Viewing cable 01VATICAN2600
Title: VATICAN VERBATIM

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
01VATICAN26002001-05-11 12:37:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vatican
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 002600 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE), EUR/SE, EUR/PD/PA, DRL/IRF, 
NEA/ARN 
 
FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 70/01 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PHUM GR SY PHUM GR SY VT VTPREL
SUBJECT: VATICAN VERBATIM 
 
¶1.   THE MAY 5 - MAY 11 EDITION OF NEWS AND VIEWS FROM 
VATICAN CITY. 
 
CONTENTS: 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  02600  01 OF 02  122002Z 
 
- VATICAN SAYS POPE'S ILL HEALTH PART OF HIS LEGACY 
- VATICAN DECLARES PAPAL VISIT TO GREECE AND SYRIA A SUCCESS 
- SWISS GUARD RECRUITING DRIVE VIA INTERNET 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
VATICAN SAYS POPE'S ILL-HEALTH A "GIFT" TO HUMANITY 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
¶2.   VATICAN SPOKESMAN, JOAQUIN NAVARRO-VALLS ACKNOWLEDGED 
THAT POPE JOHN PAUL II'S HEALTH PROBLEMS CAUSED SOME CONCERN 
DURING HIS VISIT TO GREECE, SYRIA AND MALTA. CONFIRMING THE 
POPE WAS "EXHAUSTED," NAVARRO-VALLS SAID THE PONTIFF'S 
NEUROLOGICAL CONDITION AND HIS AGE TELLS THE WORLD THAT 
"THIS BLESSED FATIGUE IS WORTH IT." HE SPECULATED THAT 
FUTURE POPES WOULD RECALL THE EXAMPLE OF JOHN PAUL II AND 
"THE IMPLICIT MESSAGE THAT, DESPITE THE PAIN AND FATIGUE HE 
SUFFERED, THEY WILL SEE HOW MUCH GOD ALLOWED HIM TO 
ACCOMPLISH." EMBASSY CONTACTS ACCOMPANYING THE POPE ON HIS 
TRIP SAID HE STRUGGLED MORE THAN USUAL BUT THAT HIS TENACITY 
AND DRIVE REMAIN INTACT, JOKING AT TIMES WITH THE PRESS 
POOL. THE VATICAN SPOKESMAN SAID THE POPE HAS NO PLANS TO 
CURTAIL HIS TRAVEL SCHEDULE (UKRAINE IN JUNE, ARMENIA IN 
SEPTEMBER, CANADA IN THE SUMMER OF 2002, PLUS TWO MORE 
COUNTRIES THAT YEAR). NAVARRO-VALLS SAID THAT THE POPE "WILL 
NOT STOP HIS TRAVELS UNTIL GOD CALLS HIM HOME." 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
VATICAN DECLARES LATEST PAPAL VISITS A RESOUNDING SUCCESS 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  02600  01 OF 02  122002Z 
¶3.   VATICAN SPOKESMAN JOAQUIN NAVARRO-VALLS DECLARED THE 
PAPAL VISIT TO GREECE, SYRIA AND MALTA AS MORE THAN 
SATISFACTORY. PARTICULARLY PLEASING FOR THE VATICAN WAS THE 
POSITIVE RESPONSE FROM THE GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHBISHOP OF 
ATHENS TO THE PONTIFF'S VISIT TO GREECE. ARCHBISHOP 
CHRISTODOULOS GAVE THE POPE A COURTEOUS WELCOME, THANKED HIM 
FOR HIS VISIT AND PROMISED HIS PRAYERS IN SUPPORT OF THE 
REMAINDER OF THE PAPAL TRIP. NAVARRO-VALLS SAID THE POPE DID 
NOT EXPECT THE GESTURE AND ATTRIBUTED IT TO "PROVIDENCE." 
THE SPOKESMAN CONTINUED THAT POPE JOHN PAUL WAS DELIGHTED 
WITH HIS TRIP TO GREECE AND THAT "TWO MONTHS AGO, THIS TRIP 
WAS UNTHINKABLE." HE EFFUSED THAT "ONCE AGAIN THE POPE DOES 
NOT LET HISTORY HAPPEN BUT HAS DIRECTED IT." WHEN ASKED 
WHETHER THE EXPERIENCE IN GREECE AUGURED WELL FOR A LONGED- 
FOR PAPAL TRIP TO MOSCOW, NAVARRO-VALLS ANSWERED, "WE'LL 
SPEAK ABOUT THAT IN TWO MONTHS." (COMMENT: THE VATICAN WILL 
WANT TO WAIT FOR THE OUTCOME OF THE POPE'S VISIT TO UKRAINE 
IN JUNE BEFORE MAKING FURTHER COMMENTS ABOUT A VISIT TO 
MOSCOW. END COMMENT). 
 
