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Cablegate: War in Iraq: Pope Seeks Quick End to Conflict,

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 001505

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI); T FOR U/S BOLTON
PARIS PLEASE PASS TO U/S BOLTON

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL IZ IZ VT VTPREL
SUBJECT: WAR IN IRAQ: POPE SEEKS QUICK END TO CONFLICT,
CENTRAL ROLE FOR UN


-------
SUMMARY
-------

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 VATICA 01505 01 OF 02 090534Z
1. SINCE THE OUTBREAK OF WAR IN IRAQ, POPE JOHN PAUL II HAS
MADE PERSISTENT APPEALS FOR PEACE IN IRAQ AND EXPRESSED
CONTINUED CONCERN FOR CIVILIANS AND MEMBERS OF THE ARMED
FORCES CAUGHT UP IN THE FIGHTING. HOWEVER, CONTRARY TO MANY
MEDIA REPORTS, NEITHER THE POPE NOR SENIOR VATICAN OFFICIALS
IN A POSITION TO SPEAK AUTHORITATIVELY FOR THE HOLY SEE HAVE
EXPLICITLY CONDEMNED THE WAR IN IRAQ AS IMMORAL OR ILLEGAL.
THE POPE AND SENIOR HOLY SEE OFFICIALS WILL CONTINUE TO
SPEAK OUT IN FAVOR OF PEACE UNTIL THE WAR ENDS, AND WILL
LIKELY SUPPORT A CENTRAL ROLE FOR THE UN IN THE POST-WAR
RECONSTRUCTION AND GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ AS A MEANS TO RESTORE
"THE RULE OF LAW" IN INTERNATIONAL LIFE. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
OPPOSED TO IRAQ AND WAR AS MEANS OF RESOLVING PROBLEMS
--------------------------------------------- ---------

2. THE VATICAN'S INITIAL REACTION AFTER THE OUTBREAK OF WAR
WAS BALANCED, REGRETTING THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT'S FAILURE TO
COMPLY WITH THE UNSC RESOLUTIONS AND THE ABANDONMENT OF THE
INSPECTION PROCESS. AS VATICAN SPOKESMAN NAVARRO-VALLS
STATED MARCH 20, "THE HOLY SEE HAS LEARNED WITH DEEP PAIN OF
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LATEST EVENTS IN IRAQ. ON THE ONE
HAND, IT IS TO BE REGRETTED THAT THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT DID
NOT ACCEPT THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE
APPEAL OF THE POPE HIMSELF, AS BOTH ASKED THAT THE COUNTRY
DISARM. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT IS TO BE DEPLORED THAT THE
PATH OF NEGOTIATIONS, ACCORDING TO INTERNATIONAL LAW, FOR A
PEACEFUL SOLUTION OF THE IRAQI DRAMA HAS BEEN INTERRUPTED.
A FEW DAYS LATER, HE ELABORATED THE HOLY SEE'S POSITION
OBSERVING: "WHEN WAR, AS IN THESE DAYS IN IRAQ, THREATENS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 VATICA 01505 01 OF 02 090534Z
THE FATE OF HUMANITY, IT IS EVEN MORE URGENT TO PROCLAIM
WITH A DETERMINED VOICE, THAT PEACE ALONE IS THE WAY TO
CONSTRUCT A MORE JUST AND UNITED SOCIETY . . . VIOLENCE AND
ARMS CAN NEVER RESOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF MEN."

3. FOR HIS PART, THE POPE HAS FOCUSED MOST OF HIS PUBLIC
MESSAGES ON PRAYER FOR AN EARLY END TO THE WAR AND CALLS FOR
ALTERNATIVE MEANS TO RESOLVE INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS. FOR
EXAMPLE, IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE WAR'S OUTBREAK,
THE POPE SAID, "RIGHT NOW WE ARE ALL ASKED TO WORK AND PRAY
SO THAT WAR DISAPPEARS FROM THE HORIZON OF HUMANITY." MOST
RECENTLY, ON APRIL 6, HE SAID: "GOD WILLING, MAY THIS
CONFLICT END SOON AND OPEN THE WAY TO A NEW ERA OF
FORGIVENESS, LOVE AND PEACE, " ADDING, "MY THOUGHTS TURN, IN
PARTICULAR, TO IRAQ AND TO ALL WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THE WAR
THAT RAGES THERE. I THINK ESPECIALLY OF THE UNARMED
CIVILIAN POPULATION THAT IS SUBJECTED TO A HARSH TEST IN
VARIOUS CITIES."

---------------------------------------
PUSH FOR FORCE OF LAW OVER LAW OF FORCE
---------------------------------------

4. BEYOND THE VATICAN'S FOCUS ON AN EARLY END TO THE WAR
AND A CONCERN FOR THE HUMAN SUFFERING, THE VATICAN HAS ALSO
BEEN ADVOCATING A RENEWED FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF
INTERNATIONAL LAW AND A RESTORATION OF THE CENTRALITY OF THE
UNITED NATIONS AS THE MEANS TO RESOLVE INTERNATIONAL
CONFLICTS. FOR EXAMPLE, FOREIGN MINISTER JEAN LOUIS TAURAN
IN A MARCH 26 INTERVIEW WITH AN ITALIAN CATHOLIC WEEKLY
ASSERTED: "IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO RECALL THE IMPORTANCE OF
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 VATICA 01505 01 OF 02 090534Z
LETTING THE FORCE OF LAW PREVAIL OVER THE LAW OF FORCE.
THERE ARE TWO THINGS THAT SADDEN ME. FIRST, ABOVE ALL,
DISRESPECT FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW. WE HAVE A JURIDICAL
PATRIMONY THAT IS PARTICULARLY COMPLETE AND REFINED. WE
HAVE EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO RESOLVE DISPUTES AMONG PEOPLES
IN A PEACEFUL WAY. I ASK MYSELF IF ALL THE RESOURCES OF
INTERNATIONAL LAW WERE USED. THE SECOND THING THAT SADDENS
ME IS TO SEE THE INABILITY OF MAN TO DRAW LESSONS FROM
RECENT HISTORY. TO HAVE WEAKENED THE UNITED NATIONS IS A
VERY SERIOUS THING. IT IS THE ONLY MEANS WE HAVE FOR
REGULATED THE LIFE OF NATIONS. IF WE DO NOT FIND A BETTER
WAY, THEN WE NEED TO PROTECT THIS MEANS."

5. THE VATICAN'S PERMANENT OBSERVER AT THE UN, ARCHBISHOP
CELESTINO MIGLIORE REINFORCED THIS CONCERN APRIL 1 WHEN HE
STATED AT THE OPENING OF THE COMMITTEE ON DISARMAMENTS
SESSION IN NEW YORK: "THE WORLD ONCE AGAIN FINDS ITSELF
LISTENING TO THE MOUNTING RUMBLE OF ARMS. WE ARE CONFRONTED
BY TWO OPPOSING PERSPECTIVES: THE FIRST IS BASED ON THE
CONVICTION THAT CONFLICTS CAN BE RESOLVED THROUGH A
DETERMINED AND BROAD-BASED WILLINGNESS TO NEGOTIATE
EFFECTIVELY IN LIGHT OF THE WAYS AND WISDOM OF THE LAW; THE

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ8652

PAGE 01 VATICA 01505 02 OF 02 090534Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00 DS-00 EAP-00
UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 VCE-00 NEA-00
DCP-01 NSAE-00 DHS-00 SSO-00 SS-00 TEST-00 T-00
DSCC-00 PRM-00 G-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /001W
------------------52B8CF 090534Z /38
O 090531Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
ISLAMIC CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE
MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 001505

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI); T FOR U/S BOLTON
PARIS PLEASE PASS TO U/S BOLTON

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL IZ IZ VT VTPREL
SUBJECT: WAR IN IRAQ: POPE SEEKS QUICK END TO CONFLICT,
CENTRAL ROLE FOR UN

SECOND PERSPECTIVE MAINTAINS THAT, IN THE FACE OF ELUSIVE
AND RE-EMERGING THREATS, FORCE IS MORE EFFICACIOUS AND
DIRECT. HOWEVER, THE LATTER APPEARS TO ONLY REDUCE
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN DISARMAMENT RATHER THAN ENHANCE
IT, INDUCING NEGATIVE REPERCUSSIONS ON MULTILATERALISM. A
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 VATICA 01505 02 OF 02 090534Z
CLEAR MESSAGE IN FAVOR OF THE FORCE OF LAW AND NOT THE LAW
OF FORCE SHOULD EMERGE FROM THIS SUBSTANTIVE SESSION.

--------------------------------------------- -----
CONCERN FOR 'CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS" AND TERRORISM
--------------------------------------------- -----

6. THE FINAL CONSISTENT PREOCCUPATION OF THE HOLY SEE IN
THE AFTERMATH OF HOSTILITIES HAS BEEN TO AVOID PERCEPTIONS
IN THE MUSLIM WORLD OF A "CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS" BETWEEN
CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM, THE WEST AND THE ARAB WORLD. THEY
FEAR THAT SUCH PERCEPTIONS, IN TAURAN'S WORDS, "WILL
GENERATE EVERY EXTREMISM POSSIBLE, INCLUDING THAT OF ISLAM.
WE ALL NEED TO BE AWARE OF THIS. IT WILL CAUSE TERRORISM.
AND INFLICT A HUGE WOUND TO THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN
CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM, BECAUSE, UNFORTUNATELY, IN THE
ISLAMIC WORLD THERE'S THE TENDENCY TO IDENTIFY THE WEST WITH
CHRISTIANITY." NAVARRO-VALLS ADDED HIS QUESTIONING TO
TAURAN'S CONCERNS ASKING RHETORICALLY APRIL 2: "THE INCREASE
OF THE NUMBER OF DEATH OF BOTH SIDES POSES A GRAVE MORAL
QUESTION. WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE LARGE NUMBER OF DEAD ON
BOTH SIDES, ALONG WITH THE SUFFERING, DESTRUCTION AND HATE,
WHEN THERE ARE OTHER PEACEFUL MEANS TO RENDER HARMLESS THE
THREAT POSED BY IRAQ?"

-------
COMMENT
-------

7. ALTHOUGH JOURNALISTS AND COMMENTATORS HAVE ATTRIBUTED
ALL MANNER OF POSITIONS ON THE WAR IN IRAQ TO THE POPE, THE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 VATICA 01505 02 OF 02 090534Z
HOLY SEE, AND THE VATICAN, THE POPE AND OFFICIALS AUTHORIZED
TO SPEAK DURING THIS PERIOD HAVE NEVER CONDEMNED THE WAR AS
IMMORAL. THOUGH ITS LEGALITY HAS BEEN QUESTIONED PUBLICLY,
THE POPE HIMSELF HAS NOT SUGGESTED THE WAR IS ILLEGAL.
INDEED, AS SOME COMMENTATORS HAVE NOTED, THE VATICAN DURING
THE KOSOVO CAMPAIGN WAS ACTIVELY TALKING ABOUT THE NEED FOR
HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION, SO THEY WILL PROBABLY AVOID CLEAR-
CUT CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE LEGALITY OF THE WAR. IN GENERAL,
SINCE THE FINAL WEEK BEFORE THE OUTBREAK OF WAR, THE VATICAN
HAS EXERCISED GREATER DISCIPLINE IN PUTTING OUT ITS MESSAGE
THAN PRIOR TO THE WAR. WE EXPECT THIS TO CONTINUE WITH THE
EXCEPTION OF SEMI-OFFICIAL VATICAN SOURCES SUCH AS THE
VATICAN'S NEWSPAPER, OSSERVATORE ROMANO AND VATICAN RADIO --
WHICH CONTINUE TO PROVIDE AN OUTLET FOR STILL STRONG ANTI-
WAR SENTIMENTS. AS THE STORY SHIFTS TO HUMANITARIAN RELIEF
AND INTERNAL REFORM, HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THERE IS
CONSIDERABLE COMMON GROUND TO BUILD A CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE.

NICHOLSON

UNCLASSIFIED

>

2003VATICA01505 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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