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Cablegate: Holy See Committed to Stability for Haiti

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

UNCLAS VATICAN 000882

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EUR/WE (LEVIN); WHA/CAR

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM HA VT
SUBJECT: HOLY SEE COMMITTED TO STABILITY FOR HAITI

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

1. (SBU) FOLLOWING ARISTIDE'S RESIGNATION AND DEPARTURE
FROM HAITI, THE HOLY SEE TOLD US THAT THE HAITIAN BISHOPS
WERE READY TO WORK ACTIVELY WITH A PROVISIONAL
ADMINISTRATION TO HELP ENSURE A PEACEFUL TRANSITION OF
POWER. THE SECRETARIAT OF STATE IS IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH
THE HAITIAN BISHOPS AND PAPAL NUNCIO IN PORT-AU-PRINCE, AND
HAS URGED THEM TO EXERT A CALMING INFLUENCE ON THE
POPULACE. END SUMMARY.

-----------------------------------------
BISHOPS READY TO WORK WITH NEW GOVERNMENT
-----------------------------------------

2. (SBU) THE HOLY SEE'S DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER PIETRO
PAROLIN TOLD THE DCM MARCH 4 THAT THE HAITIAN BISHOPS AND
THE VATICAN NUNCIO WERE READY TO WORK WITH A NEW
TRANSITIONAL HAITIAN ADMINISTRATION TO ENSURE A PEACEFUL
RESTORATION OF ORDER. PAROLIN SAID THE PAPAL NUNCIO TO
HAITI HAD BEEN IN ROME DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE CRISIS BUT
HAD NOW RETURNED TO PORT-AU-PRINCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO
HELP FACILITATE THE TRANSITION AND WORK WITH THE BISHOPS TO
ENCOURAGE CALM AND PATIENCE AMONG THE HAITIAN PEOPLE. THE
DFM EXPRESSED INTEREST IN LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE
GROUND, AND ASKED ABOUT THE NEWS REPORTS ABOUT ARISTIDE'S
CLAIMS OF BEING FORCED TO RESIGN, WHICH DCM EMPHASIZED HAD
NO BASIS IN FACT. PAROLIN VOICED NO REGRET AT ARISTIDE'S
DEPARTURE, NOTING THAT THE FORMER PRIEST HAD BEEN AN ACTIVE
PROPONENT OF VOODOO.

-------------------------
IT WAS TIME FOR HIM TO GO
-------------------------

3. (SBU) EVEN BEFORE ARISTIDE'S DEPARTURE, POPE JOHN PAUL
II HAD APPEALED TO HAITIANS "TO MAKE THE COURAGEOUS
DECISIONS THEIR COUNTRY REQUIRED," AND HAD URGED THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND AID ORGANIZATIONS TO DO WHAT
THEY COULD TO AVERT A GREATER CRISIS. THIS WAS SEEN AS A
VEILED REFERENCE TO ARISTIDE'S LEAVING POWER. SINCE
FEBRUARY 29, THE VATICAN HAS HAD NO OFFICIAL PUBLIC COMMENT
ON ARISTIDE'S RESIGNATION; HOWEVER, THE VATICAN'S CARIBBEAN
AFFAIRS DIRECTOR MONSIGNOR GIORGIO LINGUA SAID THAT THE
HOLY SEE SAW NO OTHER WAY OUT OF THE CRISIS AND THOUGHT THE
FORMER PRIEST HAD TO GO. LINGUA SAID MARCH 3 THAT IT WAS
IMPORTANT THAT AN INTERNATIONAL FORCE QUICKLY RESTORE ORDER
IN HAITI SO THAT A PEACEFUL GOVERNMENTAL TRANSITION COULD
TAKE PLACE. HE ADDED, HOWEVER, THAT A POLITICAL SOLUTION
SHOULD NOT BE IMPOSED FROM OUTSIDE. LINGUA SAID HE SAW
SEVERAL HOPEFUL SIGNS THAT THE TRANSITION COULD OCCUR
WITHOUT A BLOOD BATH, POINTING OUT THAT REBEL LEADER GUY
PHILIPPE SEEMED TO HAVE BEEN CONVINCED TO STAND DOWN AND
ESCHEW POLITICAL POWER IN LINE WITH HIS INITIAL PROMISE
THAT HIS SOLDIERS WOULD COOPERATE WITH INTERNATIONAL
FORCES.

-----------------------
CATHOLIC RELIEF AT RISK
-----------------------

4. (U) ROME-BASED MEDIA HAVE REPORTED THAT CATHOLIC CHURCH
RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS, INCLUDING U.S.-BASED CATHOLIC RELIEF
SERVICES (CRS) HAVE SUFFERED CONSIDERABLE LOSSES OF FOOD
STOCKS AND VEHICLES BECAUSE OF LOOTING -- WHICH CRS
OFFICIALS REPORT IS CONTINUING. DFM PAROLIN NOTED THAT THE
HOLY SEE WOULD APPRECIATE INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT TO RESTART
THE RELIEF PIPELINES AND GET THE NEEDED FOOD AND SUPPLIES
OUT TO THE PEOPLE IN NEED.

NICHOLSON

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