¶4.   NAVARRO-VALLS WAS CAREFUL TO DEPOLITICIZE THE SYRIAN 
LEG OF THE POPE'S PILGRIMAGE. NAVARRO-VALLS DISTANCED THE 
VATICAN FROM PRESIDENT ASSAD'S REMARKS AT THE WELCOME 
CEREMONY. HE SAID THE POPE HAD NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT 
ASSAD WOULD SAY AND THAT THE VATICAN'S RESPONSE WAS 
CONTAINED IN THE PONTIFF'S SPEECH "ENUNCIATING INTERNATIONAL 
PRINCIPLES THAT APPLY TO ALL." COMMENTING ON THE PONTIFF'S 
VISIT TO QUNEITRA, HE SAID THE "SOLE OBJECTIVE AND THE SOLE 
REASON WAS TO PRAY FOR PEACE." THE SPOKESMAN ADDED THAT 
"PEOPLE OF GOODWILL WILL UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE" THE 
POPE'S GESTURE. NAVARRO-VALLS SAID THE POPE WAS MOVED BY THE 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        VATICA  02600  01 OF 02  122002Z 
RESPECT AND AFFECTION SHOWN HIM BY SYRIAN MOSLEMS, ADDING 
THAT JOHN PAUL II WAS AWARE OF THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE FIRST 
VISIT BY A POPE TO A MOSQUE. HE SAID POPE JOHN PAUL HOPED IT 
WOULD BEAR NEW FRUIT IN THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE 
CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
SWISS GUARD LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS ON THE INTERNET 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
¶5.   THE SWISS GUARD SWORE IN 26 NEW RECRUITS IN A MAY 6 
CEREMONY, HOWEVER THE UNIT IS STILL SHORT SEVEN SOLDIERS. 
SWISS GUARD COMMANDER, COLONEL PIUS SEGMULLER SAID THE 
GUARDS HAVE BEGUN TO USE THE INTERNET (GARDESUISSE.ORG) 
FOR RECRUITMENT. HE NOTED THAT SWITZERLAND'S STRONG ECONOMY 
AND SECULARIZATION MAKE IT HARDER TO ATTRACT RECRUITS. "WHEN 
THINGS ARE GOING WELL IN OUR COUNTRY, YOUTH FIND WORK EASILY 
AND ARE NOT INTERESTED IN COMING TO ROME TO SERVE THE POPE," 
HE SAID. IN THE WAKE OF A 1998 MURDER-SUICIDE SCANDAL, THE 
SELECTION PROCESS HAS BEEN TOUGHENED UP. AMONG THE 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ1417 
 
PAGE 01        VATICA  02600  02 OF 02  122002Z 
ACTION EUR-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00  DODE-00  SRPP-00  EB-00    UTED-00 
      VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     AC-01 
      NEA-00   NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00    PM-00 
      PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    SS-00    STR-00   TRSE-00 
      T-00     USIE-00  PMB-00   PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00 
        /008W 
                  ------------------EAE243  122002Z /75 
R 111237Z MAY 01 
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0000 
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE 
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 
AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 002600 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE), EUR/SE, EUR/PD/PA, DRL/IRF, 
NEA/ARN 
 
FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 70/01 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PHUM GR SY PHUM GR SY VT VTPREL
 
SUBJECT: VATICAN VERBATIM 
 
REQUIREMENTS LISTED ON THE GUARD'S WEB PAGE ARE SWISS 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  02600  02 OF 02  122002Z 
CITIZENSHIP, ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIGION AND AN IMPECCABLE 
REPUTATION. CANDIDATES MUST HAVE COMPLETED MILITARY SERVICE 
IN SWITZERLAND AND BE BETWEEN 19 AND 30 YEARS OF AGE. 
SERVICE IN THE SWISS GUARD IS FOR TWO YEARS WITH OPTIONS FOR 
RENEWAL. MERANTE 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 
 

 2001VATICA02600 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED