Catholicism and International Relations

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Unformatted text preview: Religion, Culture and Society Series Editors: Oliver Davies and Gavin Flood, Department ofTheology and Religious Studies, University of Wales, Lampeter Religion, Culture and Society is a series presented by leading scholars on a Wide range of contemporary religious issues. The emphasis throughout is generally multicultural, and the approach is often interdisciplinary. The clarity and accessibility of the series, as well as its authoritative scholarship, will recommend it to students and a non—specialist readership alike. Religion and Global Order Edited by JOHN L. ESPOSITO and MICHAELWATSON UNIVERSITY OF WALES PRESS CARDIFF 2000 4: Catholicism and international relations: papal interventionism MICHAEL WALSH Christians make up just about a third of the world’s populat(:::rr'::c Of that third, Catholics owing allegiance to the papacy acre1 the for well over half. As a proportion of the world s popu ano , Catholics may be declining, but at well over a Efififgdfigigope John Paul II’s Church still makelsk upf 13:: L short of 20 per cent of it. It is, therefore, odd tobtil hznom- ‘ lobalization’ of Catholicism. It has long been a glo a [if is of a egnon, though the global effectiveness of the papacy use I much more recent date. John Paul 11, however, ' has att ' fee in a way no other pope . I . 21:01-12 has been indefatigable in criss-crossmg the world. His de in Visits are always called ‘pastoral’, and are generally maticillar theory at least to the Roman Catholic hierarchy in a par t be ) ' ' ' ' tions canno e had political implica _ countr . But that they hav . 0 6’8 deniedy— massive implications at least in the case of the p p lsewhere he has preached a land of Poland. There as e ‘ _ t<i((:::ri:ine of. social justice and of human rights which has made him a hero round the world to many struggling for greater has exploited the global pretensions of‘ empted, or been able, to liberty th customary ohn Paul II gave 6 _ When, on 11 January 1999: I the diplomatic representatives 1 New Year’s address to J ' Iafifziiaedited to the Holy See, there were 169‘ nations represented Just over twenty years before, at the beginning of £Z8thagg £2: last ear of the reign of his predecessor, Pope Paul , H 1 see beeri, ninety—four nations with diplomatic llnks twith thfe tho yéom, ' ' lly t ose o e - h several of these nations, espec1a _ . iiiiiiliigst bloc, had left their delegations empty. It is a Sign of the Catholicism and international relations: papal interventionism 101 current prestige of the papacy that so many nations have wanted to establish, or to restore, diplomatic links. Most of the recent biographies of Pope John Paul II have been loud in their praise of the global role which he has, apparently, so enthusiastically embraced. But not all Roman Catholics are quite so laudatory.3 Nor are all Catholics at ease with the role of papal diplomats, which they consider ill—suited to an organization dedicated to spiritual purposes. Papal diplomacy is, however, unlikely to go away: it has a very long history. Historical background: the foundations of the papacy’s role The first time there is systematic mention of estates ‘ruled’ by the bishop of Rome is during the reign of Pope Gregory I (590—604). It is to these estates, whose existence entailed the need for a ‘temporal’, in addition to a spiritual, sovereignty, that papal diplomacy owes its origins. Whatever its spiritual role, from Gregory’s time down to 1870 and the fall of Rome to the Italian army during the pontificate of Pius IX, popes had territorial responsibilities and interests, and sometimes, especially during the pontificate of AlexanderVI at the end of the fifteenth century, even dynastic ambitions, which necessitated the use of diplom— acy.4 Much papal diplomacy during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance reflected the need to preserve the territorial integrity of the papal states, and hence papal wealth, and at least to some extent thereby to ensure that relatives of popes benefited from his tenure of office. But papal claims rest ultimately upon the papacy’s spiritual authority, and from the Renaissance onwards, with the rise of the nation—states, popes became concerned to placate the European rulers who were only too eager to repatri- ate, as one might say, ecclesiastical authority from Rome back to their own national bishops whom the rulers could to some" considerable degree control. Papal vicissitudes during the Napoleonic War focused attention on the papal office, and in 1815 Pius VII was invited to send representatives to the Congress of Vienna. This turned out to be a significant date, for it was the last time that the pope was formally represented at an international conference of sovereign 102 Religion and Global Order states as of right until the 1973 Helsinki conference on security and co—operation in Europe. (It is not surprising, therefore,.if the CSCE — now the Organization for Security and Co—operation in Europe — has loomed large in the consciousness of the-papal diplomatic service,5 also with its ongoing scope for. a Significant role in the field of human rights.) The Congress ofVienna rev1ved the papal states which Napoleon had all but dismembered. Successive popes in the first half of the nineteenth century struggled to stem the rising tide of liberalism and anticlericalism, but in the second quarter of the century the states once again fell apart. Papal diplomacy, therefore, became increasingly preoccupied with what was called ‘the Roman Question, the status of Rome itself, while all but a handful of states Withdrew their diplomats from the Vatican as it lost its territorial authority, the United States withdrawing its diplomatic links in 1867 and the United Kingdom in 1874. ' Papal diplomatic fortunes revived under Benedict who became pope just as the First World War broke out. His Peace Points’ of 1917 were generally reviled by both sides in the conflict, but none the less made a considerable impact, and particularly upon PresidentWoodrowWilson who used them as the bas13 for his own peace proposals.6 But there were a number of other aspects to papal policy in the aftermath of the war which had conSiderable repercussions on its diplomatic activity, even though only a handful of Catholic states maintained formal relations with the Vatican. For example, one outcome of the Catholic Church’s intense miSSionary effort during the nineteenth century was the beginnings of an indigenous clergy, and even of an indigenous hierarchy, in some countries still under colonial rule, a policy which was to have important long—term consequences for the dependent territories, and with which the colonial powers themselves were uncom- fortable.The number of Catholics subject to the British Crown was _ certainly one element in the decision to establish unilateral relations with theVatican at the rank of minister in 1917. There was no reciprocal act on the part of the Vatican until Archbishop William Godfrey was appointed apostolic delegate — which is not quite the same thing as a diplomat, a point to which I shall shortly return — in November 1938..1 ' One reason for the increased diplomatic activity of the Vatican after the First World War was the conviction that the Versailles Catholicism and international relations: papal interventionism 103 Treaty, from which the papacy had been excluded, was unworkable and, particularly over the issue of reparations, unjust. Among the reasons why the Vatican was unhappy with Versailles was the redrawing of national frontiers. It was in the interest of states to have ecclesiastical boundaries that coincided with political ones, but this was something which the Vatican was not always prepared to concede, and which it could attempt to use to bring pressure on a reluctant government to enter a concordat. The Saarland, for example, was not detached from German ecclesiastical jurisdiction, even though it was territorially handed over to France. France might have gained control had its govern— ment been prepared to do a deal with the Vatican, but this it steadfastly failed to do. In any case, the Vatican was concerned to protect the fragile Weimar Republic in which the Catholic Centre Party was playing a significant role. Not wishing to seem overly anti—French, however, Benedict XV canonized Joan of Arc — not the first nor the last time when canonization has been an instrument of papal diplomacy. ‘ The impression may have been given so far that the diplomatic activity of the papacy is a continuation of the diplomatic activity of the pope as sovereign of the papal states. Frankly it is difficult to believe that, without the papal states, the papacy would have developed the way that it has, and it would be unrealistic to think that the practice of sending diplomatic representatives does not descend from the territorial basis of papal power. For many centuries the pope, whatever may have been his other claims, was a prince among other princes. That, however, is not the way in which papal diplomats would now wish to defend their role. The system of papal intervention . Theorists will distinguish two quite different sovereignties in the papacy. One is a temporal sovereignty, once exercised over extensive states in what is now Italy — and, to some degree in France — while the other is a spiritual sovereignty over members of the Roman Catholic Church. The right to send and receive diplomats is one of the marks of sovereignty: only properly constituted, and recognized, states may do so. Yet, as has been seen, when the pope had no formal territorial sovereignty in 1917, even the Protestant United Kingdom thought it 4“; appropriate t 104 Religion and Global Order 0 establish diplomatic links, albeit at less than ambassadorial level. These theoreticians, of whom the late Archbishop Hyginus Cardinale is perhaps the best known in Britain if for no other reason than he was apostolic delega:1 bastid in London from 1963 to 1969, will therefore argueh at 0ef sovereignty which is being recognized in the exc lang: In diplomatic relations is not the temporal but the spiritlua. on .are other words, the juridical entity With which re ations ' ' ' ' h the pope is ' t the Vatican City State, of whic I emathth ls no but with the Holy See, of which the pope is he Holy See is a sovereignty lwith no particular territorial base, though in practice it is exerCisedtfro; the Vatican. City, established in 1929 by the Lateran t1pac :éson Cardinale points out, the fact that the pope could, e1 ps that of his secretary of state, sign the Lateran Treaty at a imp ie I n the sovereign kingdom of Italy already recognized the sovereig ty 8 a . - . v s . OfThlfepHilnyee, the ‘Santa Sede’, is the juridical entity to which diplomatic representatives are accredited, rather as,linS Burg]: they are accredited to the Court of St lamesThe H0 y lele ih the governing body of the Roman Catholic Church, over w 10 ‘The Holy See is to the Church what the ope is the monarch: ' i _ Igovernment is to the State, With the difference that the monarch ical constitution of the Church, being of divine Chin, is “rig; subject to change’, says Cardinale.9That, of course, isd e t\IrlieWhat a Vatican diplomat, and it does not altogether accor wil1 after the bishops of the Catholic Church might think, esptecm 1y lace the deliberations of the SecondVatican CounCil, whic 11too p to between December 1961 and December 1965. I sha .reiturnthe that in a moment. For the present I )ust want to recapitu ate sometimes confusing terminology w ldi lomacy. - - pagirst if all, then, one has to discount the Vatican City State. This entity, which came into being in I independent state in the world (only a thir temporal sovereign, spiritual sovereign. T Catholic Church, is made up of the pope and his ‘curia , 3 which literally means ‘courth, bu I denote the various offices which constitute hich is used when speaking of 1929 and is the smallest d the size of the next smallest, Monaco), exists only to provide a territorial base for the t f the Roman Holy See. The Holy See, the central governmen o a word t in this instance is used to this government. It is Catholicism and international relations: papal inlerventionism 105 the Holy See, with the pope at its head, which is the formal agent in sending and receiving diplomatic representation. Just to confuse matters further, however, it is a common practice, even among Catholics, to refer to the Holy See as ‘the Vatican’. People will talk about papal diplomacy or Vatican diplomacy, rather than ‘the diplomatic policy of the Holy See’, though this would be the somewhat heavy—handed, but strictly correct, term to use. At this point it is not unreasonable to ask what one means specifically by ‘the Vatican’. There are, it is perhaps worth noting, a number of books which attempt with varying degrees of success to explain this rather arcane structure.10 They provide the reader with a good sense of who does what to whom, and why. However, the structure of the papal foreign ministry was altered from the situation described in all but the most recent books by an Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, of 28 June 1988. The pope reorganized his curia so that what had been a separate depart— ment of ‘The public affairs of the Church’ in charge of diplomats was entirely incorporated into the Secretariat of State. This in turn was divided into two, those of ‘General Affairs’ and of ‘Relations with States’. It is this latter department which now has responsibility for the Vatican’s diplomatic service as well as for its presence as observers, or whatever other status may be appropri— ate, at international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Labour Office and so on, and for the formation of what might be called the Vatican’s foreign policy. Also under the Cardinal Secretary of State is the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, better known as the ‘Pontifical Academy of Noble ’ . Ecclesiastics’, founded in 1701, which trains young ecclesiastics in the intricacies of diplomacy. There are several types of Vatican representative, as there are diplomats of other sovereign states. At the head of the list are ‘nuncios’ or, more correctly, apostolic nuncios. They have the rank of ambassadors, as do apostolic pro—nuncios. The difference between the two ranks is technical. According to article IV of the 1815 Regulation of Vienna, precedence is given to the am— bassador in order of date of appointment. However, where there is a papal representative present he takes precedence, the argu— ment being that he represents a spiritual authority rather than a temporal one, and the spiritual has precedence over the temporal. This would mean that, in normal circumstance, the papal Catholicism and international relationr:papal interventionism 107 106 Religion and Global order (canon 364) ‘to make more firm and effective the bonds of unity which exist between the Holy See and the particular churches’. Among the tasks which are specified are reporting to Rome on the situations in which the local churches find themselves, and both proposing names to Rome for vacant bishoprics, and undertaking enquiries into the lives and characters of those suggested for promotion. There is no clear reason why these tasks should not be undertaken by the bishops’ conference in any particular country, and despite the politeness which necessarily exists between papal legates and local bishops, one cannot help thinking that their role is resented. This is especially true with respect to subparagraph 7 of canon 364, ‘to work with the Bishops to safeguard, as far as the rulers of the State are con— cerned, those things which relate to the mission of the Church and of the Apostolic See’. Local bishops may very well feel — though not always, perhaps, rightly so — that they are in a better position to deal with their own governments than are papal legates, whether those in permanent posts as in Britain Where Cardinal Hinsley was certainly disturbed by the arrival of Archbishop Godfrey in 1938, or as envoys sent to negotiate with hostile governments, as happened frequently in the course of the Ostpolitik inaugurated, one could perhaps say, by John XXIII when he received the son-in—law of Nikita Khrushchev in 1963.14 There are plenty of examples of this. In the days when I was going fairly regularly to Poland, the early 1970s, I was frequently told that Rome was sending special envoys to negotiate with the government which was hoping for the establishment of diplom- atic relations so as to bypass the anti—Communist, intransigence of the Polish primate, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski — unlike, it would be added, the more politically aware cardinal archbishop of Cracow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope John Paul II). Of course, just as the British government may be represented by officials from different ministries and not just the Foreign Office in particular situations, so too is the Holy See. At disarmament conferences, for example, or conferences on Third World debt, or that on cities, the Vatican may well be represented by someone from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Its [under—secretary is a Dublin—born priest, Mgr Diarmuid Martin. In the course of a programme I made some time ago for the BBC,15 I asked Mgr Martin how much influence he thought the dean of the diplomatic corps in ' icio representative would be, ex 019' , d. This is net always the country to which he is acirehctie (as in Britain) a pro_ host governmen , acceptable to the ' recedence. cio is appointed, who does not take automatic p nun ‘ ho had . ‘ ' 1 used of nunCios W The term pro-nunCio was origlnaliI their call back to ' ' in been appointed cardinals, but wereti:1\:a;:ldgaccording to Mario fore a temporary , Rome. It was there ' ’3 London ' ' who was appointed counsellor to the Vaticangcominw3S Ohven ' the late 19703, the term pro—nunCio mporary situation, at least b th Holy See in the hope of being able to appoint a ch10, y e 3 . . , u wh m n ' edence Will be given . ' ' of the right of prec ‘ . i . to 0’ ‘ recognmo to appointed pro—nunCio to Britain in ) ' Luigi Barbari ' . “dos Iggfiblbtezgme nuncio in January 1994. In addition to nu J and pro—nuncios there are, so valem 0f envoys for particuléd purp:lsle:'ccredited to governments. have $211 , are These ranks, as I [IIEIC [S [H addllnfll a Odie! [axlk axld ()Ile Wlllch IalSCS the 1’1 J - 'lliam 1 di lomats. When W1 question of the need for amI Papa p five in 1938, he GOdfrey came to Lon His accreditation was- g ' CaIIle Wlth r116 tltle Of apOSEOhC dele ate L n()t [1) hlll 1‘) “)6 B]Sh()])s ( ()“ielence ()i England and Wales — which in fact did n(1)t :apt hir1:10.pe 10h — uncio shorty e ore . to tlillaglgrtidpri: n1982 The reason why apostolic delegates are to n . ' l l ' ' ‘ ' ‘ _ uIlpopular 1S OCal ICIaIChICS See em as axl lxltr uSIOIl lllto ()Ilty. g [h (1 86881011 Of the [hell ()Wll autil In 6 Secon COUIlCll as 0110611 ICInaIkS CIlthlSIIl of tlle 1016 Of filese S J 0 _ IepI tsetxuln'es “35 VOICCd 111 [116 debates because rile}, I ' cclesiology, or theory of J ' ' ' n cut across the developing e 7 ate thelbfisigii According to Vatican II, the whole of the trepidsflpope the duthetworld, the ‘college’ of bishops, shares Wif very many arcstalirinsibility for the whole Church. In the eyes 0 re ' ' e vi orous tators the present pope’s Views, despite th “(is the commen ) '1 in which he indulges, also cuts a ise - ' II. It should be no surpt. , ' sanctloned by vancan - - tatives efidesflcil:gihat the number of Papal d‘Plomam represen t ere o a has rocketed. In the canon law 0 the term employed for metimes, internuncios, the equi— f the Church the role of papal legates, to use1 ‘ mally to cover all ranks, is first of a1 108 Religion and Global Order . sues facing the international ' ' ear on is Vatican could bring to b was net a let, hm we have community. His reply, to paraphrase it, kee on trying. I .ndirect‘ to Oriel:3 has to remember, however, that influence may be 1 One of the founding members of the Pontifical C0m$1330::§; ' d Peace was the English economist Barbara ar , the Jusklce anand she was a considerable influence directly upon two Ladligez’of the World Bank under Robert McNamara, and on ' — don American presidents, one of whom she very much liked Lyn h on — and one of whom she cordially disliked,'John Kenlrield:é JScheniiras also an indirect influence on world affairs throug d other writings for The Economist and work for the UN an agencies} One of the leading members of the Pontifical Commiss10n for ‘ Justice and Peace today is Mgr Michael Sabbah, the Latin—Rite ‘ t Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the first Arab to be appomted to tha W W V —study in office hiCh brings me to hat mlght be termed a case 5 Vatican diplomacy and, from the most problematic: the Middle East. . . . f the Vatican’s pomt of View, one o g Case-study 1: the Middle East is the status of the H01 m conquest in the seventh cen th r had been the crusades, but by e The issue, clearly, ever since the Musli Middle Ages the answe nineteenth century the C tury. In the , not Muslims but Christians in communiotrlri1 Wltlli: ' ou Rome — one hesitates to say they are Catholics because g ' ‘ others some, like Michael Sabbah, belong to the Lagn ligfgsies and belong to ancient churches With their (aw the vafican by ' 'tualities. Part of the significance. attache to the best Jggish leaders arose because the Christians were among educated and influentia ‘ dipl dwelling on papal ' . because, Whereas much papal act1v1ty has per 5 to moral exhortation, in particular Situation papacy can act rather more directly. cent of Arabs are omac in relation to y force to be confined y Places, and has been ' hurch, though still regretting the loss of ‘ gh the Catholic states of Europe. Some 10 per , . . th _ ' P 1 stine. It is, perhaps, wor‘ . lArabs m a e the state of Israel V such as this the Catholicism and international relations: papal interventionism 109 In January 1904 Theodor Herzl called on Pope Pius X. There was at that time no mention of the situation of the Arabs in Palestine, but there was a feeling, expressed by the then alarmingly anti- Semitic Jesuit fortnightly Civiltd Cattolica — whose views then, as now, reflected those of the secretariat of state whenever political issues were discussed — that the Vatican considered the Holy Places to be safer in the hands of Muslims than, as Civiltd put it, ‘in the custody of the synagogue’. The day after British troops occupied Jerusalem, the cardinal secretary of state told a French» diplomat