Skip to main content

Pope`s hostility to Turkey in joining EU

THE pope is responsible for the Vatican`s growing hostility towards Turkey joining the EU, previously secret cables sent from the US embassy to the Holy See in Rome claim.
In 2004, Cardinal Ratzinger, the future pope, spoke out against letting a Muslim state join, although at the time the Vatican was formally neutral on the question.
The Vatican`s acting foreign minister, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, responded by telling US diplomats that Ratzinger`s comments were his own rather than the official Vatican position.
The cable released by WikiLeaks shows that Ratzinger was the leading voice behind the Holy See`s unsuccessful drive to secure a reference to Europe`s “Christian roots” in the EU constitution. The US diplomat noted that Ratzinger “clearly understands that allowing a Muslim country into the EU would further weaken his case for Europe`s Christian foundations”.
But by 2006, Parolin was working for Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and his tone had distinctly chilled.
“Neither the pope nor the Vatican have endorsed Turkey`s EU membership per se,” he told the American charge d`affaires, “rather, the Holy See has been consistently open to accession, emphasising only that Turkey needs to fulfil the EU`s Copenhagen criteria to take its place in Europe.”
But he did not expect the demands on religious freedom to be fulfilled: “One great fear is that Turkey could enter the EU without having made the necessary advances in religious freedom. [Parolin] insisted that EU members – and the US – continue to press the [Turkish government] on these issues… He said that short of `open persecution`, it couldn`t get much worse for the Christian community in Turkey.”
The cables reveal the American government lobbying within Rome and Ankara for Turkish EU membership. “We hope a senior department official can visit the Holy See and encourage them to do more to push a positive message on Turkey and integration,” concluded the 2006 cable.
But by 2009, the American ambassador was briefing in advance of President Barack Obama`s visit that “the Holy See`s position now is that as a non-EU member the Vatican has no role in promoting or vetoing Turkey`s membership. The Vatican might prefer to see Turkey develop a special relationship short of membership with the EU.”
Roman Catholicism is the only religion in the world with the status of a sovereign state, allowing the pope`s most senior clerics to sit at the top table with world leaders.
The cables reveal the Vatican routinely wielding influence through diplomatic channels while sometimes denying it is doing so. The Vatican has diplomatic relations with 177 countries and has used its diplomatic status to lobby the US, United Nations and European Union in a concerted bid to impose its moral agenda through national and international parliaments.
US charge d`affaires D. Brent Hardt told Parolin, his diplomatic counterpart in Rome, of “the Holy See`s potential to influence Catholic countries to support a ban on human cloning” to which Parolin emphasised his agreement with the US position and promised to support fully UN efforts for such a ban.
On other global issues such as climate change, the Vatican sought to use its moral authority as leverage, while refusing itself to sign formal treaties, such as the Copenhagen accord, that require reporting commitments.
At a meeting in January this year, Dr Paolo Conversi, the pope`s representative on climate change at the Vatican`s secretariat of state, told an American diplomat that the Vatican would “encourage other countries discreetly to associate themselves with the accord as opportunities arise”.
The Americans noted that Conversi`s offer to support the US, even if discreetly, was significant because the Vatican was 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.”
The cables also reveal that the Vatican planned to use Poland as a trojan horse to spread Catholic family values through the structures of the EU in Brussels.
The then US ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Rooney, briefed Washington in 2006, shortly after the election of Pope Benedict XVI, that “the Holy See hopes that Poland will hold the line at the EU on `life and family` issues that arise” and would serve as a counterweight to western European secularism once the country had integrated into the EU.
The cable notes that Pope Benedict is preoccupied with Europe`s increasing psychological distance from its Christian roots.
“He has continued to focus on Poland`s potential in combating this trend. This was one of the themes of the visit of several groups of Polish bishops to the Vatican at the end of last year [2005]. “It`s a topic that always comes up,” explained Monsignor Michael Banach, the Holy See minister of foreign affairs` country director for Poland. “He told us that the two sides recognised that the Polish bishops needed to exert leadership in the face of western European secularism.”
Across the Atlantic, the Vatican has told the Americans it wants to undermine the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, in Latin America because of worries about the deterioration of Catholic power there. It fears Chavez is seriously damaging relations between the Catholic church and the state by identifying the church hierarchy as part of the privileged class.
Monsignor Angelo Accattino, in charge of Caribbean and Andean matters for the Vatican, said Obama should reach out to Cuba “in order to reduce the influence of Chavez and break up his cabal in Latin America”.—
By Heather Brooke and Andrew Brown, Dawn-Guardian News Service

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A historic moment in the Arab world

لحظة تاريخية في العالم العربي
As a democratic revolution led by tech-empowered young people sweeps the Arab world, Wadah Khanfar, Al Jazeera's director-general, shares a profoundly optimistic view of what's happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and beyond. In the first talk posted online from the TED 2011 conference in California, Khanfar describes the powerful moment when people realised they could step out of their homes and ask for change. "كما ثورة ديمقراطية بقيادة الشباب التكنولوجيا ذات صلاحيات تجتاح العالم العربي ، وضاح خنفر ، الجزيرة المدير العام والأسهم وجهة نظر متفائلة بشكل كبير ما يحدث في مصر وتونس وليبيا وخارجها. وفي اول حديث له نشر على الانترنت من مؤتمر تيد 2011 في ولاية كاليفورنيا ، خنفر يصف لحظة قوية عند الناس أدركت أنها لا يمكن الخروج من منازلهم ونطلب من أجل التغيير."
http://www.ted.com/talks/wadah_khanfar_a_historic_moment_in_the_arab_world.html This talk was given on March 1, 2011 in Long Beach, California. TED 2011 is taking place between March 1 and Mar…

Kashmir Jihad - Analysis & Options

PDF: http://bit.ly/2k0Vqpm

Kashmir is an incomplete agenda of partition of India. Since 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars on this issue. According to UN resolutions, Kashmiris have to decide their accession to Pakistan or India through impartial plebiscite, which could not take place due to Indian reluctance. Recently, India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special autonomous status to Kashmir, it was done to unilaterally integrate occupied Kashmir. This is a violation of the UN resolutions and the Simla bilateral agreement, which demands to maintain status quo until the final settlement. The US and world powers are emphasizing that Kashmir should be resolved bilaterally, though India has refused to hold talks with Pakistan. In the present scenario, while India has turned Kashmir into the largest prison of 9 million people, denying basic human rights and oppressing the Kashmiris' who want freedom from India, Pakistan cannot watch as a silent spec…

Our Captured, Wounded Hearts: Arundhati Roy On Balakot, Kashmir And India

With his reckless “pre-emptive” airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inadvertently undone what previous Indian governments almost miraculously, succeeded in doing for decades. Since 1947 the Indian Government has bristled at any suggestion that the conflict in Kashmir could be resolved by international arbitration, insisting that it is an “internal matter.” By goading Pakistan into a counter-strike, and so making India and Pakistan the only two nuclear powers in history to have bombed each other, Modi has internationalised the Kashmir dispute. He has demonstrated to the world that Kashmir is potentially the most dangerous place on earth, the flash-point for nuclear war. Every person, country, and organisation that worries about the prospect of nuclear war has the right to intervene and do everything in its power to prevent it.  Keep reading  >>>>


India has built around itself an aura of a global power whose time has come. For at least the last t…