Viewing cable 07VATICAN96
Title: HOLY SEE EMPHASIZES BALANCE BETWEEN JUSTICE AND

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07VATICAN962007-06-13 14:11:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vatican
VZCZCXRO4034
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHSR
DE RUEHROV #0096/01 1641411
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131411Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0744
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0774
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 VATICAN 000096 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/WE LARREA, S/WCI 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  6/13/2032 
TAGS: PREL PHUM KAWC SOCI VT RW BY SU CG
SUBJECT: HOLY SEE EMPHASIZES BALANCE BETWEEN JUSTICE AND 
RECONCILIATION IN WAR CRIME MATTERS WITH S/WCI AMBASSADOR WILLIAMSON 
 
REF: 06 VAT 00059 
 
VATICAN 00000096  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Christopher J. Sandrolini, Deputy Chief of 
Mission, Embassy Vatican. 
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
--------- 
 
Summary 
 
--------- 
 
 
 
¶1.  (C) Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Clint 
Williamson met with officials from the Holy See and from 
Vatican-affiliated NGO Sant'Egidio May 22 regarding war crimes 
issues.  The Holy See concurred with Williamson's assessment 
that a one-size-fits-all approach was sub-optimal when 
addressing the prosecution of war crimes.  The Holy See 
emphasized that justice should be balanced with reconciliation 
in whatever approach was adopted.  Williamson and the Holy See 
discussed pending war crime matters in Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, 
the DRC, and the Balkans, and agreed that a close working 
relationship between S/WCI and the Holy See would be important 
in discussing how best to deal with each individual issue. 
 
 
 
----------------------------------- 
 
Balance Justice with Reconciliation 
 
----------------------------------- 
 
 
 
¶2.  (C) Meeting May 22 with Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes 
Issues Clint Williamson, Holy See Deputy Foreign Minister 
equivalent Pietro Parolin emphasized the Vatican's preference 
for a balance between justice and reconciliation when dealing 
with war crimes.  He noted the Holy See's concerns (reftel) 
about the Rwanda tribunal, referring to the case of three 
priests accused of war crimes.  One of the clerics was charged 
with failing to use his moral authority to stop killings - 
difficult charges to prove, Parolin commented.  Williamson noted 
the practical problem that the court simply could not handle all 
the cases it was slated to take.  Parolin appreciated 
Williamson's concerns on the tribunal, and was pleased that he 
had raised them to the Rwandan government.  He said that it was 
difficult for the Vatican to speak to the GoR on the issue, and 
asked that the U.S. keep the Holy See's inquiries on Rwanda 
confidential. 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
 
---------------------- 
 
Burundi, Sudan, DRC 
 
---------------------- 
 
 
 
¶3.  (C) Parolin raised his concerns regarding the lack of 
progress in the investigation of the December 2003 murder of the 
papal nuncio in Burundi.  Williamson stressed the need for 
reconciliation in Burundi, leaving open the question of war 
crimes trials at a later date.  Parolin asked about Darfur, 
emphasizing that the government should accept the involvement of 
the international community to help resolve the situation. 
Williamson agreed, and added that African leadership was needed 
on the issue.  He explained that the USG's priority was to stop 
the killing and get food to the people who need it; Parolin was 
in full agreement. 
 
 
 
¶4.  (C) Parolin asked about the Democratic Republic of Congo, 
lamenting the "millions of victims" in the conflict.  Williamson 
noted that the ICC was limited in its options there due to 
security concerns.  Parolin agreed that in this case, and 
others, it was important to gauge the situation carefully and 
not simply charge ahead, destabilizing societies.  He added that 
the Holy See thought it crucial to avoid the politicization of 
criminal tribunals.  The two also touched on the Balkans, East 
Timor, and South Africa, and Zimbabwe, the latter as an example 
of S/WCI's efforts to anticipate issues it might face in 
post-conflict societies. 
 
 
 
-------------- 
 
Balkan Issues 
 
VATICAN 00000096  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
 
-------------- 
 
 
 
¶5.  (C) Williamson also met with Monsignor Miguel Maury, the 
Holy See MFA's Balkan expert.  The two were on the same page on 
most issues.  Maury was pessimistic that Serbia would make 
necessary strides in apprehending war criminals under current 
leadership.  He agreed with Williamson that Serb society needed 
to appreciate the fact that dealing with war criminals was a 
necessary step for the entire society - not simply a box to 
check in order to enter the EU.  Contrasting the situation in 
Serbia with the strides that Croatians had made on these issues, 
he told the story of a Croatian priest who had preached a 
message of reconciliation at Christmas Eve midnight mass in 2000 
in a mostly-destroyed church in Vukovar.  When the parishioners 
heard him calling for forgiveness for the Serbs, half of them 
walked out.  When the priest delivered the same homily in 2005 
no one left the church. 
 
