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02VATICAN5753 2002-11-27 13:53:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Vatican
Cable title:  

THE HOLY SEE AND THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION:

Tags:   PHUM PREL PINS EU PGOV VT 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 VATICAN 005753 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI); EUR/SE; EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PINS EU PGOV PREL PINS EU PGOV PREL PINS EU PGOV VT VTPHUM VTPHUM
SUBJECT: THE HOLY SEE AND THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION:


COUNTERING SECULARISM, NOT TURKEY'S EUROPEAN AMBITIONS

REF: A) VATICAN 0180, B) PARIS 8042

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SUMMARY
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PAGE 02 VATICA 05753 01 OF 03 271518Z
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1. (SBU) ALTHOUGH THE HOLY SEE IS PRESSING HARD FOR THE
EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION TO RECOGNIZE THE CONTINENT'S CHRISTIAN
HERITAGE, THIS DRIVE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO SUGGEST HOLY
SEE OPPOSITION TO TURKEY'S EU MEMBERSHIP. ON THE CONTRARY,
THIS EFFORT PREDATES THE CURRENT DEBATE OVER TURKEY, AND THE
HOLY SEE SPECIFICALLY FAVORS CONSTITUTIONAL LANGUAGE THAT
WOULD ENSURE FREEDOM OF WORSHIP TO ALL FAITHS. IN PUSHING
FOR A "CHRISTIAN HERITAGE" REFERENCE AND OTHER PROVISIONS
RELATING TO RELIGION, THE HOLY SEE IS SEEKING A FOUNDATION
ON WHICH TO COUNTER THE INCREASINGLY DOMINANT SECULARISM
WITHIN EUROPE AND TO REINVIGORATE THE ROLE OF RELIGION IN
EUROPEAN CULTURE. THE HOLY SEE IN NO WAY SEEKS TO EXCLUDE
OTHER FAITHS OR PHILOSOPHIES, AND HAS TOLD US DIRECTLY THEY
HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH A PREDOMINANTLY ISLAMIC STATE SUCH AS
TURKEY BEING A MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION -- A DECISION IN
WHICH THEY HAVE NO DIRECT ROLE. END SUMMARY.



--------------------------


EUROPE'S CHRISTIAN ROOTS IN ARID SOIL


--------------------------





2. (U) THE HOLY SEE IS PRESSING EUROPEANS HARD TO ENSURE
THAT THE PROPOSED EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION INCLUDES A REFERENCE
TO THE CONTINENT'S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE, WHILE AT THE SAME
TIME MAKING CLEAR THAT JURIDICAL PROVISION SHOULD BE MADE TO
PROTECT ALL RELIGIOUS FAITHS. FROM THE POPE ON DOWN, THE
HOLY SEE HAS BEEN LOBBYING EUROPEAN POLICY MAKERS ACTIVELY
IN RECENT MONTHS. ACCORDING TO THE POPE, "CHRISTIANITY IS A
CENTRAL AND INHERENT ELEMENT" OF THE EUROPEAN IDENTITY, AND
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PAGE 03 VATICA 05753 01 OF 03 271518Z
"THE CHRISTIAN FAITH FORMED THE CULTURE OF THE CONTINENT."
FRAMING THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THE HOLY SEE'S CURRENT FOCUS
ON THE EU CONSTITUTION, THE POPE TOLD THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
IN HIS ANNUAL ADDRESS LAST JANUARY (REF A) THAT "THE
MARGINALIZATION OF RELIGIONS, WHICH HAVE CONTRIBUTED AND
CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CULTURE AND HUMANITY OF WHICH
EUROPE IS LEGITIMATELY PROUD, STRIKES ME BOTH AS AN
INJUSTICE AND AN ERROR IN PERSPECTIVE." REFERRING TO THE
HOLY SEE'S DESIRE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION, HE ADDED:
"TO RECOGNIZE AN INDISPUTABLE HISTORICAL FACT IN NO WAY
MEANS TO DISREGARD THE MODERN DEMAND OF STATES TO HAVE AN
APPROPRIATE NON-CONFESSIONAL CHARACTER."



3. (U) THIS FALL, THE HOLY SEE HAS INTENSIFIED ITS OUTREACH
TO EU COUNTRIES WHEN IT CALLED IN ALL EUROPEAN AMBASSADORS
TO OUTLINE ITS PRIORITIES FOR THE FINAL CONSTITUTION. THESE
PRIORITIES ENCOMPASS REFERENCES TO FIVE FUNDAMENTAL VALUES:
CENTRALITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON, RELIGIOUS LIBERTY,
SOLIDARITY (THE SEARCH FOR THE COMMON GOOD), SUBSIDIARITY
AND PARTICIPATION, AND THE SHARING OF RESPONSIBILITY BETWEEN
THE CHURCHES AND THE EU.



4. (U) IN ADDITION, THE HOLY SEE IS ALSO SEEKING JURIDICAL
RECOGNITION OF THE CHURCHES AND RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES WITHIN
THE CONSTITUTION. THEY NOTE THAT RELIGION, CHURCHES, AND
RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY EU LEGISLATION
FOR DECADES, BUT THAT THERE ARE NO REFERENCES TO RELIGIONS
IN THE TREATY PROVISIONS OR ANNEXED PROTOCOLS. THEY POINT
OUT THAT ISSUES SUCH AS NON-DISCRIMINATION, LABOR LAW, DATA
PROTECTION, CULTURE, MEDIA LAW, CUSTOMS, FINANCES AND OTHER
AREAS ALL IMPACT ON THE CHURCH, AND THAT THE ABSENCE OF
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PAGE 04 VATICA 05753 01 OF 03 271518Z
JURIDICAL REFERENCES TO THEM WOULD CONSTITUTE A SERIOUS
VACUUM. CONSEQUENTLY, THE HOLY SEE IS SEEKING THROUGH THE
COMMISSION OF EPISCOPATES OF THE EU A PROVISION ASSURING THE
RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION OF CHURCHES AND RELIGIOUS
COMMUNITIES IN THEIR TEACHING AND ORGANIZATION. THEY DO NOT
BELIEVE THAT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OR CORPORATIVE SELF-
DETERMINATION IS GUARANTEED BY ARTICLE 10 OF THE CHARTER OF
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EU OR ARTICLE 9 OF THE EUROPEAN
CONVENTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. FINALLY, THE HOLY SEE WOULD
LIKE TO INCLUDE A PROVISION FOR CIVIL SOCIETY DIALOGUE AND
CONSULTATION SPECIFICALLY RELATING TO THE ROLE OF CHURCHES
AND RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES.



5. (U) HAVING OUTLINED ITS GOALS, THE POPE HAS USED EVERY
OPPORTUNITY THIS FALL TO PRESS HIS CASE. IN HIS MEETINGS
WITH EU AMBASSADOR'S HE HAS REPEATED HIS INSISTENCE THAT
EUROPE MUST BE FOUNDED ON "COMMON VALUES, TAKING INTO
ACCOUNT THE CHRISTIAN ROOTS OF THE DIFFERENT PEOPLE" WHO
LIVE ON THE CONTINENT. LIKEWISE, THE POPE'S MEETING WITH
PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION, VALERIE GISCARD
D'ESTAING, FOCUSED ON THE CONCERNS OF EUROPE'S CHRISTIAN
MAJORITY "TO SEE THEIR IDENTITY AND THEIR SPECIFIC
CONTRIBUTION TO THE LIFE OF EUROPEAN SOCIETY RESPECTED" AND
TO HAVE THE STATUS THEY ENJOY IN CERTAIN NATIONAL

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ8542

PAGE 01 VATICA 05753 02 OF 03 271520Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
DS-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 LAB-01
VCE-00 NSAE-00 PER-00 TEST-00 EPAE-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00
DRL-02 SAS-00 /003W


--------------------------

0F8011 271658Z /38
R 271353Z NOV 02
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 03 VATICAN 005753

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI); EUR/SE; EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PINS EU PGOV PREL PINS EU PGOV PREL PINS EU PGOV VT VTPHUM VTPHUM
SUBJECT: THE HOLY SEE AND THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION:

COUNTERING SECULARISM, NOT TURKEY'S EUROPEAN AMBITIONS

CONSTITUTIONS REFLECTED IN THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION. MOST
RECENTLY, IN THE FIRST EVER PAPAL ADDRESS TO BOTH HOUSES OF
THE ITALIAN PARLIAMENT NOVEMBER 14, JOHN PAUL II CALLED FOR
EUROPE TO "OPEN ONCE AGAIN YOUR DOORS TO CHRIST." WHILE
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PAGE 02 VATICA 05753 02 OF 03 271520Z
STRESSING THE CONTINENT'S RELIGIOUS PATRIMONY (READ
CHRISTIANITY), WHICH HAS "GIVEN EUROPE ITS GREATNESS DOWN
THE CENTURIES," THE PONTIFF ALSO SUPPORTED PROVIDING ROOM
FOR THE "RICHNESS AND DIVERSITY OF THE CULTURES AND
TRADITIONS WHICH CHARACTERIZE INDIVIDUAL NATIONS (I.E. OTHER
RELIGIONS)."



--------------------------


CHRISTIAN HERITAGE AS SEEN FROM THE CURIA


--------------------------





6. (SBU) VATICAN DIRECTOR FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS MSGR. ETTORE
BALESTRERO EXPANDED ON THE HOLY SEE'S VIEWS IN A NOVEMBER 18
MEETING WITH POLOFF. BALESTRERO ESTIMATED THAT ON A
CONTINENT OF ROUGHLY 700 MILLION PEOPLE, ABOUT 500 MILLION
WERE CHRISTIAN. (NOTE: THE VATICAN'S STATISTICAL YEARBOOK OF
THE CHURCH COUNTS 702 MILLION POPULATION IN EUROPE WHICH
INCLUDES ALL OF THE OSCE COUNTRIES EXCEPT THE U.S., CANADA
AND TURKEY. END NOTE.) FURTHERMORE, BALESTRERO RECALLED,
CHRISTIANITY, UNLIKE OTHER FAITHS, WAS THE COMMON ELEMENT
THAT BOUND THE CLASSIC EUROPEAN CIVILIZATIONS OF GREECE AND
ROME TO MODERN EUROPE. IT WAS CHRISTIAN MONKS WHO HAD
PRESERVED EUROPE'S KNOWLEDGE, AND JUDEO-CHRISTIAN ETHICS
THAT INFORM MODERN NOTIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE. THE
HOLY SEE WAS SIMPLY SEEKING TO ENSURE THAT EUROPE'S
CONSTITUTION RECOGNIZES THIS "REALITY" -- BUT WITHOUT ANY
NORMATIVE OR OPERATIONAL CONSEQUENCES. BALESTRERO SAID THE
HOLY SEE STILL SUPPORTS LANGUAGE IN A EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION
GUARANTEEING FREEDOM OF RELIGION, WITH IMPLEMENTATION
DEVOLVED TO THE NATION-STATES ACCORDING TO THE PRINCIPLE OF
SUBSIDIARITY. THE PRACTICAL EFFECT OF THIS, HE ADMITTED,
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PAGE 03 VATICA 05753 02 OF 03 271520Z
WOULD BE TO ENSHRINE THE PRIVILEGES AND RIGHTS OF THE
CATHOLIC CHURCH IN COUNTRIES WHERE CONCORDATS PROVIDE FOR
THEM, AND ALSO FOR THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN COUNTRIES WHERE IT
PREDOMINATES.



