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 Post subject: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:16 pm 
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King of Cool
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I know the general outline of events, from 1797 to 1848 the US and the Pope had what is known as 'a consular relationship' which is an official diplomatic relationship, but as I understand it a consular relationship is a friendly relationship, but somewhat informal and apparently is not quite full diplomatic relations. Then in 1848, President Polk established full diplomatic relations, but not at the ambassadorial level, which lasted until 1867 when growing anti-Catholic sentiment fueled at least in part by a paranoid delusion that the Vatican was involved in the plot to assassinate Lincoln (it's difficult to believe that such a ridiculous notion was ever so common that it reached all the way to the Congress and White House...but there you go) the passage of a law forbidding that public funds be spent on a diplomatic mission to the Pope. So from 1867 to 1933 there was no communication whatever between the US and the Vatican, until in 1933 FDR found a loophole in the 1867 law, namely that even though the law forbade public money from being spent on a diplomatic mission to the Vatican, and it forbade the appointment of an ambassador to the Vatican, it did not forbid the president from appointing a 'personal representative' to the Pope not an ambassadorial position that would require Senate confirmation, but an informal private mission, and the prohibition against public money was gotten around by having the representative pay his own travel expenses....so from 1933 to 1951 FDR and Truman had their own personal diplomatic mission, but no formal ambassador. Then in 1951, Truman proposed an official ambassador, which was roundly rejected due to anti-Catholicism and the opposition of Protestant ministers and whatnot. After being rebuffed, there were again no formal relations from 1951 to 1968, but then Nixon revived the tradition of appointing a personal representative, a tradition which was continued by Ford, Carter and Reagan, and then in 1983 Reagan secured passage of the Lugar Act, which repealed the 1867 law and established full diplomatic relations and the appointment of an ambassador. which has continued since.


Great outline....where can I go to find a more detailed history?

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:10 am 
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King of Cool
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So everyone else is just as stumped as I am on this question huh? Good to know....it seems to be a difficult topic to research.

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:18 am 
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King of Cool
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I just noticed that I think my search term is wrong.....you don't search for 'US Vatican Relations' you search for 'US Holy See Relations'

The actual entity which has diplomatic relations with foreign nations isn't 'the Vatican', it's the Holy See...the Holy See is the entity, Vatican City is simply where the entity is located... :DOH!

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:14 pm 
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There's a book called PARALLEL EMPIRES which seems to cover what you are speaking of. I know nothing more of it.

GKC

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:25 pm 
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There we go, that's look like what I'm looking for.....

It still isn't clear to me why relations were cut off in 1867, I have two articles which give different, though not mutually exclusive, explanations. The first one says that it was because of growing anti-Catholic sentiment and the conspiracy theory of Vatican complicity in the assassination of Lincoln, the second one offers the more explanation that relations were cut off because after the loss of the Papal States the Pope was no longer a temporal ruler and therefore there didn't seem to be any point to maintaining relations....it could be a mix of both.....

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Doom wrote:
There we go, that's look like what I'm looking for.....

It still isn't clear to me why relations were cut off in 1867, I have two articles which give different, though not mutually exclusive, explanations. The first one says that it was because of growing anti-Catholic sentiment and the conspiracy theory of Vatican complicity in the assassination of Lincoln, the second one offers the more explanation that relations were cut off because after the loss of the Papal States the Pope was no longer a temporal ruler and therefore there didn't seem to be any point to maintaining relations....it could be a mix of both.....



That's my conclusion.

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:34 pm 
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Well I assume there had to be at least partial anti-Catholic sentiment there, because they didn't simply cut off relations, they added a provision forbidden the spending of public money to be spent on a diplomatic, which really seems excessive if it was only a judgement call about the value of a diplomatic mission....and which seems similar to the Blaine Amendment which targeted so called 'religious and sectarian schools'....which anyone with any knowledge of the subject knows was code language for 'Catholic', because only Catholicism was 'sectarian', Protestantism was simply 'the way things are'...

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:55 pm 
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Well...the book is endorsed by a former Papal Nuncio to the United States, by two former US Ambassadors to the Holy See, by the prefect of the Congregation on Interreligious Dialogue and by Archbishop Chaput....these are some pretty impressive endorsements, so I'll go head and download it....

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:26 pm 
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The book is informative, but the author is a master of hyperbole....the whole 'Parallel Empires' thing is an exaggeration, US/Holy See Relations are actually not as important as he makes it out to be. Indeed, I would say it is of only marginal importance, which is why there are so few books available on the subject. He also exaggerates the degree of conflict between the US and the Holy See...at one point claiming that currently relations are so strained that relations have been 'permanently damaged'....which I think would come as news to the US State Department or the Vatican Foreign Affairs Department...

Dial it down a bit please....

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:56 pm 
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Doom wrote:
The book is informative, but the author is a master of hyperbole....the whole 'Parallel Empires' thing is an exaggeration, US/Holy See Relations are actually not as important as he makes it out to be. Indeed, I would say it is of only marginal importance, which is why there are so few books available on the subject. He also exaggerates the degree of conflict between the US and the Holy See...at one point claiming that currently relations are so strained that relations have been 'permanently damaged'....which I think would come as news to the US State Department or the Vatican Foreign Affairs Department...

Dial it down a bit please....


Caveat lector.

GKC

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:10 pm 
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The author is Italian, and the book is a translation from the Italian.....I'm probably stereotyping to a bit here, but in my experience this kind of exaggeration tends to be typical of many European authors when they are writing about the United States.....minor disagreements between the United States and Europe are never treated as if they are just the kind of normal differences that tend to exist between nations pursuing separate and sometimes conflicting interests, but are always a sign of a 'crisis'.

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:27 pm 
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The book is a pretty good reference, but I am disappointed that it devoted most of its space to telling the story of what has happened since formal diplomatic relations were established in 1984, when I'm really more interested in what happened before then. In particular, it covers the FDR and Truman years when there was an informal relationship of 'personal representatives', but it skips the Eisenhower years, then talks about the Kennedy administrations, apparently because he is interested in how a Catholic president dealt with the issue, but then he skips over the Nixon, Ford and Carter years when there was again an informal 'personal representative' relationship....he skips over the fact that Carter sent representatives to the two papal funerals in 1978, and had substantial conversations with John Paul II about Poland....and jumps right to the Reagan administration's attempts to establish formal relations....but I'm pretty sure the passage of the Lugar Act in 1984 would have been impossible without the foundation being laid from Nixon appointing Henry Cabot Lodge Jr to be his 'personal representative to the Pope' in Rome up to Carter's working together with John Paul II on Poland.....it's all important background information....

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:53 pm 
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GKC wrote:
Caveat lector.

Mmmmmmmmm ... caviar.

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 Post subject: Re: History of the US/Vatican Relations
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:04 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
GKC wrote:
Caveat lector.

Mmmmmmmmm ... caviar.


I think you lick it.

GKC

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