Viewing cable 01VATICAN5814
Title: FIDES MEDIA DIRECTOR CERVELLERA VIEWS ON

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
01VATICAN58142001-11-09 13:22:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vatican
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L VATICAN 005814 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR DRL/IRF (FARR), EUR/WE (MENNUTI); EAP/CM 
 
(KOEHLER) 
 
FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 197/01 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/10/06 
TAGS: PREL PGOV KIRF PINR CH VT
SUBJECT: FIDES MEDIA DIRECTOR CERVELLERA VIEWS ON 
VATICAN/PRC DEVELOPMENTS 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  05814  091331Z 
 
REF: VATICAN 5629 
 
CLASSIFIED BY DCM JMERANTE, REASONS E.O. 12958 1.5 (B), 
(D). 
 
¶1.  (C)  AT MEDIA THEMED LUNCH HOSTED BY AMBASSADOR 
NICHOLSON, DIRECTOR OF MEDIA FOR THE CONGREGATION FOR THE 
PROPAGATION OF THE FAITH (FIDES), FATHER BENARDO 
CERVELLERA, SPOKE AT LENGTH ON HIS VIEWS OF RECENT 
VATICAN/PRC DEVELOPMENTS.  CERVELLERA SAID THAT ALTHOUGH 
THE POPE'S 10/24 STATEMENT APOLOGIZING TO THE CHINESE 
PEOPLE FOR THE "MISTAKES' MADE BY EARLY CHRISTIAN 
MISSIONARIES AND FOR A RESUMPTION OF DIALOG BETWEEN THE 
PRC AND THE HOLY SEE WAS WELL RECEIVED BY THE CHINESE 
PEOPLE, IT "FELL ON DEAF EARS" WITHIN THE CHINESE 
GOVERNMENT.  HE WENT ON TO SAY THAT HE SEES THE 
POSSIBILITY OF ANY RESUMPTION OF DIALOG BETWEEN CHINA AND 
THE HOLY SEE AIMED AT NORMALIZING RELATIONS BEFORE 
ELECTIONS THE MARCH ELECTIONS IN CHINA TO BE NIL. (NOTE: 
WE HEARD THE SAME FROM OUR TAIWAN EMBASSY CONTACTS). 
 
¶2.  (C)  CERVELLERA ALSO DISCUSSED THE ROLE OF THE 
"OFFICIAL" CHURCH AND THE UNDERGROUND CHURCH IN CHINA. 
HE BELIEVES 80 PERCENT OF THE "OFFICIAL" CHURCH IS LOYAL 
TO THE POPE.  HE ALSO SAID THAT THE REMAINING "OLD 
LINERS" IN THE "OFFICIAL" CHURCH ARE DYING OFF.  IN 
EFFECT, THERE IS NO LONGER EVEN A DE FACTO SCHISM BETWEEN 
THE VATICAN AND CHINESE CATHOLICISM.   THE ONLY PROBLEM 
IS THE "PATRIOTIC ASSOCIATION" WHICH BEIJING USES TO 
CONTROL THE ACTIVITIES OF THE "OFFICIAL" CHURCH. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  05814  091331Z 
 
¶3. (C)  COMMENT:  CERVELLERA AND FIDES ARE STRONGLY 
IDENTIFIED WITH THE FACTION IN THE VATICAN WHICH OPPOSES 
NORMALIZATION OF RELATIONS WITH CHINA UNTIL THE COMMUNISM 
ARE REMOVED.  THAT SAID, HIS BELIEF THAT THERE WON'T BE 
ANY MOVEMENT UNTIL AFTER MARCH IS SHARED EVEN BY THOSE 
WHO WOULD BE IN FAVOR OF QUICK RESUMPTION OF THE DIALOG 
(REF).  CERVELLERA'S VIEWS ON THE "OFFICIAL" CHURCH ARE 
QUITE PROGRESSIVE AND APPEAR TO REFLECT THE VATICAN'S 
ATTEMPT TO FULLY HEAL THE RIFT BETWEEN THE UNDERGROUND 
CHURCH AND THE "OFFICIAL CHURCH" EVEN BEFORE THERE IS A 
POLITICAL DIALOG WITH BEIJING. 
NICHOLSON 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 
 

 2001VATICA05814 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL