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Cablegate: Reinvigorated Pope Welcomes End of War, Condemns

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 001694

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), NEA/NGA, NEA/IAI

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM IS WE IZ PHUM IS WE IZ VT VTPREL
SUBJECT: REINVIGORATED POPE WELCOMES END OF WAR, CONDEMNS
TERRORISM AND RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE IN EASTER MESSAGES

REF: VATICAN 1570

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UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 VATICA 01694 01 OF 02 221342Z
SUMMARY
-------

1. (U) A VIGOROUS POPE JOHN PAUL II PRESIDED OVER THE
VATICAN'S EASTER WEEK SERVICES, USING HIS HOMILIES AND
EASTER MESSAGE TO FOCUS GLOBAL ATTENTION ON THE HOLY SEE'S
TOP INTERNATIONAL CONCERNS: RECONSTRUCTION IN IRAQ, PEACE
IN THE MIDDLE EAST, CONDEMNATION OF TERRORISM AND RELIGIOUS
VIOLENCE, AND THE NEED TO AVOID A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS.
THE POPE ALSO CAUTIONED AGAINST NEGLECTING LESS PROMINENT
CONFLICTS IN AFRICA, ASIA, AND LATIN AMERICA. HIS MESSAGES
REINFORCE THE VATICAN'S FORWARD-LOOKING AGENDA IN THE WAKE
OF THE IRAQ WAR, AND ITS DESIRE TO REFOCUS INTERNATIONAL
ATTENTION ON ITS BROADER AGENDA AFTER MONTHS OF INTENSE
FOCUS ON IRAQ. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------
REBUILDING IRAQ FOR IRAQIS
--------------------------

2. (U) IN HIS EASTER MESSAGE "TO THE CITY AND THE WORLD",
THE POPE EVOKED CHEERS FROM THE THOUSANDS IN ST. PETER'S
SQUARE WITH HIS DECLARATORY STATEMENT: "PEACE IN IRAQ." HE
URGED THAT THE IRAQI PEOPLE, "WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY," SHOULD BECOME "THE PROTAGONISTS
OF THE COLLECTIVE REBUILDING OF THEIR COUNTRY." THE FUTURE
OF IRAQ WAS ALSO AT THE CENTER OF THE GOOD FRIDAY HOMILY --
TRADITIONALLY PREACHED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE POPE BY A
PAPAL HOUSEHOLD PREACHER. THIS YEAR'S PREACHER, CAPUCHIN
FATHER RANIERO CANTALAMESSA, WHILE NEVER MENTIONING IRAQ OR
THE UNITED STATES BY NAME, QUOTED JOHN LENNON, JEAN-PAUL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 VATICA 01694 01 OF 02 221342Z
SARTRE AND ST. AUGUSTINE, AND ASSERTED THAT "EVERY NATION
HAS THE RIGHT TO GOVERN ITSELF." CANTALAMESSA STRESSED THE
DIFFICULTY OF IDENTIFYING THE ENEMY "WHERE TERRORISM IS
CONCERNED." HE ALSO OBSERVED THAT SOMEONE ONCE CRITICIZED
ABRAHAM LINCOLN FOR BEING TOO COURTEOUS TO HIS ENEMIES AND
TOLD LINCOLN THAT HIS JOB AS PRESIDENT WAS TO DESTROY THEM.
LINCOLN ANSWERED, "DO I NOT DESTROY MY ENEMIES WHEN I MAKE
THEM MY FRIENDS?" THE PAPAL PREACHER THEN ASKED: "WILL
THAT GREAT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES FIND SOMEONE TO
TAKE UP THE TREMENDOUS CHALLENGE?"

---------------------------
REFOCUSING ON GLOBAL AGENDA
---------------------------

3. (U) THE POPE'S EASTER MESSAGE ALSO SOUGHT TO REFOCUS
ATTENTION TO THE "FORGOTTEN WARS AND PROTRACTED
HOSTILITIES" BRINGING SUFFERING, DEATH AND DESTRUCTION IN
VARIOUS PARTS OF AFRICA, ASIA, LATIN AMERICA AND THE
CAUCASUS REGION OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION "AMID SILENCE
AND NEGLECT ON THE PART OF CONSIDERABLE SECTORS OF PUBLIC
OPINION." RETURNING TO ONE OF THE VATICAN'S GREATEST
PREOCCUPATIONS, THE PONTIFF DECLARED THAT VIOLENCE AND
BLOODSHED IN THE HOLY LAND "WITH NO SIGN OF CEASING" WERE
CAUSING HIM "PROFOUND GRIEF."

4. (U) THE POPE REITERATED HIS CONSISTENT REJECTION OF
TERRORISM "WHICH THREATENS THE ORDERLY DEVELOPMENT OF THE
HUMAN FAMILY" AND URGED FOLLOWERS OF ALL RELIGIONS TO
PROMOTE DIALOGUE AND UNDERSTANDING AND TO WORK TOGETHER FOR
A "NEW ERA OF JUSTICE AND PEACE." HE ALSO PRAYED FOR
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 VATICA 01694 01 OF 02 221342Z
DELIVERANCE FROM "THE PERIL OF A TRAGIC CLASH BETWEEN
CULTURES AND RELIGIONS." PRAYERS WERE OFFERED FOR ALL
SOLDIERS THAT "THEY WOULD NOURISH IN THE MINDS AND HEARTS
THOUGHTS OF PEACE AND NOT VENGEANCE" AND THAT THEY WORK FOR
"RECONSTRUCTION AND LIFE."

5. (U) THE VATICAN'S BROAD INTERNATIONAL CONCERNS ALSO
FOUND AN ECHO IN THE SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS AT THE GOOD
FRIDAY STATIONS OF THE CROSS CEREMONY AT ROME'S COLISEUM.
THOSE CARRYING THE CROSS IN PROCESSION AROUND THE COLISEUM
INCLUDED A WOMAN FROM COLOMBIA, MEN FROM SIERRA LEONE AND
LIBERIA, FRANCISCAN FRIARS FROM THE HOLY LAND, AND AN
ENGAGED COUPLE AND A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER WHO HAD FLED
IRAQ BEFORE THE WAR BEGAN. INTRODUCING THE SERVICE, THE
POPE IMPLORED GOD'S ATTENTION TO "THE BLOOD SHED BY THE
MANY VICTIMS OF HATRED, WAR AND TERRORISM."

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

6. (SBU) THE POPE'S EASTER SERVICES ARE BROADCAST VIA

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ9144

PAGE 01 VATICA 01694 02 OF 02 221343Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
DOTE-00 WHA-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 FAAE-00 UTED-00
VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 VCE-00 NEA-00
DCP-01 NSAE-00 DHS-00 PA-00 TEST-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00
DRL-01 G-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /003W
------------------59517F 221352Z /38
R 221344Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE
ISLAMIC CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE
USINT HAVANA

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 001694

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), NEA/NGA, NEA/IAI

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM IS WE IZ PHUM IS WE IZ VT VTPREL
SUBJECT: REINVIGORATED POPE WELCOMES END OF WAR, CONDEMNS
TERRORISM AND RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE IN EASTER MESSAGES

SATELLITE TO A POTENTIAL AUDIENCE ESTIMATED TO BE MORE THAN
A BILLION PEOPLE. THIS GLOBAL STAGE OFFERED THE PERFECT
OPPORTUNITY FOR THE HOLY SEE TO REINFORCE ITS GLOBAL REACH
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 VATICA 01694 02 OF 02 221343Z
AND CONCERN, AND TO CALL INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC ATTENTION TO
AREAS THE VATICAN BELIEVES REQUIRE THE MOST URGENT
ATTENTION. THE ABSENCE OF DIRECT CRITICISM ABOUT THE
SITUATION IN IRAQ AND THE CLEAR EFFORT TO BROADEN GLOBAL
FOCUS BEYOND IRAQ REINFORCES THE MESSAGE CONVEYED TO U/S
BOLTON RECENTLY (REFTEL) OF A VATICAN SEEKING TO MOVE
BEYOND RECENT TENSIONS OVER IRAQ AND REINVIGORATE
COOPERATION TO ADDRESS OTHER TROUBLE SPOTS AND LONG-RANGE
PRIORITIES. THROUGHOUT THIS PHYSICALLY DEMANDING PERIOD,
THE POPE APPEARED TO BE IN GOOD PHYSICAL FORM, FREQUENTLY
RAISING HIS VOICE FOR EMPHASIS AND EXTEMPORIZING IN
RESPONSE TO ACTIONS FROM THE FAITHFUL. THE POPE'S
PARTICIPATION WAS FACILITATED THIS YEAR WITH A NEW MOBILE
PAPAL THRONE THAT CAN BE RAISED AND LOWERED ACCORDING TO
LITURGICAL REQUIREMENTS. END COMMENT.

NICHOLSON

UNCLASSIFIED

>

2003VATICA01694 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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