Viewing cable 03VATICAN1505
Title: WAR IN IRAQ: POPE SEEKS QUICK END TO CONFLICT,

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03VATICAN15052003-04-09 05:31:00 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 001505 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI); T FOR U/S BOLTON 
PARIS PLEASE PASS TO U/S BOLTON 
 
E.O. 12958 N/A 
TAGS: PREL IZ IZ VT VTPREL
SUBJECT: WAR IN IRAQ:  POPE SEEKS QUICK END TO CONFLICT, 
CENTRAL ROLE FOR UN 
 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  01505  01 OF 02  090534Z 
¶1.  SINCE THE OUTBREAK OF WAR IN IRAQ, POPE JOHN PAUL II HAS 
MADE PERSISTENT APPEALS FOR PEACE IN IRAQ AND EXPRESSED 
CONTINUED CONCERN FOR CIVILIANS AND MEMBERS OF THE ARMED 
FORCES CAUGHT UP IN THE FIGHTING.  HOWEVER, CONTRARY TO MANY 
MEDIA REPORTS, NEITHER THE POPE NOR SENIOR VATICAN OFFICIALS 
IN A POSITION TO SPEAK AUTHORITATIVELY FOR THE HOLY SEE HAVE 
EXPLICITLY CONDEMNED THE WAR IN IRAQ AS IMMORAL OR ILLEGAL. 
THE POPE AND SENIOR HOLY SEE OFFICIALS WILL CONTINUE TO 
SPEAK OUT IN FAVOR OF PEACE UNTIL THE WAR ENDS, AND WILL 
LIKELY SUPPORT A CENTRAL ROLE FOR THE UN IN THE POST-WAR 
RECONSTRUCTION AND GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ AS A MEANS TO RESTORE 
"THE RULE OF LAW" IN INTERNATIONAL LIFE.  END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
OPPOSED TO IRAQ AND WAR AS MEANS OF RESOLVING PROBLEMS 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
¶2.  THE VATICAN'S INITIAL REACTION AFTER THE OUTBREAK OF WAR 
WAS BALANCED, REGRETTING THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT'S FAILURE TO 
COMPLY WITH THE UNSC RESOLUTIONS AND THE ABANDONMENT OF THE 
INSPECTION PROCESS.  AS VATICAN SPOKESMAN NAVARRO-VALLS 
STATED MARCH 20, "THE HOLY SEE HAS LEARNED WITH DEEP PAIN OF 
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LATEST EVENTS IN IRAQ. ON THE ONE 
HAND, IT IS TO BE REGRETTED THAT THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT DID 
NOT ACCEPT THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE 
APPEAL OF THE POPE HIMSELF, AS BOTH ASKED THAT THE COUNTRY 
DISARM. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT IS TO BE DEPLORED THAT THE 
PATH OF NEGOTIATIONS, ACCORDING TO INTERNATIONAL LAW, FOR A 
PEACEFUL SOLUTION OF THE IRAQI DRAMA HAS BEEN INTERRUPTED. 
A FEW DAYS LATER, HE ELABORATED THE HOLY SEE'S POSITION 
OBSERVING: "WHEN WAR, AS IN THESE DAYS IN IRAQ, THREATENS 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  01505  01 OF 02  090534Z 
THE FATE OF HUMANITY, IT IS EVEN MORE URGENT TO PROCLAIM 
WITH A DETERMINED VOICE, THAT PEACE ALONE IS THE WAY TO 
CONSTRUCT A MORE JUST AND UNITED SOCIETY . . . VIOLENCE AND 
ARMS CAN NEVER RESOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF MEN." 
 
¶3.  FOR HIS PART, THE POPE HAS FOCUSED MOST OF HIS PUBLIC 
MESSAGES ON PRAYER FOR AN EARLY END TO THE WAR AND CALLS FOR 
ALTERNATIVE MEANS TO RESOLVE INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS.  FOR 
EXAMPLE, IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE WAR'S OUTBREAK, 
THE POPE SAID, "RIGHT NOW WE ARE ALL ASKED TO WORK AND PRAY 
SO THAT WAR DISAPPEARS FROM THE HORIZON OF HUMANITY."  MOST 
RECENTLY, ON APRIL 6, HE SAID: "GOD WILLING, MAY THIS 
CONFLICT END SOON AND OPEN THE WAY TO A NEW ERA OF 
FORGIVENESS, LOVE AND PEACE, " ADDING, "MY THOUGHTS TURN, IN 
PARTICULAR, TO IRAQ AND TO ALL WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THE WAR 
THAT RAGES THERE.  I THINK ESPECIALLY OF THE UNARMED 
CIVILIAN POPULATION THAT IS SUBJECTED TO A HARSH TEST IN 
VARIOUS CITIES." 
 
--------------------------------------- 
PUSH FOR FORCE OF LAW OVER LAW OF FORCE 
--------------------------------------- 
 
¶4.  BEYOND THE VATICAN'S FOCUS ON AN EARLY END TO THE WAR 
AND A CONCERN FOR THE HUMAN SUFFERING, THE VATICAN HAS ALSO 
BEEN ADVOCATING A RENEWED FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF 
INTERNATIONAL LAW AND A RESTORATION OF THE CENTRALITY OF THE 
UNITED NATIONS AS THE MEANS TO RESOLVE INTERNATIONAL 
CONFLICTS.  FOR EXAMPLE, FOREIGN MINISTER JEAN LOUIS TAURAN 
IN A MARCH 26 INTERVIEW WITH AN ITALIAN CATHOLIC WEEKLY 
ASSERTED: "IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO RECALL THE IMPORTANCE OF 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        VATICA  01505  01 OF 02  090534Z 
LETTING THE FORCE OF LAW PREVAIL OVER THE LAW OF FORCE. 
THERE ARE TWO THINGS THAT SADDEN ME. FIRST, ABOVE ALL, 
DISRESPECT FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW.  WE HAVE A JURIDICAL 
PATRIMONY THAT IS PARTICULARLY COMPLETE AND REFINED.  WE 
HAVE EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO RESOLVE DISPUTES AMONG PEOPLES 
IN A PEACEFUL WAY.  I ASK MYSELF IF ALL THE RESOURCES OF 
INTERNATIONAL LAW WERE USED.  THE SECOND THING THAT SADDENS 
ME IS TO SEE THE INABILITY OF MAN TO DRAW LESSONS FROM 
RECENT HISTORY.  TO HAVE WEAKENED THE UNITED NATIONS IS A 
VERY SERIOUS THING. IT IS THE ONLY MEANS WE HAVE FOR 
REGULATED THE LIFE OF NATIONS.  IF WE DO NOT FIND A BETTER 
WAY, THEN WE NEED TO PROTECT THIS MEANS." 
 
¶5.  THE VATICAN'S PERMANENT OBSERVER AT THE UN, ARCHBISHOP 
CELESTINO MIGLIORE REINFORCED THIS CONCERN APRIL 1 WHEN HE 
STATED AT THE OPENING OF THE COMMITTEE ON DISARMAMENTS 
SESSION IN NEW YORK: "THE WORLD ONCE AGAIN FINDS ITSELF 
LISTENING TO THE MOUNTING RUMBLE OF ARMS.  WE ARE CONFRONTED 
BY TWO OPPOSING PERSPECTIVES: THE FIRST IS BASED ON THE 
CONVICTION THAT CONFLICTS CAN BE RESOLVED THROUGH A 
DETERMINED AND BROAD-BASED WILLINGNESS TO NEGOTIATE 
EFFECTIVELY IN LIGHT OF THE WAYS AND WISDOM OF THE LAW; THE 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ8652 
 
PAGE 01        VATICA  01505  02 OF 02  090534Z 
ACTION EUR-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    CIAE-00  INL-00   DODE-00  DS-00    EAP-00 
      UTED-00  VC-00    TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    VCE-00   NEA-00 
      DCP-01   NSAE-00  DHS-00   SSO-00   SS-00    TEST-00  T-00 
      DSCC-00  PRM-00   G-00     SAS-00   SWCI-00    /001W 
                  ------------------52B8CF  090534Z /38 
O 090531Z APR 03 
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE 
ISLAMIC CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE 
MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 001505 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI); T FOR U/S BOLTON 
PARIS PLEASE PASS TO U/S BOLTON 
 
E.O. 12958 N/A 
TAGS: PREL IZ IZ VT VTPREL
SUBJECT: WAR IN IRAQ:  POPE SEEKS QUICK END TO CONFLICT, 
CENTRAL ROLE FOR UN 
 
SECOND PERSPECTIVE MAINTAINS THAT, IN THE FACE OF ELUSIVE 
AND RE-EMERGING THREATS, FORCE IS MORE EFFICACIOUS AND 
DIRECT.  HOWEVER, THE LATTER APPEARS TO ONLY REDUCE 
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN DISARMAMENT RATHER THAN ENHANCE 
IT, INDUCING NEGATIVE REPERCUSSIONS ON MULTILATERALISM.  A 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  01505  02 OF 02  090534Z 
CLEAR MESSAGE IN FAVOR OF THE FORCE OF LAW AND NOT THE LAW 
OF FORCE SHOULD EMERGE FROM THIS SUBSTANTIVE SESSION. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
CONCERN FOR 'CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS" AND TERRORISM 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
¶6.  THE FINAL CONSISTENT PREOCCUPATION OF THE HOLY SEE IN 
THE AFTERMATH OF HOSTILITIES HAS BEEN TO AVOID PERCEPTIONS 
IN THE MUSLIM WORLD OF A "CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS" BETWEEN 
CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM, THE WEST AND THE ARAB WORLD.  THEY 
FEAR THAT SUCH PERCEPTIONS, IN TAURAN'S WORDS, "WILL 
GENERATE EVERY EXTREMISM POSSIBLE, INCLUDING THAT OF ISLAM. 
WE ALL NEED TO BE AWARE OF THIS.  IT WILL CAUSE TERRORISM. 
AND INFLICT A HUGE WOUND TO THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN 
CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM, BECAUSE, UNFORTUNATELY, IN THE 
ISLAMIC WORLD THERE'S THE TENDENCY TO IDENTIFY THE WEST WITH 
CHRISTIANITY."   NAVARRO-VALLS ADDED HIS QUESTIONING TO 
TAURAN'S CONCERNS ASKING RHETORICALLY APRIL 2: "THE INCREASE 
OF THE NUMBER OF DEATH OF BOTH SIDES POSES A GRAVE MORAL 
QUESTION.  WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE LARGE NUMBER OF DEAD ON 
BOTH SIDES, ALONG WITH THE SUFFERING, DESTRUCTION AND HATE, 
WHEN THERE ARE OTHER PEACEFUL MEANS TO RENDER HARMLESS THE 
THREAT POSED BY IRAQ?" 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
¶7.  ALTHOUGH JOURNALISTS AND COMMENTATORS HAVE ATTRIBUTED 
ALL MANNER OF POSITIONS ON THE WAR IN IRAQ TO THE POPE, THE 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  01505  02 OF 02  090534Z 
HOLY SEE, AND THE VATICAN, THE POPE AND OFFICIALS AUTHORIZED 
TO SPEAK DURING THIS PERIOD HAVE NEVER CONDEMNED THE WAR AS 
IMMORAL.  THOUGH ITS LEGALITY HAS BEEN QUESTIONED PUBLICLY, 
THE POPE HIMSELF HAS NOT SUGGESTED THE WAR IS ILLEGAL. 
INDEED, AS SOME COMMENTATORS HAVE NOTED, THE VATICAN DURING 
THE KOSOVO CAMPAIGN WAS ACTIVELY TALKING ABOUT THE NEED FOR 
HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION, SO THEY WILL PROBABLY AVOID CLEAR- 
CUT CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE LEGALITY OF THE WAR.  IN GENERAL, 
SINCE THE FINAL WEEK BEFORE THE OUTBREAK OF WAR, THE VATICAN 
HAS EXERCISED GREATER DISCIPLINE IN PUTTING OUT ITS MESSAGE 
THAN PRIOR TO THE WAR.  WE EXPECT THIS TO CONTINUE WITH THE 
EXCEPTION OF SEMI-OFFICIAL VATICAN SOURCES SUCH AS THE 
VATICAN'S NEWSPAPER, OSSERVATORE ROMANO AND VATICAN RADIO -- 
WHICH CONTINUE TO PROVIDE AN OUTLET FOR STILL STRONG ANTI- 
WAR SENTIMENTS.  AS THE STORY SHIFTS TO HUMANITARIAN RELIEF 
AND INTERNAL REFORM, HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THERE IS 
CONSIDERABLE COMMON GROUND TO BUILD A CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE. 
 
NICHOLSON 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 
 

 2003VATICA01505 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED