Vatican says local church strong enough to stand up to Mugabe


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The Holy See’s deputy foreign minister equivalent Pietro Parolin said the Vatican was considering speaking out against Zimbabwe but it was waiting for the green light from Zimbabwe’s bishops because it felt that the local church, Archbishop Pius Ncube, in particular, was strong enough to stand up to President Robert Mugabe.

Parolin said he had no reason to think that the bishops would oppose the Holy See’s speaking out, but he had to be sure that the Vatican would not be complicating matters for the local Church.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07VATICAN64, ZIMBABWE: HOLY SEE WAITING FOR OK FROM BISHOPS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07VATICAN64

2007-03-23 15:41

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Vatican

VZCZCXRO3967

PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHSR

DE RUEHROV #            0064 0821541

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 231541Z MAR 07

FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0692

INFO RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 0002

RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 0005

RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLAD COLLECTIVE

RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE

RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0722

C O N F I D E N T I A L VATICAN 000064

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR EUR/WE LARREA

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 3/23/2017

TAGS: PHUM SOCI KIRF PGOV PREL ZI VT

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: HOLY SEE WAITING FOR OK FROM BISHOPS

 

REF: A. VATICAN 58; B. STATE 36885; C. MARTIN-TRENKLE MAR 23 TELCON

 

CLASSIFIED BY: Peter Martin, Pol/Econ Chief, Vatican, State.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.   (C) In response to ref (b) points, Holy See deputy foreign

minister equivalent Pietro Parolin told the Charge March 23 that

the Holy See was considering speaking out further on Zimbabwe,

but felt compelled to wait until it got the “green light” from

the Zimbabwe bishops to do so. He noted the Holy See’s

recognition of the seriousness of the situation, and alluded to

a similar demarche he had received from the British (ref a). He

also volunteered that the pope’s Easter message (ref a) would be

an ideal time for the pontiff to speak out.

 

 

 

2. (C) Parolin said he had no reason to think that the bishops

would oppose the Holy See’s speaking out, but he had to be sure

that the Vatican wouldn’t be complicating matters for the local

Church. He said that some had argued that the local Church (he

mentioned Bishop Pius Alick Ncube of Bulawayo) was strong enough

to stand up to Mugabe, and a word from the Vatican was just the

boost it needed. Even so, Parolin said, the Holy See needed to

hear that from the bishops themselves. He noted that nuncio to

Zimbabwe Adams is following events closely, but claimed that

nuncio to South Africa Green had little role to play.

 

 

 

3. (C) Comment: Parolin’s comments track with the Holy See’s

traditional preference not to get out in front of the local

bishops. We defer to Embassy Harare, but note that from our

perspective direct contact with the bishops, or contact through

Archbishop Adams seems the likeliest way to proceed. We still

believe nuncio to South Africa Green might have a useful role to

play, but suggest approaching him with the stated intention of

simply “keeping him in the loop”. He may then have some useful

input. Contact with other prelates who might have good contact

with the Zimbabwe bishops could also be useful (ref c).

 

SANDROLINI

(15 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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