Viewing cable 06VATICAN210
Title: INDONESIAN-VATICAN RELATIONS: A BUMP IN THE ROAD

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VATICAN2102006-10-03 13:23:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vatican
VZCZCXRO8485
PP RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHROV #0210/01 2761323
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 031323Z OCT 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0507
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA PRIORITY 0009
RUEHJA/AMCONSUL SURABAYA PRIORITY 0001
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0535
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 000210 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/WE LARREA; DRL/IRF HEWETT 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  10/3/2031 
TAGS: KIRF PTER PHUM SOCI ID VT
SUBJECT: INDONESIAN-VATICAN RELATIONS: A BUMP IN THE ROAD 
 
REF: A. VATICAN 208 
 
     ¶B. VATICAN 207 
     ¶C. VATICAN 206 ET AL. 
 
VATICAN 00000210  001.5 OF 002 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Peter Martin, Pol/Econ Chief, Vatican, State. 
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
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Summary 
 
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¶1.   (C)  Indonesian Ambassador Prayitno told Ambassador Rooney 
recently that he was optimistic about Indonesian - Holy See 
relations despite the recent papal flap and the execution of 
three Catholics there.  He said that despite numerous entreaties 
by the Vatican, there was never any chance that the executions 
would be halted.  For his part, Holy See Country Director for 
Indonesia Luis Montemayor (protect) told us in confidence that 
he never expected the Indonesians to bend on the issue, but that 
the appeals were important to make a statement about the death 
penalty and treatment of minorities.  Another contact with 
missionary experience in Indonesia was hopeful about the 
well-being of the Christian community in Indonesia, but 
concerned about circumstances surrounding the executions.  In 
all, recent events seem to have been no more than a bump in the 
road for Holy See - Indonesian relations and the Holy See is 
maintaining its keen interest in the country. End Summary. 
 
 
 
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Ambassador Prayitno Optimistic 
 
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¶2.   (C)  Indonesian Ambassador Bambang Prayitno told the 
Ambassador recently that he was optimistic about Indonesian - 
Holy See relations.  Ref (a) detailed the reactions of Prayitno 
and several other Muslim ambassadors here to the papal comments 
in Regensburg.  He also discussed with the Ambassador the recent 
execution of three Catholics in Indonesia, the subject of a 
personal appeal by the pope and, according to Prayitno, at least 
six written or oral entreaties by the Vatican to stop the 
executions.  According to Prayitno, there was never any chance 
that the executions would be halted. The trials were conducted 
fairly and legally, he said, and made it clear that the 
Catholics' fate was not unrelated to that of the Bali bombers. 
 
 
 
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Appeals Were a Statement 
 
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¶3.   (C)  Holy See Country Director for Indonesia Luis 
Montemayor (protect) told us in confidence September 25 that 
even with the appeals by the Vatican, he never expected the 
Indonesians to bend on the issue.  Once there was confirmation 
of the sentence by a high court, he said, the Vatican's efforts 
were more to make a point about the treatment of the Christian 
minority, and hopefully improve the situation for the future. 
Montemayor was somewhat critical of the Indonesian government's 
treatment of Christians, but was not unduly pessimistic about 
the future of relations.  "This is not Saudi Arabia," he said. 
"There are some issues, but we will continue working on them." 
 
 
 
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Priest Concerned About Executions 
 
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¶4.   (C)  Fr. Sylwester Pajak, a Polish priest of the Catholic 
order of the Divine Word Missionaries who spent 26 years in 
Indonesia and now teaches at a pontifical university in Rome, 
shared a "general hopefulness" about the well-being of 
Christians in Indonesia, but was still very upset about the 
 
VATICAN 00000210  002.3 OF 002 
 
 
executions.  [Note: Pajak is nominally the ecclesiastical 
advisor to the Indonesian Embassy (many embassies to the Holy 
See employ a member of the clergy in that capacity), but said he 
is consulted only sparingly these days.  He alluded vaguely to a 
less receptive atmosphere in the Indonesian Embassy to his work 
in recent years.]  Regarding the executions, he charged that the 
Catholics had not had the opportunity to receive Communion just 
before they died, and was generally critical of their trial and 
the sentence's effects on the Indonesian Christian community. 
He also noted media reports that the bodies of the three men 
exhibited signs of abuse. 
 
 
 
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Comment 
 
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¶5.   (C)  Recent events seem to have been no more than a bump in 
the road for Holy See - Indonesian relations. Prayitno repeated 
praise we have heard for new Papal Nuncio to Indonesia Leonardo 
Girelli, and implied that the executions had not strained 
relations between the two sides in Jakarta.  Montemayor 
underlined the importance of Indonesia to the Holy See, both 
because of its Christian minority and because of its pivotal 
role in the Muslim world. 
ROONEY