Viewing cable 03VATICAN1880
Title: IRAQI CLERGY CALL FOR RELIGIOUS, ETHNIC

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03VATICAN18802003-05-02 14:38:00 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 001880 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR EUR/WE MENNUTI, NEA/NGA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: IZ PGOV PHUM SOCI VT
SUBJECT: IRAQI CLERGY CALL FOR RELIGIOUS, ETHNIC 
COEXISTENCE IN NEW IRAQ 
 
 
¶1. (SBU) LOOKING TO LAY DOWN SOME MARKERS ON IRAQ'S RELIGIOUS 
FUTURE, THE HOLY SEE FORWARDED TO POST UNDER DIPLOMATIC NOTE 
    A COPY OF A DECLARATION ISSUED BY THE IRAQI PATRIARCHS AND 
BISHOPS (I.E. OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC, CHALDEAN, AND EASTERN 
ORTHODOX CHURCHES) ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN IRAQ.  THE 
DECLARATION, SUBSEQUENTLY RELEASED PUBLICLY BY THE VATICAN, 
CITES THE UN CHARTER ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND APPEALS FOR THE 
CONSTRUCTION OF A FREE AND TOLERANT SOCIETY IN THE IRAQI 
TRADITION OF "RESPECT FOR INTER-RELIGIOUS AND MULTI-ETHNIC 
COEXISTENCE." AN INFORMAL EMBASSY TRANSLATION FOLLOWS. 
 
2.(U) BEGIN TEXT: 
 
DECLARATION OF THE PATRIARCHS AND BISHOPS OF IRAQ 
 
"AT THIS MOMENT WHEN IRAQ IS TURNING A PAGE AND IS BEGINNING 
A NEW CHAPTER IN HER MILLENARY LIFE, WE, THE PATRIARCHS AND 
BISHOPS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES IN IRAQ, DRIVEN ALSO BY 
PRESSURE FROM OUR FAITHFUL, WISH TO EXPRESS OUR ASPIRATIONS 
RELATIVE TO THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY, IN THE HOPE THAT THE 
IRAQI PEOPLE, WHICH HAS HAD A LONG HISTORY MARKED BY DEFEATS 
AND SUCCESSES, WILL BE ABLE, WITHOUT RELIGIOUS OR ETHNIC 
DISTINCTION, TO LIVE IN FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND RESPECT FOR 
INTER-RELIGIOUS AND MULTIETHNIC COEXISTENCE." 
 
- WHEN HAMMURABI SCULPTED HIS CODE ON THE STONE OF THIS LAND, 
LAW BECAME THE BASIS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF CIVILIZATION." 
 
- WHEN ABRAHAM LOOKED AT THE HEAVENS ABOVE UR THEY OPENED UP 
TO HIM AND, BY THIS REVELATION, ABRAHAM BECAME THE FATHER OF 
A MULTITUDE OF PEOPLE." 
 
- WHEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM MET, THEIR RESPECTIVE "HOLY 
    ONES" BEGAN THE TWO RELIGIONS IN RESPECTFUL AND RECIPROCAL 
CO-EXISTENCE." 
 
"IN ADDITION, BY VIRTUE OF OUR ORIGINAL RIGHT OF BELONGING TO 
THE MOST ANCIENT PEOPLES OF THIS LAND, WE CLAIM FOR OURSELVES 
AND FOR ALL THOSE WHO LIVE IN IT TODAY, WHETHER A MAJORITY OR 
MINORITY, UNITED BY A LONG HISTORY OF COEXISTENCE, THE FULL 
RIGHT OF LIVING IN A STATE OF LAW, IN PEACE, FREEDOM, 
JUSTICE, IN EQUALITY, ACCORDING TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS CHARTER. 
CONSEQUENTLY -- WE, CHALDEANS, ASSYRIANS, SYRIANS, ARMENIANS, 
GREEKS, AND LATINS -- FORMING TOGETHER ONE CHRISTIAN 
COMMUNITY, ASK THAT THE NEW IRAQI CONSTITUTION: 
 
- RECOGNIZE OUR RELIGIOUS, CULTURAL, AND POLITICAL RIGHTS; 
 
- ENVISION A STATUTE LAW IN WHICH EACH PERSON WILL BE 
CONSIDERED ACCORDING TO THEIR     CAPABILITIES WITHOUT 
DISCRIMINATION, SO THAT EACH MAY HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE PART 
ACTIVELY IN THE GOVERNMENT AND SERVICE OF THIS COUNTRY; 
 
- CONSIDER THE CHRISTIANS AS IRAQI CITIZENS WITH FULL RIGHTS; 
 
- GUARANTEE TO US THE RIGHT TO PROFESS OUR FAITH ACCORDING TO 
OUR ANCIENT 
TRADITIONS AND OUR RELIGIOUS LAW, THE RIGHT TO EDUCATE OUR 
CHILDREN ACCORDING TO CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES, THE RIGHT TO 
FREELY ASSEMBLE, TO BUILD OUR PLACES OF WORSHIP, AND OUR 
CULTURAL AND SOCIAL CENTERS ACCORDING TO OUR NEEDS." 
 
"THUS, WE MAKE THIS APPEAL TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE, RICH IN 
ETHNICITIES AND RELIGIONS, TO THE POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS 
    AUTHORITIES, AS WELL AS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS THE GOOD OF THE 
COUNTRY AT HEART, HENCE TO THE LEADERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL 
COMMUNITY." 
 
END INFORMAL EMBASSY TRANSLATION. 
 
¶3.  (SBU) COMMENT:  THROUGHOUT THE IRAQ CRISIS, THE HOLY SEE 
HAS BEEN PREOCCUPIED BY CONCERN FOR THE SAFETY OF CHRISTIAN 
COMMUNITIES IN IRAQ AND THE IMPACT OF A WAR WAGED BY A 
PREDOMINANTLY CHRISTIAN WEST ON MUSLIM IRAQ.  BEYOND THE 
IMPACT OF WAR, AN ADDITIONAL IMPLICIT CONCERN WAS THE RISK 
THAT AN IRAQ UNFETTERED BY SADDAM'S REPRESSION COULD TAKE A 
MORE FUNDAMENTALIST TURN THAT COULD LEAD TO NEW RESTRICTIONS 
ON CATHOLIC AND OTHER CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES.  AS NEW 
POLITICAL ARRANGEMENTS ARE DEVELOPED, WE CAN EXPECT THE HOLY 
SEE AND THE IRAQI BISHOPS TO REMAIN ACTIVE IN PROMOTING THE 
ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND POLITICAL GUARANTEES FOR 
A MULTI-ETHNIC, RELIGIOUSLY TOLERANT GOVERNMENT. 
 
NICHOLSON 
 
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 2003VATICA01880 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED