Vatican relations strong despite cable leak: US

US`s relations with Vatican is too strong to be undermined by WikiLeaks.

Updated: Jan 07, 2011, 22:48 PM IST

Rome: The US ambassador to the Vatican
today said that Washington`s relationship with the Holy See is
too strong to be undermined by WikiLeaks revelations.

Among thousands of US diplomatic cables being leaked
by the secret-spilling site are comments on aggressive Vatican
diplomacy to head off law suits in the sex abuse scandals and
claims that some Vatican officials harbour anti-Semitic

Miguel H Diaz said in an interview there are always
"ups and downs" in any relationship and they sometimes end in
divorce, but he didn`t see the WikiLeaks issue as "one of
those situations".

Diaz represents the Obama administration, which has
come under sharp attack by some in the Catholic Church for its
support of abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research.

Pope Benedict XVI stressed the church`s position on
the issues when President Barack Obama visited the Vatican in

Vatican officials said Obama pledged to seek to reduce
abortions, a promise the president made publicly during a
visit to Notre Dame University.

The visit was nevertheless opposed by conservative
Catholics because Obama supports abortion rights.

Obama`s election presented a challenge for the Vatican
after eight years of common ground with President George W
Bush in opposing abortion, an issue that drew them together
despite the Vatican`s opposition to the war in Iraq.

"There has never been a time in any administration in
which there is 100 per cent consensus across the board," Diaz

The United States only established formal diplomatic
ties with the Vatican 27 years ago under President Ronald
Reagan, who forged a close relationship with Polish-born Pope
John Paul II helped by their mutual opposition to Communism.

Diaz said that from an era with a rallying cry of
"tear down this wall," Obama has moved to "building bridges"
to overcome differences.

He cited US-Vatican cooperation on promoting human
rights and religious freedom, opposing the trafficking of
human beings and working with the Catholic charity Caritas on
relief efforts after the deadly earthquake in Haiti and

Hispanics make up a large segment of the US Catholic
population, and the Havana-born Diaz, a university theology
professor who is a Roman Catholic, is the first Hispanic to
serve Washington as envoy to the Holy See.

Polls showed Obama received a majority of Catholic