Search

 

Cablegate: Ambassador's Courtesy Call On the Cardinal

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

170740Z May 02

2002HANOI01256 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ5636

PAGE 01 HANOI 01256 01 OF 02 170746Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00
EUR-00 UTED-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00
NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OPIC-01 PER-00 PRS-00 P-00
SP-00 SS-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PRM-00
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /006W
------------------AFCF91 170746Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6493
INFO AMEMBASSY VATICAN
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
AMEMBASSY ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 001256

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV AND DRL/RF

DEPARTMENT PASS TO USCIRF
ROME FOR EMBASSY VATICAN

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: NA
TAGS: PHUM KIRF VM RELFREE HUMANR
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S COURTESY CALL ON THE CARDINAL


UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 01256 01 OF 02 170746Z
REF: A. 01 HANOI 2517 B. 01 HANOI 2949

1. (U) SUMMARY: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN VIETNAM HAS SEEN A
NUMBER OF IMPROVEMENTS IN THE LAST TEN YEARS, BUT IS SEEKING
MORE, ACCORDING TO CARDINAL TUNG, ARCHBISHOP OF HANOI. THE
GVN HAS MADE IT EASIER FOR THE CHURCH TO RECRUIT AND TRAIN
NEW PRIESTS AND TRANSFER PRIESTS FROM PLACE TO PLACE, BUT
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH STILL NEEDS MANY MORE PRIESTS. SOME OF
THE CHURCH'S CURRENT PROBLEMS ARE WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES,
NOT NATIONAL. ACCORDING TO THE CARDINAL, THE GVN RECOGNIZED
THAT RELIGION WAS A BASIC NEED OF THE PEOPLE AND THAT THERE
WERE FEWER SOCIAL PROBLEMS IN AREAS WITH MANY RELIGIOUS
BELIEVERS. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) THE AMBASSADOR, TOGETHER WITH DCM AND EMBOFFS,
MADE HIS FIRST CALL ON PAUL JOSEPH CARDINAL PHAM DINH TUNG,
ALSO ARCHBISHOP OF HANOI, AT THE ARCHBISHOP'S HOUSE IN HANOI
ON MAY 15. (NOTE: THIS IS THE FIRST TIME CARDINAL TUNG HAS
MET EMBOFFS SINCE OCTOBER 1, 2001 -- REF A -- APPARENTLY DUE
TO HEALTH REASONS. END NOTE) WHILE ACKNOWLEDGING PROGRESS
IN RECENT YEARS, THE CARDINAL SAID THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
WANTS MANY MORE IMPROVEMENTS IN ITS SITUATION. WHILE THE
CHURCH DESIRES MORE PRIESTS, CARDINAL TUNG HIGHLIGHTED THAT
THERE ARE NOW ALMOST 3000 PRIESTS IN VIETNAM, WHICH HE
DESCRIBED AS "A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE." THE CARDINAL ALSO
STATED THAT IT IS NOW EASIER TO TRANSFER PRIESTS, EVEN
BETWEEN REGIONS, AND THAT IT HAS BECOME EASIER TO RECRUIT
SEMINARIANS. HOWEVER, THE CHURCH IS LOOKING FOR ADDITIONAL
IMPROVEMENTS ON ALL OF THESE ISSUES. MANY MORE PRIESTS ARE
NEEDED, THE CARDINAL EMPHASIZED, AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
WOULD LIKE TO BRING IN NEW SEMINARIANS EVERY YEAR, RATHER
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 01256 01 OF 02 170746Z
THAN EVERY OTHER YEAR AS THE GVN CURRENTLY ALLOWS. (NOTE:
OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS THE PACE OF SEMINARY ADMISSIONS HAS
QUICKENED FROM ONCE IN FIVE YEARS, TO THREE YEARS, TO THE
CURRENT TWO YEARS. END NOTE.) MORE PRIESTS ARE NEEDED NOT
JUST TO SAY MASS, BUT ALSO TO CARRY OUT SOCIAL
RESPONSIBILITIES AND PUBLISH JOURNALS, AMONG OTHER DUTIES,
THE CARDINAL ADDED.

3. (SBU) THE CARDINAL STATED THAT THE NUMBER OF CATHOLIC
BELIEVERS HAS INCREASED SUBSTANTIALLY OVER THE LAST SEVERAL
YEARS, BUT THAT THE NUMBER WAS INCREASING MORE SLOWLY AMONG
THE YOUTH. (NOTE: THE NUMBER OF VIETNAMESE CATHOLICS IS
GENERALLY THOUGHT TO BE IN EXCESS OF SIX MILLION. END
NOTE.) HE ATTRIBUTED THE INCREASE TO: MARRIAGE INTO THE
CHURCH; INDIVIDUALS SEARCHING FOR "DIVINE TRUTH"; AND,
FRIENDSHIP. THE ATTITUDE OF "INTELLECTUALS" TOWARDS THE
CHURCH HAS ALSO IMPROVED, CARDINAL TUNG CLAIMED. THE CHURCH
HAS BEEN ABLE TO SUPPORT THE INCREASING NUMBER OF BELIEVERS
THROUGH CATECHISM, HE SAID, AND ALSO BECAUSE THE GVN HAS
ALLOWED THE CHURCH TO PRINT AND DISSEMINATE INFORMATION MORE
WIDELY.