7. (SBU) BALESTRERO ALSO NOTED A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE
HOLY SEE'S ROLE IN THIS DEBATE: THE IDEA FOR LANGUAGE IN
THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION ACKNOWLEDGING CHRISTIANITY WAS
DEVELOPED BY A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN CHURCHES
(CEC - A PROTESTANT GROUP). ONLY LATER DID THE HOLY SEE
(AND GREEK ORTHODOX) JOIN THEIR VOICES TO IT. THE HOLY SEE,
BALESTRERO CONTINUED, VIEWS THIS LANGUAGE AS ENHANCING THE
IMPORTANCE OF ALL RELIGIONS IN EUROPE'S DAILY LIFE.



--------------------------


A CHRISTIAN HERITAGE BUT ROOM FOR ALL


--------------------------





8. (SBU) CHALLENGED ON THE UNDENIABLE CONTRIBUTION TO
EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION FROM A JEWISH PRESENCE THAT PREDATES
THE CHRISTIAN ONE, AND THE HALF-MILLENNIUM LONG ISLAMIC
CONTROL OF IBERIA AND THE BALKANS, BALESTRERO SAID THE HOLY
SEE DOES NOT DENY THESE INFLUENCES, THOUGH THEY REGARD THE
CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE AS HISTORICALLY PREDOMINANT. MOREOVER,
THE HOLY SEE IS A CHRISTIAN ENTITY AND IS PUSHING FOR ITS
CHRISTIAN INTERESTS; IT HAS NO OBJECTION TO ANYONE ELSE
SEEKING TO INTERJECT LANGUAGE ON CONTRIBUTIONS FROM OTHER
SOURCES. HE SAID THE HOLY SEE HAD RECENTLY SHARED A TEXT OF
PROPOSED LANGUAGE WITH JEWISH LEADERS, WHO SUPPORTED IT.
MORE RECENTLY, DURING A VATICAN RADIO DISCUSSION ON THE
EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION, EUROPEAN PEOPLES PARTY PRESIDENT,
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PAGE 04 VATICA 05753 02 OF 03 271520Z
WILFRED MARTENS, NOTED THAT THE POPE IS PUSHING FOR LANGUAGE
SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE POLISH CONSTITUTION TO THE EFFECT
THAT JUDEO-CHRISTIAN NOTIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE CAN
BE ARRIVED AT FROM BELIEF IN GOD OR OTHER SOURCES.



9. (U) THE POPE HIMSELF, WHILE AFFIRMING THE IMPORTANCE OF
EUROPEAN COMMUNITY RECOGNITION OF THE CONTINENT'S CHRISTIAN
HERITAGE, CAUTIONED IN A SEPTEMBER 13 ADDRESS THAT THE
DEVELOPMENT OF A COMMON EUROPEAN IDENTITY SHOULD NOT BE USED
AS AN EXCUSE FOR HOSTILITY TOWARDS MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES. HE
ARGUED AGAINST ANY TENDENCY TOWARD "ISOLATION FROM THE REST
OF THE WORLD."



--------------------------


ALSO ROOM FOR TURKEY


--------------------------





10. (SBU) WHEN QUESTIONED ABOUT THE PLACE OF TURKEY IN A
NEW EUROPE AND THE FALLOUT FROM GISCARD D'ESTAING'S MEETING
WITH THE POPE (RFTEL B), BALESTRERO SAID GISCARD
D'ESTAING'S VIES WERE NOT THOSE OF THE HOLY SEE. THE HOLY
SEE HS NO OBJECTION TO TURKISH MEMBERSHIP IN THE EU, BU
HAS NO ROLE IN DECIDING THAT MEMBERSHIP. ACCORING TO
BALESTRERO, THE HOLY SEE IS PLEASED WITH HE RESULTS OF THE

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ8544

PAGE 01 VATICA 05753 03 OF 03 271520Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
DS-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 LAB-01
VCE-00 NSAE-00 TEST-00 EPAE-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02
SAS-00 /003W


--------------------------

0F8019 271658Z /38
R 271353Z NOV 02
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 03 VATICAN 005753

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI); EUR/SE; EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PINS EU PGOV PREL PINS EU PGOV PREL PINS EU PGOV VT VTPHUM VTPHUM
SUBJECT: THE HOLY SEE AND THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION:

COUNTERING SECULARISM, NOT TURKEY'S EUROPEAN AMBITIONS

RECENT TURKISH ELECTIONS, AND VIEWS IN TURKEY A SECULAR
STATE THAT COULD MAKE POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS TO A LARGER EU,
NOT AS AN ISLAMIC THREAT TO EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION.
MOREOVER, THE HOLY SEE SEES TURKEY AS A MODERATE,
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PAGE 02 VATICA 05753 03 OF 03 271520Z
MODERNIZING, SECULAR STATE THAT CAN HELP BRING MODERATION TO
THE ISLAMIC WORLD -- A CURRENT PREOCCUPATION OF THE HOLY
SEE. IN FACT, CARDINAL ACHILLE SILVESTRINI, PREFECT OF THE
CONGREGATION FOR RELATIONS WITH EASTERN CHURCHES, IN AN
INTERVIEW FOLLOWING THE TURKISH ELECTION RESULTS EMPHASIZED
THE IMPORTANCE OF DIALOGUE WITH TURKEY AND CAUTIONED AGAINST
VIEWING ISLAM "PURELY IN ITS AGGRESSIVE AND FUNDAMENTALIST
COMPONENT" RATHER THAN "A RELIGION CAPABLE OF TOLERANCE."



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------





11. (SBU) GISCARD D'ESTAING'S DECISION TO LAUNCH HIS
BROADSIDE AGAINST TURKISH MEMBERSHIP IN THE EU SHORTLY AFTER
HIS MEETING WITH THE POPE HAS UNNECESSARILY LED MANY TO VIEW
THE HOLY SEE AS INVOLVED IN WHAT IS A PURELY EUROPEAN
DOGFIGHT. AT NO TIME IN ANY OF OUR DISCUSSIONS OF THE HOLY
SEE'S LONGSTANDING CONCERNS ABOUT THE SHAPE OF THE FUTURE EU
CONSTITUTION HAS TURKEY'S EU MEMBERSHIP EVER ARISEN. THE
HOLY SEE'S INTERESTS -- BOTH IN IMBEDDING REFERENCES TO KEY
VALUES AND ENSURING JURIDICAL PROTECTIONS -- PREDATE CURRENT
DISCUSSIONS ABOUT TURKEY'S PLACE IN EUROPE. TO BE SURE,
THERE ARE MANY CATHOLIC INTELLECTUALS, SUCH AS ITALIAN
MINISTER FOR EU AFFAIRS, ROCCO BUTTIGLIONE, WHO QUESTION
WHETHER A MUSLIM TURKEY SHARES EUROPE'S VALUE SYSTEM, WHICH
THEY REGARD AS DERIVED FROM JUDEO-CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS. BUT
EVEN BUTTIGLIONE IN A RECENT SPEECH HERE LEFT OPEN THE DOOR
THAT TURKEY COULD OVERCOME THESE DOUBTS BY BETTER PROTECTING
HUMAN RIGHTS AND STRENGTHENING ITS DEMOCRACY. NEVERTHELESS,
THE HOLY SEE REGARDS ITS CHALLENGE NOT AS ONE OF KEEPING THE
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PAGE 03 VATICA 05753 03 OF 03 271520Z
MUSLIM INFLUENCE OUT OF EUROPE, BUT OF REINVIGORATING ITS
CHRISTIAN INFLUENCES. AS THE POPE TOLD THE ITALIAN
PARLIAMENT, HE WANTS TO ENSURE THAT "THE NEW FOUNDATIONS OF
THE EUROPEAN 'COMMON HOUSE' WILL NOT LACK THE 'CEMENT' OF
THAT EXTRAORDINARY RELIGIOUS, CULTURAL AND CIVIL PATRIMONY
WHICH HAS GIVEN EUROPE ITS GREATNESS DOWN THE CENTURIES."

NICHOLSON

F:\POLITICAL SECTION\CABLES\021120 EUROPE CHRISTIANITY.DOC

UNCLASSIFIED

>


2002VATICA05753 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED