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Cablegate: Vatican - "Views From the Hill"

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 001615

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE), EUR/SE, EAP/K, NEA/IAI,

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 VATICA 01615 01 OF 02 231320Z
EUR/PD/PA, AF/E, AF/W, AF/S, DRL/IRF

FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 48/01

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM SOCI IS GR KN KS PHUM SOCI IS GR KN KS VT MEPP VTPREL MEPP
SUBJECT: VATICAN - "VIEWS FROM THE HILL"


1. (U) THE MARCH 17 - 23 EDITION OF NEWS AND VIEWS FROM
VATICAN CITY.

CONTENTS:

- SOUTH KOREAN ARCHBISHOP LIKES POTUS RECIPE FOR KOREA
- VATICAN OFFICIAL CONFIRMS PAPAL VISIT TO ATHENS
- PAPAL SUPPORT FOR ARAB CHRISTIANS
- VATICAN ADMITS NUNS SEXUALLY ABUSED BY PRIESTS

--------------------------------------------- -----
SOUTH KOREAN ARCHBISHOP LIKES BUSH POLICY ON KOREA
--------------------------------------------- -----

2. (U) SEOUL'S CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP NICHOLAS CHEONG JIN-SUK
HAS DECLARED PRESIDENT BUSH'S POLICIES TOWARDS NORTH KOREA
"VERY PRUDENT." IN A VATICAN CITY INTERVIEW WITH MISSIONARY
NEWS AGENCY "FIDES," THE ARCHBISHOP WAS ASKED WHETHER THE
BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S POLICIES WOULD HAMPER NORTH/SOUTH
KOREA CONTACT. CHEONG REPLIED, "THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT'S
POLICIES DO NOT AFFECT OUR (THE CATHOLIC CHURCH) WORK. OUR
PRESIDENT, KIM DAE-JUNG IS, PERHAPS, A LITTLE OVER
ENTHUSIASTIC. PRESIDENT BUSH IS VERY PRUDENT." WHEN ASKED
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 VATICA 01615 01 OF 02 231320Z
ABOUT RUMORS THAT HE HAD BEEN INVITED TO TRAVEL TO PYONGYANG
TO PREPARE FOR AN EVENTUAL PAPAL VISIT, THE ARCHBISHOP
AFFIRMED THAT HE HAD RECEIVED A VERBAL INVITATION ONLY.
(NOTE: ARCHBISHOP CHEONG IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE
ECCLESIASTICAL ADMINISTRATION OF PYONGYANG IN THE ABSENCE OF
A NORTH KOREAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY. END NOTE).

-------------------------------
POPE TO TRAVEL TO ATHENS IN MAY
-------------------------------
3. (U) POPE JOHN PAUL II WILL MAKE A PILGRIMAGE TO ATHENS,
GREECE ON MAY 4 AND 5. VATICAN SUBSTITUTE SECRETARY OF STATE
(INTERIOR MINISTER EQUIVALENT) ARCHBISHOP LEONARDO SANDRI
ANNOUNCED THE DATES AFTER A MARCH 20 MEETING IN ATHENS WITH
THE HEAD OF THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH THERE. THE POPE'S STOP
IN THE GREEK CAPITAL WILL BE THE FIRST ON A PILGRIMAGE THAT
WILL ALSO TAKE HIM TO DAMASCUS, SYRIA AND MALTA. THE
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE FOR ATHENS CALLS FOR THE POPE TO BE
GREETED AT THE AIRPORT BY STATE AND ORTHODOX CHURCH
AUTHORITIES. HE WILL MAKE A VISIT TO THE SITE OF THE ANCIENT
AREOPAGUS, WHERE SAINT PAUL WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE PREACHED TO
THE ATHENIANS, AND THEN MEET ORTHODOX LEADER ARCHBISHOP
CHRISTODOLOS AND GREECE'S PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
PAPAL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR ARAB CHRISTIANS: MEPP
--------------------------------------------- ---------

4. (U) POPE JOHN PAUL II HAS CALLED FOR AN IMMEDIATE
RESUMPTION OF NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN PALESTINIAN AND ARAB
LEADERS. AS HE MET WITH A GROUP OF BISHOPS FROM ARAB
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 VATICA 01615 01 OF 02 231320Z
COUNTRIES, THE PONTIFF SAID THE "TRAGIC" EVENTS OF RECENT
DAYS HAD "TESTED" HIS HOPES FOR PEACE IN THE REGION. HE
URGED THE BISHOPS TO DO ALL THEY CAN TO KEEP CATHOLICS FROM
LEAVING THE REGION. HE PARTICULARLY STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE
OF MAINTAINING A CHRISTIAN PRESENCE IN JERUSALEM AND
DESCRIBED DIALOGUE WITH JEWS AND MOSLEMS AS AN URGENT AND
NECESSARY TASK. IN HIS CONCLUDING REMARKS, THE POPE
MENTIONED SO-CALLED TRAGIC SITUATIONS IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES
IN THE REGION INCLUDING IRAQ WHERE "THE EMBARGO CONTINUES TO
CLAIM VICTIMS." HE SAID TOO MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE WERE PAYING
THE CONSEQUENCES FOR AN "ILL-FATED" WAR, WHOSE EFFECTS
CONTINUE TO FALL ON THE WEAKEST AND THE DEFENSELESS. THE
POPE ALSO CALLED ON ARAB STATES IN NORTH AFRICA TO SHOW
HOSPITALITY TOWARD REFUGEES FLEEING THE CIVIL WAR AND FAMINE
IN SUDAN.

--------------------------------------------
VATICAN ACKNOWLEDGES SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIESTS
--------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) IN A RARE STATEMENT ACKNOWLEDGING FAULT, VATICAN
SPOKESMAN JOAQUIN NAVARRO-VALLS SAID MARCH 20 THAT THERE WAS
A PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF NUNS BY PRIESTS IN SOME
MISSIONARY TERRITORIES. HE SAID THE VATICAN WAS WORKING TO
CORRECT THE SITUATION. THE STATEMENT WAS IN RESPONSE TO A
MARCH 16 ARTICLE IN U.S. CATHOLIC WEEKLY, NATIONAL CATHOLIC
REPORTER THAT CITED FOUR REPORTS BY SENIOR MEMBERS OF
WOMEN'S RELIGIOUS ORDERS ASSERTING THAT SEXUAL ABUSE OF NUNS
BY PRIESTS, INCLUDING RAPE, WAS A SERIOUS PROBLEM,

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 05 VATICA 01615 01 OF 02 231320Z

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO7054

PAGE 01 VATICA 01615 02 OF 02 231320Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 ACQ-00 CA-02 CIAE-00 USNW-00
DODE-00 DOEE-00 DS-00 EAP-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00
H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 VCE-00 M-00
AC-01 NEA-00 NSAE-00 OCS-03 OES-01 OIC-02 PA-00
PM-00 ACE-00 P-00 SCT-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00
SS-00 TEST-00 T-00 USIE-00 R-00 SNIS-00 NISC-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /012W
------------------D63E4F 231330Z /38
R 231328Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0000
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 001615

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE), EUR/SE, EAP/K, NEA/IAI,

EUR/PD/PA, AF/E, AF/W, AF/S, DRL/IRF

FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 48/01
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 VATICA 01615 02 OF 02 231320Z

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM SOCI IS GR KN KS PHUM SOCI IS GR KN KS VT MEPP VTPREL MEPP
SUBJECT: VATICAN - "VIEWS FROM THE HILL"

ESPECIALLY IN AFRICA. ONE OF THE AUTHORS TOLD A VATICAN CITY
NEWS AGENCY THAT SHE WAS VERY PLEASED THE VATICAN HAD ISSUED
ITS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. (COMMENT: THE VATICAN HAS BECOME
INCREASINGLY SENSITIZED TO INCIDENTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY
CLERGY, PARTICULARLY IN COUNTRIES LIKE THE US, AUSTRALIA AND
ENGLAND. WE EXPECT THE REPORTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIESTS IN
MISSIONARY TERRITORIES TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY AND DEALT WITH
PROFESSIONALLY. END COMMENT). MERANTE

UNCLASSIFIED

>

2001VATICA01615 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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