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WikiLeaks: the US embassy cables regarding the Vatican.

In November 2010, several newspapers began printing classified us diplomatic cables from embassies around the world that had been unearthed by Wikileaks. the cables contain some points of interest for conscience readers who may want to see how the Vatican seeks to influence public policy through diplomatic channels.

The Holy See will continue to play a role in the [Middle East Peace Process], while denying this intention. Embassy Vatican [sic] continues to recommend a high-level visit to encourage the Vatican to play a more constructive, or at least less unhelpful, role in the process. (1)

... the Vatican is often reluctant to appear to compromise its independence and moral authority by associating itself with particular lobbying efforts. Even more important than the Vatican's lobbying assistance, however, is the influence the Pope's guidance can have on public opinion in countries with large Catholic majorities and beyond. (2)

[At the UN General Assembly] the Vatican observer was, as always, active and influential behind the scenes. (3)

The Holy See's communications operation is suffering from "muddled messaging" partly as a result of cardinals' technophobia and ignorance about 21st century communications.... These factors have led to muddled, reactive messaging that reduces the volume of the moral megaphone the Vatican uses to advance its objectives. (4)

A Tin Ear at the Top: Normally reserved Vatican commentators have directed withering criticism [toward the small group of decision-makers who advise the Pope]. [Redacted] recently wrote that "curial chaos, confusion and incompetence" had made clear "how dysfunctional the curia remains in terms of both crisis analysis and crisis management." (4)

The Holy See has been publicly silent to date on the current crisis [violence and human rights violations in Iran], in part to preserve its ability to act as an intermediary if an international crisis emerges. (The Vatican helped secure the release of British sailors detained in Iranian waters in April 2007). (5)

The Murphy Commission's requests [to answer questions about the sex-abuse scandal in Ireland] offended many in the Vatican, the Holy See's Assessor Peter Wells (protect strictly) told DCM, because they saw them as an affront to Vatican sovereignty. (6)

[Regarding] aggressive attorneys [who filed suits related to the sexual abuse scandal against the Vatican], it's one thing for them to sue bishops, but another thing entirely to sue the Holy See. (7)

(1) Guardian, "Vatican reaction to WikiLeaks claims," December 12, 2010. (2) US Embassy to the Vatican, "The Vatican--supranational power," July 3, 2001. (3) US Embassy to the Vatican, "[U.N. General Assembly, 64th Session] UNGA64: EU and EFTA member states welcome and support new US priorities," December 21, 2009. (4) US Embassy to the Vatican, "The Holy See: a failure to communicate," February 20, 2009. (5) US Embassy to the Vatican, "Vatican 'helped secure release' of British sailors captured by Iran," June 26, 2009. (6) US Embassy to the Vatican, "Sex abuse scandal strains Irish-Vatican relations, shakes up Irish church and poses challenges for the Holy See," February 26, 2010. (7) US Embassy to the Vatican, "Cardinal Angelo Sodano meeting with US Ambassador James Nicholson, 2002.

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Title Annotation:Sunshine Press
Publication:Conscience
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:Mar 22, 2011
Words:512
Previous Article:Postscript.
Next Article:Editor's note.
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