) CONTRARY TO THE CLAIM REPORTED REF. B, THE HOLY SEE
DOES NOT BELIEVE IT MISSTEPPED IN CREATING THE FOUR DIOCESES
THAT THE GOR CLAIMS TRIGGERED THE RECENT RASH OF VISA
REFUSALS/EXPULSIONS OF CATHOLIC CLERGY. THEY MAINTAIN THAT
ESTABLISHING THE DIOCESES WAS A NORMAL AND LONG OVERDUE
RESPONSE TO AN ABNORMAL SITUATION FOR THE CATHOLIC FAITHFUL
IN RUSSIA. BALESTRERO DID CONCEDE THAT MANY IN RUSSIA
UNFORTUNATELY DID NOT UNDERSTAND JUST HOW ROUTINE AN ACT THE
UPGRADING WAS. HE SPECULATED THAT SOME LOCAL RUSSIAN
ORTHODOX CLERGY MAY HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN TO LOCAL GOR
OFFICIALS BASED ON A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE MOVE, AND THAT
THOSE CONCERNS COULD HAVE BEEN PASSED UP TO CENTRAL
AUTHORITIES. IN THE HOLY SEE'S VIEW THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX
CLERGY AND SOME IN THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT WERE LOOKING FOR AN
EXCUSE TO SUPPRESS THE CATHOLIC CLERGY, AND GOT IT WHEN THE
HOLY SEE UPGRADED THE APOSTOLIC ADMINISTRATIONS TO DIOCESES.
HE BELIEVED THAT IF THE HOLY SEE HADN'T MADE THE DIOCESAN
DECISION, SOMETHING ELSE WOULD HAVE SERVED AS THE OCCASION
FOR THE ACTIONS. AT THE END OF THE DAY, HE STRESSED, THE
VISAS AND ENTRY PERMITS WERE REFUSED BY CIVIL, NOT CHURCH
AUTHORITIES, IN VIOLATION OF RUSSIA'S SOLEMN INTERNATIONAL
COMMITMENTS.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 VATICA 04742 01 OF 02 011200Z


4. (SBU) COMMENT: THERE ARE VERY FEW APOSTOLIC
ADMINISTRATIONS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. MOST ARE IN PLACES
LIKE PRIZREN IN KOSOVO, OR THE CORMOROS. ALL OF THEM ARE
SEEN TO BE TEMPORARY MEASURES UNTIL THE MORE NORMAL CONDITION
OF A DIOCESE IS ESTABLISHED. THE CREATION OF A DIOCESE
ESSENTIALLY GIVES ITS BISHOP MORE AUTONOMY FOR THE DAY-TO-DAY
RUNNING OF CHURCH AFFAIRS. THE HOLY SEE UNDERTOOK NUMEROUS
MEASURES TO ALLEVIATE ANY HEARTBURN BY THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX
CHURCH WHEN CREATING THESE DIOCESES AFTER MORE THAN A DECADE
OF APOSTOLIC ADMINISTRATION. FOR EXAMPLE, THEY AVOIDED
NAMING THEM FOR THEIR SEES, AS IN &MOSCOW,8 SO THAT THERE
WOULD NOT BE A CATHOLIC BISHOP OF MOSCOW AT THE SAME TIME AS
THERE WAS AN ORTHODOX BISHOP OF MOSCOW. AND IN SAKHALIN,
THEY NAMED A POLE, BISHOP MAZUR, INSTEAD OF THE JAPANESE,
BISHOP PETER JINUSHI, PRECISELY TO AVOID ANY IMPLICATION THAT
THE HOLY SEE SUPPORTS THE RETURN OF SOUTHERN SAKHALIN TO
JAPAN. NEVERTHELESS, THE HOLY SEE FEELS STRONGLY THAT THE
CHURCH HAS TO TAKE CARE OF ITS OWN BUSINESS IN RUSSIA AS
ELSEWHERE, AND CANNOT SACRIFICE ITS PASTORAL REQUIREMENTS
INDEFINITELY TO PLACATE THE UNFOUNDED FEARS OF THE RUSSIAN
ORTHODOX CHURCH.


5. (SBU) COMMENT CONTINUED: WHILE THE HOLY SEE IS WILLING
TO TAKE AN INDIRECT APPROACH AT THE OSCE TO ADVANCE THE CAUSE

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ4712

PAGE 01 VATICA 04742 02 OF 02 011200Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EB-00 ED-01 FBIE-00 VC-00 HHS-01 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SCT-00 SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 IIP-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00
SAS-00 /011W
-------------- EF8DC5 011200Z /38
O 011128Z OCT 02
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 004742

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), EUR/RUS, DRL/IRF

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2007
TAGS: PGOV PREL KIRF SOCI PL RS PREL KIRF SOCI PL RS VT VTPGOV
SUBJECT: HOLY SEE TO TAKE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CONCERNS TO
OSCE: STRATEGY FOR RUSSIAN VISA RELIEF

OF ITS CLERGY, IT DOES REGARD RUSSIAN ACTIONS AS AN
INCREASINGLY SERIOUS INFRINGEMENT ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.
GIVEN THE CENTRAL ROLE THAT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM HAS PLAYED IN
JOHN PAUL II'S PONTIFICATE, THE HOLY SEE CAN BE EXPECTED TO
CONTINUE TO PRESS ITS CASE ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM GROUNDS UNTIL
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 04742 02 OF 02 011200Z
IT ACHIEVES A BETTER ACCOMMODATION WITH RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES.

NICHOLSON

CONFIDENTIAL

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2002VATICA04742 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL