Viewing cable 04VATICAN4517
Title: VATICAN HOLDS FIRM ON ADDING CHRISTIAN REFERENCE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04VATICAN45172004-11-29 14:34:00 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 004517 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (LEVIN); EUR/OHI (BRAUM); NEA/IAI; EUR/RPM 
(TROUTMAN) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PHUM SOCI KIRF IS NL PHUM SOCI KIRF IS NL VT OSCE VTPREL OSCE
SUBJECT:  VATICAN HOLDS FIRM ON ADDING CHRISTIAN REFERENCE 
TO OSCE PERSONAL REP'S TITLE 
 
REFS:  A) State 249144; B) Vatican 4441; C) MartinBrooks 
11/26 telcons 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
¶1.  (SBU) Holy See Deputy Foreign Minister Pietro Parolin 
told the Ambassador November 26 that the Vatican intended 
to continue pressing to add a reference to Christianity in 
the title of the proposed OSCE Special Representative on 
Tolerance and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and 
Discrimination.  Ambassador delivered ref (a) points, 
emphasizing that including anti-Christian discrimination in 
the representative's mandate would ensure sufficient 
attention to the problem.  Parolin and OSCE Director 
Balestrero, however, affirmed the Vatican's support for a 
title with "a Particular Focus on Discriminationagainst 
Christians," rejecting even the possiQility of a title 
"Including Discrimination ag!inst Christians."  Although 
Parolin said the Vatican "would always consider all 
proposals," the Holy See feels that this is an issue on 
which it has to remain firm.  End Summary. 
 
------------ 
Holy See:essary 
---------------- 
 
¶2.  (SBU) Holy See DepQnsignor Pietro 
Parol November 26 to reite2ination to press for al @o  adamant during the 
meet would not accept anything 
to a "Particular Focus nst 
Christians" in the  Parolin and 
Balester`d in ref (b), stressingy the serious nature of anti-Semitic 
and anti-Islamic problems in the OSCE region, only that 
there needed to be a focus on anti-Christian issues as 
well. 
 
------------------------------- 
Ambassador Presses USG Position 
------------------------------- 
 
¶3.  (SBU) The Ambassador emphasized the points in ref (a), 
noting that adding Christianity to the representative's 
title could open the floodgates to group after group 
wanting similar inclusion.  This could water down or render 
ineffective the entire endeavor, he said.  The Ambassador 
pointed out that even if other groups did not jump on 
board, adding Christianity to the representative's title 
would imply that there are only three religions in the 
region deserving of OSCE attention, to say nothing of other 
non-religious groups.  Including a reference to anti- 
Christian discrimination in the representative's mandate, 
the Ambassador concluded, would ensure that the problem 
receives appropriate attention. 
 
------------------- 
Vatican Unrelenting 
------------------- 
 
¶4.  (SBU) Parolin and Balestero remained firm on their 
points, with Balestrero becoming animated when speaking 
about the issue of balance and fairness.  There are some 
smaller groups that could complain about not being included 
in the representative's title, Balestrero said.  "But we're 
talking about Europe," where Christians make up a great 
percentage of the population.  "If you're going to leave 
out a group that is facing discrimination, how can it be 
Christians," he asked.  Balestrero noted that the Holy See 
remained in the background on many OSCE issues, realizing 
that on defense matters, for example, other delegations had 
more expertise r greater equities than the Vatican.  But 
he insisted that the Holy See had to assert itself on a 
religious and human rights issue such as this.  Otherwise, 
he implied, what was the point of its OSCE membership? 
 
------------------------- 
Searching for Flexibility 
 
 
------------------------- 
 
¶5.  (SBU) While making clear that he was not negotiating 
the proposal's wording, the Ambassador probed the Holy 
See's flexibility on the issue, asking if, for example, the 
Vatican would accept a title "Including Discrimination 
against Christians."  Balestrero flatly rejected the idea. 
Parolin, while initially backing up his colleague's view, 
added that the Holy See "would, of course, consider all 
proposals." 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
¶6.  (SBU) The Holy See appeared unaware on the 26th of the 
possibility of EU movement in its direction as discussed 
with OSCE Vienna (ref c).  We expect that the Vatican would 
become further emboldened if it saw support for its 
position growing within the EU.  The fact that the normally 
reticent Vatican is pressing this issue so vigorously 
reflects the depth of its concern about what it perceives 
to be growing anti-Christian discrimination in Europe, as 
reflected in recent events including the rejection by the 
EU parliament of the Italian candidate for the EU 
Commission (ref b). 
 
Nicholson 
 
 
NOTE: SVC FOR GARBLED TEXT IN PARA 2. 
NNNN 


 
UNCLAS  VATICAN 004517 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (LEVIN); EUR/OHI (BRAUM); NEA/IAI; EUR/RPM 
(TROUTMAN) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PHUM SOCI KIRF IS NL PHUM SOCI KIRF IS NL VT OSCE VTPREL OSCE
SUBJECT:  VATICAN HOLDS FIRM ON ADDING CHRISTIAN REFERENCE 
TO OSCE PERSONAL REP'S TITLE 
 
REFS:  A) State 249144; B) Vatican 4441; C) MartinBrooks 
11/26 telcons 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
¶1.  (SBU) Holy See Deputy Foreign Minister Pietro Parolin 
told the Ambassador November 26 that the Vatican intended 
to continue pressing to add a reference to Christianity in 
the title of the proposed OSCE Special Representative on 
Tolerance and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and 
Discrimination.  Ambassador delivered ref (a) points, 
emphasizing that including anti-Christian discrimination in 
the representative's mandate would ensure sufficient 
attention to the problem.  Parolin and OSCE Director 
Balestrero, however, affirmed the Vatican's support for a 
title with "a Particular Focus on Discriminationagainst 
Christians," rejecting even the possiQility of a title 
"Including Discrimination ag!inst Christians."  Although 
Parolin said the Vatican "would always consider all 
proposals," the Holy See feels that this is an issue on 
which it has to remain firm.  End Summary. 
 
------------ 
Holy See:essary 
---------------- 
 
¶2.  (SBU) Holy See DepQnsignor Pietro 
Parol November 26 to reite2ination to press for al @o  adamant during the 
meet would not accept anything 
to a "Particular Focus nst 
Christians" in the  Parolin and 
Balester`d in ref (b), stressingy the serious nature of anti-Semitic 
and anti-Islamic problems in the OSCE region, only that 
there needed to be a focus on anti-Christian issues as 
well. 
 
------------------------------- 
Ambassador Presses USG Position 
------------------------------- 
 
¶3.  (SBU) The Ambassador emphasized the points in ref (a), 
noting that adding Christianity to the representative's 
title could open the floodgates to group after group 
wanting similar inclusion.  This could water down or render 
ineffective the entire endeavor, he said.  The Ambassador 
pointed out that even if other groups did not jump on 
board, adding Christianity to the representative's title 
would imply that there are only three religions in the 
region deserving of OSCE attention, to say nothing of other 
non-religious groups.  Including a reference to anti- 
Christian discrimination in the representative's mandate, 
the Ambassador concluded, would ensure that the problem 
receives appropriate attention. 
 
------------------- 
Vatican Unrelenting 
------------------- 
 
¶4.  (SBU) Parolin and Balestero remained firm on their 
points, with Balestrero becoming animated when speaking 
about the issue of balance and fairness.  There are some 
smaller groups that could complain about not being included 
in the representative's title, Balestrero said.  "But we're 
talking about Europe," where Christians make up a great 
percentage of the population.  "If you're going to leave 
out a group that is facing discrimination, how can it be 
Christians," he asked.  Balestrero noted that the Holy See 
remained in the background on many OSCE issues, realizing 
that on defense matters, for example, other delegations had 
more expertise r greater equities than the Vatican.  But 
he insisted that the Holy See had to assert itself on a 
religious and human rights issue such as this.  Otherwise, 
he implied, what was the point of its OSCE membership? 
 
------------------------- 
Searching for Flexibility 
 
 
------------------------- 
 
¶5.  (SBU) While making clear that he was not negotiating 
the proposal's wording, the Ambassador probed the Holy 
See's flexibility on the issue, asking if, for example, the 
Vatican would accept a title "Including Discrimination 
against Christians."  Balestrero flatly rejected the idea. 
Parolin, while initially backing up his colleague's view, 
added that the Holy See "would, of course, consider all 
proposals." 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
¶6.  (SBU) The Holy See appeared unaware on the 26th of the 
possibility of EU movement in its direction as discussed 
with OSCE Vienna (ref c).  We expect that the Vatican would 
become further emboldened if it saw support for its 
position growing within the EU.  The fact that the normally 
reticent Vatican is pressing this issue so vigorously 
reflects the depth of its concern about what it perceives 
to be growing anti-Christian discrimination in Europe, as 
reflected in recent events including the rejection by the 
EU parliament of the Italian candidate for the EU 
Commission (ref b). 
 
Nicholson 
 
 
NOTE: SVC FOR GARBLED TEXT IN PARA 2. 
NNNN