Cable by Dazzlepod US Embassy Diplomatic Cables from WikiLeaks Released 251287 Cables (Sep 2, 2012)
ORIGIN
CONFIDENTIAL (97070)
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN (4678)
SECRET (11322)
SECRET//NOFORN (4330)
UNCLASSIFIED (75792)
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (58095)
Reference ID 09VATICAN130 (original text)
SubjectOUTREACH TO VATICAN ON UGANDA BILL CRIMINALIZING
OriginEmbassy Vatican
ClassificationUNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
ReleasedAug 30, 2011 01:44
CreatedDec 15, 2009 15:58
VZCZCXRO6711
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHROV #0130/01 3491558
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 151558Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1207
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA PRIORITY 0006
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0104
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 1246 UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 000130 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS:        
SUBJECT: OUTREACH TO VATICAN ON UGANDA BILL CRIMINALIZING 
HOMOSEXUALITY 
 
1.(SBU)   Summary:  Embassy Vatican has proactively shared with 
 
senior Vatican officials USG concerns about the Uganda 
 
anti-homosexual bill, and urged them to reach out to Ugandan 
 
Catholic bishops to oppose its provisions. In response, a 
Vatican 
 
high-level official confirmed that the Catholic Church is 
against 
 
the criminalization of homosexuality, even though it considers 
 
homosexual acts a moral sin.  A challenge for the Vatican is to 
make 
 
sure that bishops, other clergy, and Catholics in cultures with 
 
strong prejudices against LGBT persons understand that the 
Church 
 
condemns homosexual acts but upholds the freedom of individuals 
to 
 
make their own moral choices about their sexuality.  End 
summary. 
 
 
 
 2. (SBU)  Embassy Vatican has actively lobbied Holy See 
officials to 
 
take a stand against pending legislation in Uganda that would 
 
criminalize homosexuality and in extreme cases, even punish it 
with 
 
death (reftel).  On December 11, after the Ambassador raised USG 
 
concerns, Cardinal Antonelli Ennio, President of the Pontifical 
 
Council for the Family, reaffirmed the Church's position that 
legal 
 
approaches to homosexuality are inappropriate.  Antonelli 
admitted 
 
that he had not followed the Uganda controversy closely, but 
agreed 
 
that Catholic bishops there or anywhere should not/not support 
the 
 
criminalization of homosexuality.  The Ambassador urged the 
Cardinal 
 
to make sure bishops in Uganda understood this.  Embassy poloff 
 
followed up with the Cardinal, providing information about the 
bill 
 
and USG concerns about it. 
 
 
 
 3. (SBU) On December 8, DCM met with Monsignor Peter Wells, 
Assessor 
 
in the Vatican Secretariat of State's Section for General 
Affairs 
 
(NSC equivalent) and raised these issues.  Monsignor Wells 
expressed 
 
the Vatican's view that the Church considers homosexuality 
sinful 
 
but does not believe it should be criminalized.  Moreover, the 
 
Church is opposed to the death penalty. 
 
 
 
 4. (SBU) Post has also shared USG concerns with officials at the 
 
Vatican's equivalent to the Foreign Ministry, including 
Archbishop 
 
Luigi Travaglino, who covers Uganda; Monsignor Paolo Gualtieri, 
 
VATICAN 00000130  002 OF 002 
 
 
who 
 
covers the U.S.; and Monsignor Christophe El-Kassis, who manages 
 
human rights.  Embassy also reached out to Monsignor Anthony 
 
Frontiero, at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (a 
 
Vatican think tank). 
 
 
 
 
 
 5. (SBU)  Comment: The Vatican likely will not want bishops in 
 
Uganda to support the criminalization of homosexuality, so 
Embassy 
 
efforts may well translate into Vatican officials communicating 
with 
 
bishops in Uganda to reaffirm the Church teaching that 
homosexuality 
 
is a personal moral decision, which should not be penalized in 
any 
 
way by judicial authorities.  The Vatican, however, likely will 
shy 
 
away from instructing the bishops directly to denounce the bill, 
as 
 
bishops everywhere are given a lot of leeway in deciding how to 
 
conduct pastoral work in their own dioceses.  Embassy Kampala 
may 
 
want to reach out to the Holy See's Nuncio and to the President 
 
of the Ugandan Conference of Catholic Bishops to further 
underline 
 
USG concerns.  End comment. 
DIAZ