that the Turks were ‘the most equitable guardians of the Holy Places’. That was in 1917. Thirty years later Mgr Montini, the future Paul VI, was telling the British minister that the Vatican wanted a third power, neither Jewish nor Arab, to control the Holy Land. By this time the Vatican had taken up the economic and social problems experienced by Christian Arabs, and could not leave out their Islamic neighbours. But it did not support their political aspirations any more than it supported those of the Jews, in the case of the former because it feared that any Muslim government in Palestine would be less tolerant than the much more secularized Turks had been. In the struggles to found the state of Israel, the Vatican found itself coming to the rescue of Christian - Arabs displaced from their homes, some three—quarters of the original Christian Arab population of Palestine. Once again, it was not in pracn'ce possible to discriminate between Christians and Muslims: hence the Vatican, which had stayed neutral on the Israeli struggle for independence, now seemed to be siding with the Arabs. The Holy See withheld formal recognition of the state of Israel, despite the fact that an Israeli delegation attended the coronation of Pope John XXIII, and that, during a trip to Israel in January 1964, ' Pope Paul VI met the Israeli president. That meeting, however, was instructive. The pope never addressed the president as ‘President’, not even in the telegram of thanks which Paul sent after his return ' to Rome. The Israeli president lives in Jerusalem: the telegram was addressed to Tel Aviv so that the Vatican would not be seen to be recognizing even implicitly the Israeli claim to Jerusalem as its , capital city: it was the Vatican’s policy that Jerusalem should be an open city, under international control. . _ The Israelis kept up pressure on the Holy See. Audiences with . PaulVI were granted to Abba Eban in October 1969, and to Mrs ‘ Golda Meir in January 1973. That of Mrs Meir was particularly 110 Religion and Global Order controversial because immediately after the meeting the Vatican spokesman pointed out to journalists that the pope had already received a number of Arab leaders, including King Hussein, that it was Mrs Meir who had requested the audience and it was she who had asked the pope to help the weakest people of the region, in particular the Arab refugees. This apparent playing down by the Holy See of the significance of Meir’s visit caused much irritation in Israel. The Israeli prime minister herself commented that Pope Paul had thanked her for Israel’s care for the Holy Places. It should perhaps be said in defence of the Vatican that the chief concern of the Holy See in modern times has been with social and economic rights, rather than with political ones. It has had, moreover, and especially since the 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio and the constitution Gaudium er Spas of the Second Vatican Council, a particular concern for people in the developing world — into which category the Palestinian refugees certainly fall, as do very many, if not most, Roman Catholics. Even when, in an address to the College of Cardinals in Decem— ber 1975, Pope Paul gave implicit recognition to the claims of Jews to the Holy Land, he still spoke more about the Palestinians: I Although we are conscious of the still very recent tragedies which led the Jewish people to search for safe protection in a state of its own, sovereign and independent [this was the first time a pope had said such a thing], and in fact precisely because we are aware of this, we would like to ask the sons of this people to recognize the rights and aspirations of another people, which have also Suffered for a long time, the Palestinian people. The present pope’s policy has been similar, though it might well have been quite otherwise. One of KarolWojtyla’s closest friends as a boy in Wadowice - and indeed, now quite by accident also in Rome — was a Jew. Wojtyla does not appear in any way to have shared the anti—Semitism which was at one time so much a feature of Polish life.When first elected to the papacy John Paul II thought it would be a splendid gesture to fly to Bethlehem for Christmas: the secretariat of state had to persuade him this was rather more complicated than he had imagined. His earliest remarks on the Middle East situation do not dwell, as had Pope Paul’s, on the Palestinian issue. He met prominent Jews from around the world, [forced to kiss the general’s photograph l f C t t I e as a [68” I () “ICSC CIICUUIltCIS 0n aC Wlth d1 ) about the rights of the Palestinians. Palestine Liberation Organization ( the Vatican, though not personally by the then foreign minister of Isr 1981, was put off for a whole year. pretty well destroyed the sympa brought to the papacy. Lebanon was a particular a large and powerful Maro for long lived in relative h PLO) leader was received at by the pope. A scheduled visit ael, Itzhak Shamir, in February The Israeli invasion of Lebanon thy for Israel which John Paul had problem for Vatican diplomacy. It has nite Christian community which had armony, both politically and socially, . with the Muslim community. The ' that harmony, not only for the sake of Lebanon but also areh tried t 1 o - thern Lebanon. The Maronite patri— o coo Chrlstlan militancy, and as a consequence was attacked 1n his own home by supporters of General Am, and Thls last event occurred in 1989. I have been rather telescoping kground that the Vatican’s 112 Religion and Global Order The Church, which did not say a word about the massacre of the Jews for six years in Europe, and has little to say regarding the killing of Christians in Lebanon for seven years, is now prepared to meet the man who has perpetrated the killings in Lebanon, and who seeks the destruction of Israel in order to complete the work carried out by the Nazis in Germany. That was Menahem Begin, the Israeli prime minister.The United States was also alarmed, but Western European governments were sympathetic, and the Vatican’s standing among Arab governments was considerably enhanced. Of all the signs in the Vatican’s changing attitude to Israel, none was more-dramatic than the visit John Paul paid to the Rome synagogue in April 1986. ‘With Judaism’, he said, ‘we have a relationship which we do not have with any other religion.You are our dearly beloved brothers and, in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers.’ He did not, on the other hand, . , 137 make mention of the ‘silences’ of Pius XII on the Nazi persecution of the Jews, preferring to dwell on the assistance given by Catholics, even within the Vatican, to Jews during the war. The signing of the peace accord between the Palestinians and ‘ the state of Israel finally changed the attitude of the Vatican, and though it is still concerned with the situation of the Holy Places in general, and Jerusalem in particular, the Holy See has established diplomatic relations with Israel. But one Israeli commentator, admittedly writing just before the ‘fundamental agreement’ was signed on 30 December 1993, remarks, The Arabs are perceived as part of the Third World, thus meriting support; Israel in contrast, is considered a satellite of the United States, which should be condemned, or at least kept at a certain distance. Moreover, Pope John Paul II is on record for his friendly policy towards Islam . . .While Islam is daily winning new holds in black Africa, the Catholic Church resigns itself to this fact without any display of will to fight back. Although Islam may attract millions of Christian believers, the Church has no major theological dispute with it. In contrast, contentions with Judaism, which has no interest in converting Christians, abound in many areas.16 The same commentator17 draws attention to a further, outstand- ing, issue, that of Europe. Israel is very eager to join What he calls ‘ Catholzczsm and international relations: papal interventionism 1'13 , . the European economic space’. If Europe is to be identified as Christian, that presents yet another point of tension for Israel (as for Turkey). Case-study-Z: Europe Despite the pope’s frequent trips around the world, despite the presence of the Holy See at many international conferences and its diplomatic representation in most of the world’s capital cities the overwhelming impression of the present pontificate is one of concentration upon the notion of Europe, and its reunification around a common faith: Christianity. ‘If Europe’s historical memory does not dig deeper than the ideas of the Enlighten— ment’, Pope John Paul said in Prague, ‘its new unity will be based upon superficial and unstable foundations.’ Christianity ‘is the very root of European culture. The drive towards Europe’s new , unity cannot but take that into account.’18 Without doubt this reflects John Paul’s personal concern to encourage the reintegration of the former Soviet bloc countries particularly Poland, with Western Europe. Very early on in his ppntificate he had declared Saints Cyril and Methodius the ninth—century missionary brothers who proselytized the Slavs, to ' be patron saints of Europe alongside St Benedict, to symbolize the unity of the then Communist—dominated Eastern Europe With the West. His Europe, as he told UNESCO,19 stretched from the Atlantic to the Urals, not a concept with which the then USSR could feel at all comfortable. It has, however, been a major concern of the present pontificate, perhaps to the detriment of _ concern for global issues, papal globe—trotting notwithstanding. It is worth noting that the Holy See has been represented at the United Nations from 1964 only by permanent observers,20 at the European Union it has been represented at ambassadorial level since 1970.21 At. its foundation Pius XII regarded the United Nations with susp1c10n, With memories perhaps of problems with its predecessor, the League of Nations,,in the 1930s when the Pius I 3 had been cardinal secretary of state. Certainly the UN Declaration on Human Rights was not greeted with the enthu51asm With which it has since been endorsed by Pope Paul VI and, more especially, by John Paul II. Article 18 of the 114 Religion and Global Order Declaration speaks of liberty of thought, of conscience and of religion. John Paul II regularly appeals for liberty of religion (one commentator has remarked he commonly omits liberty of thought”) throughout the world. In his address to diplomats at the beginning of 1999,23 for example, he instances offences ‘ against religious freedom in Asia and Africa, in Islamic countries, in Europe, because of a ‘false idea of the principle of separation between the state and the churches, or as a result of a deep—seated agnosticism’, and ‘in some countries of Central and Eastern Europe’ — the context would suggest that he is thinking of Russia. It is common for these annual addresses to be a tour d’horizon of the world’s problems from a Vatican perspective. In 1999 John Paul II gave a strong endorsement to the Good Friday Agreement over Northern Ireland, and to the first tentative moves to a peace process in Spain concerning the armed struggle for Basque separatism. He went on to speak of themes which have been the, hallmark of this papacy: The transition to one currency and the enlargement toward the East will no doubt give Europe the possibility to become more and more a z ‘ community with a common destiny, a true ‘European community’ — this is in any case our dearest wish. This obviously presupposes that the member countries are able to reconcile their history with the same, common project, so that they may all see themselves as equal'_ partners, concerned only for the common good. The spiritual families which have made such a great contribution to the civilisation of this continent ~ I am thinking especially of Christianity — have a role which seems to me to be more and more decisive. In the face of social problems which keep significant sectors of the population in poverty and of social inequalities which give rise to chronic instability, and before the younger generations seeking points of reference in an often chaotic world, it is important that the churches should be able to proclaim the tenderness of God and the call to fraternity which the recent feast of Christmas has caused to shine out once again for all humanity. These paragraphs, with the pope’s remarkable endorsement of the Euro (which the Vatican City State has decided to join), provide further evidence, were more needed, of papal pre- occupation with Europe. role is of course far wider. He sees Christianity as having an But John Paul’s claim for the Church’s. ‘ Catholicism and international relations: papal interventionism 115 important part to play in the eradication of ‘poverty and social inequalities world—Wide. It is a topic which he has frequently addressed when speaking to the diplomatic corps. Conclusion The Catholic Church has a role on the international stage the present pope affirms, because it stands for the highest of human values, because it refuses to reduce the human person to one Single dimension but treats the person as an individual, as social and as transcendent; it has an especial concern for those who have been left on the margins of history — he is thinking of those condemned to death, of those who have been tortured of refugees and those who have simply disappeared; it has a ,role because it preaches ‘a pedagogy of peace’, and because it preaches forgiveness and reconciliation.24 Even the recently published Catechism of the Catholic Church has something to say about the ethics of international relations: ‘International solidar— ity IS a requirement of the moral order; world peace depends in part upon this.’25 As one commentator puts it, The new catechism confirms this papacy’s plans to invest the Holy see With the role of a worldwide ethical reservoir of unprecedented dimensmns . . . St Peter’s See, convinced that ‘if there is no ultimate truth guiding and orienting political actions, then ideas and beliefs can , be made into instruments of power [a quotation from the 1991 encyclical Centeximus Annus]’ puts itself forward as an ethical beacon at the service of the post~Cold—War international society.26 The language may be over—blown — the author is an Italian diplomat — but they represent the position of the Holy See well u enough. This ‘ethical reservoir’ largely consists of the Church’s social doctrine, elaborated by successive popes since 1891 in a series of encyclicals — of which series Centesimus Annus, marking the centenary of the first, Rerum Novarum, would seem intended to be the last, at least for the present pontificate. John Paul II’s writings on social issues, though claiming to be in a hundred— year—old tradition, mark a distinctly more radical turn, particul— arly With his emphaSis on the centrality of religious liberty, a concept which, until the publication of the document Dignitatis 116 Religion and Global Order Humanae in 1965 at the end of the Second Vatican Council, not many in the hierarchy of the Church would have been ready to embrace, let alone embrace with enthusiasm. I I It had seemed that the Church had become wary of its Isoc1a1 doctrine, not so much because it was wrong as because 1t had, ' been accused of being an ideology,27 something which John Paul has constantly been at pains to deny. In Octagesimo Adventens of 14 May 1971, Pope Paul VI had written, ‘In the .face of such widely varying situations [around the world] It is difficult for'us to utter a unified message and to put forward a solution'which has universal validity . . .’ Pope John Paul II has no such 1nh1b1-_ tions. He, and his curia, have been unfailingly ready to address the general principles of the relief of Third World debt, of . religious liberty, of the growing inequality of wealth between North and South, of war and peace, of the destructlon of the planet.28 And more often than not he is speaking over the heads of governments directly to the people. He is fond of talking not of ‘states’ but of ‘nations’, defined by their culture, their language — and their religion. . But the inspirational language of the 1980s has become, in the aftermath of the collapse of Communism, ‘the inflammatory rhetoric of the 1990s’.29 The optimism engendered by the collapse of Communism in 1989, which enabled John Paul to talk- to young people gathered at Santiago de Compostela in August * ‘ that year of a world without frontiers,30 has largely disappeared from the discourses of an increasingly frail pope. Whether his successor will share the Polish pontiff’s enthusiasm for the global _ , mission of the Church, or whether he will turn to the growing internal divisions within Roman Catholicism, there can be no ~ way of knowing. Notes 1For purposes of comparison, at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations in 1995, 185 nations were represented. The text of the discourse can be found in Origins, 28, No. 31 (21 January 1999), 534ff. ’ 2 Strictly speaking, the predecessor of John Paul II was John Paul I, but he died after only a month in office. Karol Wojtyla was elected on 16, October 1978.The figures for diplomatic representation can be found ‘ Catholicism and international relations: papal interventionism 11 7 in the relevant volumes of the Vatican’s yearbook, the Annuario Pontiflcio. 3His Holiness, by Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi (New York and London, Doubleday, 1996) was particularly flattering about the pope’s international role, a view sharply criticized by Jonathan Kwitny in Man of the Century (New York and London, Little Brown, 1997) though his own book is otherwise generally complimentary. My Pope j‘ohn Paul II: A Biography (London, HarperCollins, 1994) is a good deal less sympathetic to John Paul’s perception of his function than either of the above. 4.1 know of only one general history of papal diplomacy, Pierre Blet’s Histoire de la representation diplomatique du Saint Siege (Rome, Archivo Vaticano, 1982), but this comes down only to the nineteenth century. 5 One papal diplomat has written a book about it: Andres Carrascosa Coso, La Santa Sede y la Conferencia sobre la Seguridad y la Cooperacion en Europa (Rome, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2nd edn., 1991). 6Benedict XV’S diplomatic activity during the First World War is examined in detail in Giorgio Rumi (ed.), Benedetto XV e la pace (Brescia, Morcelliana, 1990). Nothing comparable exists in English, but cf. John Pollard, The Unknown Pope: Benedicto XV (1914—1922) and his pursuit of peace (London, Geoffrey Chapman, 1999), passim but especially 123—8. i 7For the story surrounding this appointment, see Thomas Moloney, Westminster, W/hitehall and the Vatican (Tunbridge Wells, Burns & Oates, 1 98 5). 7 8H. E. Cardinale, The Holy See and the International Order (Gerrards Cross, Colin Smythe, 1976), 83. 9 Ibid., 85. 1° For example, Peter Nichols, The Pope’s Divisions (London, Faber, N 1981); George Bull, Inside the Vatican (London, Hutchinson, 1982); , ' Peter Hebblethwaite, In the Vatican (London, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1986); David Willey, God’s Politician (London, Faber, 1992); Thomas J. Reese, Inside the Vatican (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1996). ” Mario Oliveri, The Representative (Gerrards Cross, Van Duren, 1980), 73. 12 Cf. Moloney, Westminster, Whitehall and the Vatican, passim. “3 Representative, 26—30. ‘4 The Ostpolitik had, of course, a longer history. Cf. Hans Jakob Stehle, Eastern Politics of the Vatican, 1917—1979 (Athens, OH, Ohio University ‘ Press, 1981). ‘5' The Pope’s Divisions, an ‘Analysis’ programme for BBC Radio 4, transmitted on 16 February 1995. 118 Religion and Global Order ‘6 Sergio I. Minerbi, ‘The Vatican and Israel’, in Peter C. Kent and n F. Pollard (eds), Papal Diplomacy in the Modern Age Westportg'i Praeger, 1993), 192. 17 Ibid., 200. ‘8 Discourse, 1 April 1990. ‘9 Discourse, 1 June 1980. . 20 It has, however, been represented for longer at the ILO, the WHO UNESCO, also by permanent observers. It cannot be a member UN because it would then have a vote, which could be interpret being contrary to the Lateran Treaty. " 21 The first ambassador (nuncio) was Archbishop Cardinale. 22 Jorge Mejia, ‘La Liberté religieuse dans l’enseignement du Pape‘ ~ Paul II’, in Joel-Benoit d’Onorio (ed.), La Liberté religieuseadm monde (Paris, Editions Universitaires, 1991), 79. ' v 23 Cf. n.l above. , 2“ Jean-Louis Tauran, ‘La Doctrine pontificale des rela internationales d’apres les discours du Pape Jean-Paul II an diplomatique’, in Joell—Benoit d’Onorio (ed.), Le Saz'nt—Sziégef relations internationales (Paris, Cerf/Cuias, 1989), 83. 25 Paragraph 1941. 25 U. Colombo Sacco, john Paul II and erd Politics (Louvain, I 1999), 28. ‘ 27 For a brief discussion of this, with references, see my introdu, Proclaimz'ng Justice and Peace (London, Collins, 1991), xx—xxii 23 Cf. for these and similar issues, Maura A. Ryan and Todd: 3 Whitmore (eds), The Challenge of Global Stewardship: Roman Responses (N otre Dame, IN, University of Notre Dame Press, 1997} 29 Jonathan Luxmoore and Jolanta Babiuch, The I/hn'can and the- (London, Geoffrey Chapman, 1998), 304. 30 Ibid., 302, meal Islam and global order : ESPosrro m, commonly referred to as ‘Islamic fundament— ’ often been regarded as a major threat to global order.l Iranian Revolution, hijackings and hostage—taking in the the Gulf War, bombings of New York’s World Trade 1: and locations in Paris, and fears that a ‘fundamentalist’ rin'Algeria would have a spill—over effect in North Africa urbpe have reinforced images of an expansive and explosive ‘ and Islam in global politics which threatens global 1 the triumph of the democratization movement in Eastern t Bend the breakup of the Soviet empire, Islam constitutes perVasive and potentially powerful transnational force, llion adherents spread out across the globe. Muslims ‘Or‘ity’ in more than fifty countries ranging from Africa to hast Asia, and they exist in growing and significant m the United States and Europe. " estern world long accustomed to a global vision and licy predicated upon the superpower rivalry for global if not dominance, the all too alluring temptation is to number global ideological force, a resurgent ‘evil empire’, ‘th‘feat vacuum’ created by the demise of Communism: after how and when the war ends, Islamic rage already tensithe stability of traditionally pro—Western regimes from com Jordan to Pakistan.’2 efthat a clash of world—views, values and civilizations is "man impending confrontation between Islam and the eflected in headlines and articles with ominous titles like: ...
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