Viewing cable 01VATICAN4202
Title: VATICAN VIWS ON WCAR

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
01VATICAN42022001-08-09 12:52:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Vatican
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS VATICAN 004202 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT PASSTO WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM -IO/ESA 
DEPT.FOR EUR/WE(VAN CLEVE), NEA/NGA, DRL/IRF 
 
FROM EMASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 131/01 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
 
TAGS: PREF PREL SOCI VT
SUBJECT: VATICAN VIWS ON WCAR 
 
 
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PAGE 02        VATICA  04202  091340Z 
 
¶1.   (U) CARDINAL ROGER ETCHEGARAY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE 
PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE AND MEMBER OF THE 
U.N.'S "EMINENT PERSONS" GROUP OF ADVISORS, SAID THE WCAR 
MUST BE AWARE OF THE MODERN MANIFESTATIONS OF INEQUALITY. 
FOLLOWING THE ROUND TABLE TALKS AT THE GENEVA OFFICES OF THE 
UNHCR, THE CARDINAL STATED THAT "THE ANTIRACISM OF YESTERDAY 
SEEMS UNSUITED TODAY AND NEEDS NOT ONLY TO REVIVE ITS 
PERMANENT CONVICTIONS BUT ALSO TO RENEW ITS REASONING, EVEN 
SOMETIMES TO CHANGE ITS TARGET."  HE WARNED THAT NEW 
PERMUTATIONS OF RACISM MIGHT BEST BE FOUGHT BY NEW METHODS. 
 
¶2.   (SBU) POLOFF AND POL INTERN MET AUGUST 2 WITH KISHORE 
JAYABALAN, ASSISTANT TO FRANK DEWANE, UNDERSECRETARY OF THE 
PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE, TO DISCUSS THE 
HOLY SEE'S VIEWS ON THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON RACISM.  (NOTE: 
DEWANE WAS THE VATICAN REPRESENTATIVE AT 1ST WEEK SESSION OF 
WCAR IN GENEVA).  THE HOLY SEE GENERALLY SHARES USG 
POSITIONS ON CONTROVERSIAL AREAS OF THE WCAR DOCUMENTS, 
SPECIFICALLY REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY, ZIONISM AS RACISM 
LANGUAGE, AND "ISLAMAPHOBIA." 
 
¶3.   (SBU) LIKE THE USG, THE HOLY SEE WOULD PREFER THE WCAR 
TO BE A FORWARD LOOKING CONFERENCE, FOCUSING MORE ON 
CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS THAN APOLOGIES FOR WRONGS COMMITTED 
GENERATIONS AGO.  THEY WOULD RATHER DISCUSS MODERN 
TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS THAN REPARATIONS FOR THE SLAVE 
TRADE FROM AFRICA - ESPECIALLY SINCE THIS IGNORES ALL OTHER 
SLAVE TRADES, PAST AND PRESENT.  IN ADDITION, THE VATICAN 
HAD RESERVATIONS ON THE PARAGRAPHS DEALING WITH THE 
HOLOCAUST.  JAYABALAN DID SAY THAT THIS WAS A MORE TIMELY 
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PAGE 03        VATICA  04202  091340Z 
AND RELEVANT ISSUE THAN SLAVERY REPARATIONS, AS THERE ARE 
LIVING HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS. 
 
¶4.   (SBU) ACCORDING TO JAYABALAN, THE HOLY SEE ALSO 
OBJECTED TO THE `ZIONISM AS RACISM' LANGUAGE.  CITING THE 
EXAMPLES OF NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE BALKANS, HE SAID THEY 
VIEW RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION AS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM 
DISCRIMINATION BASED ON ETHNICITY OR RACE, ALTHOUGH NO LESS 
GRIEVOUS AN OFFENSE.  A RELIGION IS A CHOICE OR A SYSTEM OF 
BELIEFS, NOT AN INHERITED TRAIT. 
 
¶5.   (SBU) MR. JAYABALAN THOUGHT THE WCAR DOCUMENTS LACKED A 
CLEAR AND CURRENT FOCUS.  HE SAW THEM AS OVERLOADED WITH 
INDIVIDUAL PET PROJECTS, WITH NO CLEAR FOCUS OR GOAL FOR THE 
CONFERENCE AS A WHOLE.  JAYABALAN BELIEVED THAT THESE 
INDIVIDUAL ISSUES, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, FOR EXAMPLE, WOULD 
NOT MAKE IT PAST THE PREPCON. 
 
¶6.   (SBU) COMMENT: WHILE THE HOLY SEE MAY SHARE USG VIEWS 
ON MANY OF THE NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF THE WCAR, THEY TEND TO 
LIMIT ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN DEBATES TO TOPICS OF PARAMOUNT 
IMPORTANCE TO THE VATICAN, SUCH AS ABORTION.  THEY CAN, 
HOWEVER, BE A USEFUL PARTNER BEHIND THE SCENES, ESPECIALLY 
WITH COUNTRIES (E.G. LIBYA, IRAQ) WITH WHICH THE USG HAS 
LITTLE LEVERAGE.  END COMMENT.  MERANTE 
 
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 2001VATICA04202 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED