Diplomacy Vatican-style

The former papal nuncio, Josef Wesolowski, surreptitiously left the country in August after investigative TV journalists were on his trail with reports that he was an active pedophile. Wesolowski served as the Vatican’s ambassador in the DR for seven years. The Vatican has yet to present any conclusions on any actions being taken in response to his alleged criminal offenses against poor vulnerable Dominican minors.

Now, Diario Libre reports that the new nuncio has already presented his stand in another controversial matter. His Excellency Jude Thaddeus Okolo chose to hold Christmas mass with Haitian nuns at their house in Capotillo, a slum area in Santo Domingo. “As a message of love for the poor it is perfect,” writes the editorialist in Diario Libre. “But as a message of division at a complicated time in the relations between the two nations, it was lacking in diplomacy.”

Diario Libre says that the DR has diplomatic relations with the Vatican state and that is why the nuncio is the dean of the diplomatic corps in our country. “Historically, the Vatican has mediated in numerous conflicts with our neighbors,” writes Adriano Miguel Tejada. But Tejada asks, “What is the attitude now? Is the nuncio disqualifying himself from acting as a friendly mediator between the two societies? Is the Christmas message the policy of the Vatican? Or of the Dominican church?”

Tejada says that these are all valid questions that arise when analyzing the first public appearance of the new nuncio who has replaced Wesolowski.

He writes: “The church is an expert in humanity, and as such, has known to live in harmony with all regimes and has survived all conflicts. The present differences with the Haitians are irrelevant because it is not about taking Haitian nationality away from anyone, but rather investigating which of the residents in our country qualify for Dominican nationality. That is why the nuncio’s little diplomatic message is one that causes concern.”