4. (SBU) THE AMBASSADOR NOTED THAT THERE ARE CONSTRAINTS
ON RELIGION IN VIETNAM, BUT THAT INDIVIDUALS ARE GENERALLY
ABLE TO WORSHIP FREELY, WITH PAGODAS, CHURCHES, AND
TRADITIONAL TEMPLES FILLED WITH PEOPLE. THE CARDINAL
REMARKED THAT THE VIETNAMESE ARE A SPIRITUAL PEOPLE, A
CHARACTERISTIC THAT GIVES CATHOLICS CONFIDENCE TO SPREAD
THEIR BELIEF. HE STATED THAT THE TRADITION OF PAYING
RESPECT TO ONE'S ANCESTORS WAS IMPORTANT IN CREATING FAITH-
BASED THINKING. IN RESPONSE TO THE AMBASSADOR'S QUESTION,
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 01256 01 OF 02 170746Z
THE CARDINAL ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ACCEPTED
TRADITIONAL VIETNAMESE FOLK PRACTICES SUCH AS PAYING RESPECT
TO ANCESTORS. THE CHURCH ALSO HAS WORKING LEVEL CONTACTS
WITH OTHER LEGALLY RECOGNIZED RELIGIONS, FOR INSTANCE
COOPERATING WITH PROTESTANTS TO PRINT BIBLES.

5. (SBU) ACCORDING TO THE CARDINAL, THE GVN, OVER THE LAST
TEN YEARS, HAS DEVELOPED A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE
CHURCH'S POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON SOCIAL ISSUES. HE CITED THE
CHURCH'S ROLE IN POVERTY AND HUNGER REDUCTION AS WELL AS
FIGHTING SOCIAL VICES. HE SAID THAT GVN OFFICIALS HAD TOLD
HIM THAT THEY HAD NOTICED LESS CRIME IN AREAS WITH MANY
RELIGIOUS BELIEVERS.

6. (SBU) SOME OF THE REMAINING PROBLEMS THE CARDINAL
BROUGHT UP ARE WITH SOME LOCAL, NOT NATIONAL, AUTHORITIES.
IT IS EASIER FOR THE CHURCH TO CARRY OUT SOCIAL SERVICES IN
SOUTHERN VIETNAM, HE NOTED. WHILE MANY WOMEN HAD BECOME
NUNS IN RECENT YEARS, THEY FACED "PROBLEMS" IN OTHER PLACES,
HE ADMITTED. (NOTE: BY LAW, PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE
CHAIRMEN AUTHORIZE ENTRY INTO RELIGIOUS ORDERS. REF B
DESCRIBES THE PROBLEMS OF WOULD-BE NUNS IN DANANG. END

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ5635

PAGE 01 HANOI 01256 02 OF 02 170746Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00
EUR-00 UTED-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00
NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OPIC-01 PER-00 PRS-00 P-00
SP-00 SS-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PRM-00
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /006W
------------------AFCF94 170746Z /38
R 170740Z MAY 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6494
INFO AMEMBASSY VATICAN
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
AMEMBASSY ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HANOI 001256

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV AND DRL/RF

DEPARTMENT PASS TO USCIRF
ROME FOR EMBASSY VATICAN

SENSITIVE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 01256 02 OF 02 170746Z
NOTE.)

7. (SBU) REGARDING VATICAN RELATIONS, THE CARDINAL (WHO
SPENT SEVERAL WEEKS IN ROME WITH SEVERAL OTHER VIETNAMESE
BISHOPS EARLIER THIS YEAR) SAID THAT THE POPE TOLD THEM THAT
MANY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S ISSUES IN VIETNAM WOULD BE
SOLVED THROUGH "DIALOGUE." THE CARDINAL SAID THAT HE HAD
APPLIED TO THE GVN FOR A PAPAL VISIT THREE OR FOUR YEARS
AGO, BUT THE GVN HAD REPLIED THAT IT NEEDED MORE TIME "TO
PREPARE PROPERLY FOR THE VISIT OF SUCH AN IMPORTANT
INTERNATIONAL FIGURE." THERE ARE STILL NO FORMAL RELATIONS
BETWEEN THE VATICAN AND THE GVN. (HIS AIDES SUBSEQUENTLY
POINTED TO THE SITE OF THE ONE-TIME RESIDENCE OF THE PAPAL
NUNCIO, ADJACENT TO THE ARCHBISHOP'S HOUSE; THE RESIDENCE
HAS BEEN TORN DOWN, THE SITE EXPROPRIATED, AND PLANS
DEVELOPED TO BUILD AN ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX, THEY CLAIMED.)
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>