 
 
¶6.  (C) Maury said the best strategy with Serbia was to move 
slowly, using penalties and rewards, but not giving them 
everything all at once.  There is still a long way to go, he 
emphasized, adding that ninety percent of Serbs believe that 
Milosevic was poisoned in the Hague.  He mentioned the important 
role of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) on these issues and 
said that SOC leadership was happy with Prime Minister 
Kostunica.  He commented that divisions within the SOC had led 
Pope John Paul to decline invitations to Serbia in the past. 
There are no current plans for Pope Benedict to visit Serbia. 
 
 
 
----------------------------------- 
 
Sant'Egidio Experts Discuss Africa 
 
----------------------------------- 
 
 
 
¶7.  (C) Williamson outlined S/WCI priorities with members of the 
Community of Sant'Egidio, a Vatican-linked NGO deeply engaged in 
conflict resolution work in Africa and elsewhere.  The Community 
was represented by Fr. Matteo Zuppi, Sant'Egidio's lead for 
francophone Africa, and Vittorio Scelzo, who concentrates on 
Sudan and Northern Uganda. 
 
 
 
¶8.  (C) Sant'Egidio has been involved in mediation efforts in 
Northern Uganda, and has met with LRA leader Joseph Kony on 
occasion.  [Note: Post linked AF and three Sant'Egidio members 
via digital video conference to discuss Northern Uganda May 25 - 
septel.]  Williamson and Sant'Egidio discussed the complicating 
factor of ICC indictments in mediation efforts.  Zuppi said that 
timing was the main issue - it would be ideal to carefully 
synchronize any final peace agreement and indictments. 
According to him, the indictments are the most significant issue 
standing in the way of an agreement.  The government would 
prefer to avoid trials and find alternative solution. 
 
 
 
¶9.  (C) On Rwanda, Sant'Egidio shared Williamson's concern about 
the caseload for the tribunals.  Zuppi thought the weakened 
Rwandan Church could be of limited usefulness in reconciliation 
efforts, whereas in Burundi it was stronger and might play a 
greater role.  On Burundi, Zuppi agreed that no one had any 
interest in trials - just truth and reconciliation.  He agreed 
that trials might be destabilizing for Burundi society. 
 
 
 
------------------------------------- 
 
Working Lunch with MFA Directors 
 
------------------------------------- 
 
 
 
¶10.  (C) Williamson had a working lunch with Monsignor Jose 
Bettencourt, a Canadian who covers much of West Africa for the 
Holy See MFA, and Monsignor Fortunatus Nwachukwu, a Nigerian 
covering the ICC and human rights.  The two outlined their 
portfolios and expressed interest in Williamson's wide-ranging 
 
VATICAN 00000096  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
work in their subject areas. 
 
 
 
---------- 
 
Comment 
 
---------- 
 
 
 
¶11.  (C) Vatican and Sant'Egidio interlocutors told us following 
the visit that they were very pleased with the Williamson 
meetings.  His message that a "one size does not fit all" 
approach to these issues resonated with them, as did his 
description of the "prevention and response initiative" meant to 
address war crimes issues in a wider context.  Bettencourt 
remarked to us that Williamson seemed to understand and 
appreciate the Vatican mindset on these issues, in particular 
the need to balance justice with reconciliation.  "We come from 
different bureaucratic circumstances, but with the shared goals 
we spoke about, we can clearly work together," Bettencourt 
concluded.  Claudio Betti, Sant'Egidio's director of 
international cooperation, told us later there was a positive 
buzz at the Community about the interaction.  With their "very 
similar philosophies," Betti said he hoped Sant'Egidio would 
enjoy close future cooperation with S/WCI.  Post would be happy 
to reinforce any approaches by Ambassador Williamson to 
Archbishop Sambi (nuncio to the U.S.) or other Holy See envoys 
by speaking with Parolin and others here at the Vatican. 
 
 
 
¶12. (U) Ambassador Williamson has cleared this message. 
ROONEY