Nature and Function of Papal Diplomacy. 9789812303387, 9812303383, 9789812306371, 9812306374

371 108 375KB

English Pages [42] Year 2005

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Polecaj historie

Nature and Function of Papal Diplomacy.
 9789812303387, 9812303383, 9789812306371, 9812306374

Citation preview

Reproduced from Nature & Function of Papal Diplomacy by Giovanni Lajolo (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005). This version was obtained electronically direct from the publisher on condition that copyright is not infringed. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Individual articles are available at < http://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg >

The Monarchy in Contemporary Malaysia

i

HRH Raja Nazrin Shah

The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) was established as an autonomous organization in 1968. It is a regional research centre for scholars and other specialists concerned with modern Southeast Asia, particularly the many-faceted problems of stability and security, economic development, and political and social change. The Institute’s research programmes are the Regional Economic Studies (RES, including ASEAN and APEC), Regional Strategic and Political Studies (RSPS), and Regional Social and Cultural Studies (RSCS). ISEAS Publications, an established academic press, has issued more than 1,000 books and journals. It is the largest scholarly publisher of research about Southeast Asia from within the region. ISEAS Publications works with many other academic and trade publishers and distributors to disseminate important research and analyses from and about Southeast Asia to the rest of the world.

ii

The Monarchy in Contemporary Malaysia

iii

HRH Raja Nazrin Shah

Published in Singapore in 2005 by Institute of Southeast Asian Studies 30 Heng Mui Keng Terrace Pasir Panjang Singapore 119614 E-mail: [email protected] World Wide Web: http://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. © 2005 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. The responsibility for facts and opinions in this publication rests exclusively with the author, and his interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views or the policy of the Institute or its supporters. ISEAS Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data Lajolo, Giovanni. Nature & function of papal diplomacy. 1. Catholic Church and world politics I. Title II. Title: Nature and function of papal diplomacy BX1793 L19 2005 ISBN 981-230-338-3 Typeset by International Typesetters Pte Ltd Printed and bound in Singapore by

iv

The Monarchy in Contemporary Malaysia

CONTENTS

1. Introduction 1 2. Defining the Terms: Holy See, Vatican City State, Roman Curia, Secretariat of State 3 3. A History of Papal Diplomacy: From its Origins to the Present 11 4. Guiding Principles of Contemporary Papal Diplomacy 22 5. Conclusion Remarks 22 About the Author 34

v

HRH Raja Nazrin Shah

vi

The Monarchy in Contemporary Malaysia

This paper was delivered by His Excellency Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, as a Public Lecture organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies on 17 June 2005.

vii

Introduction

1 Introduction

The topic for this lecture is rather complex. When one hears terms like Holy See, Vatican City State, Roman Curia and so on, one gets a little confused and lost. Belonging to different cultural and religious backgrounds, you may ask yourselves: why is there a Papal Diplomacy? What do papal diplomats really do if they have no armies to support their policies, nor political and economic interests to promote and defend? I’ll try to shed some light on these questions and, hopefully, demonstrate that Papal Diplomacy is not that complex or mysterious after all. I shall divide the topic into three parts, namely: 1

J. Giovanni Lajolo

1. In the first part, I shall try to define terms, like the Holy See and the Vatican 2. In the second part, I shall present a brief history of Papal Diplomacy 3. In the third part, I shall illustrate some of the guiding principles of contemporary Papal Diplomacy.

2

Defining the Terms

2 Defining the Terms: Holy See, Vatican City State, Roman Curia, Secretariat of State

Many people, even those familiar with the workings of the Catholic Church, easily confuse the terms Holy See and Vatican City State. 1. By the term Holy See, we mean above all the institutionalized manifestation of the Pope’s supreme authority over the whole Catholic Church and his sovereign authority to act in the name of the Church. “See” means the “Chair” (in Latin, Cathedra) of the Apostle Peter, to whom Christ entrusted the authority to lead the Church in truth and love. This is the meaning of the term “Apostolic See”, precisely because the Pope 3

J. Giovanni Lajolo

occupies the “See of Peter” as successor of Peter the Apostle. Moreover, since Peter was the head of the Christian community in Rome, where he was martyred around 67 A.D., the Pope is also Bishop of Rome. If you enter into the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, you will see the central altar surmounted by the famous “Baldacchino” of Bernini. That altar is directly placed above the Tomb of Saint Peter. And immediately behind the Baldacchino, on the abside, you can admire the “Cathedra”, or the Chair, sustained by the greatest Fathers of the Church and surrounded by the group of Angels: another masterpiece of Bernini. By extension and function, by Holy See we also mean the Pope together with the complex of structures, known as the Roman Curia, that assists him in the universal governance of the Catholic Church and in his relations with other authorities and entities in the world. 2. By Vatican City State, we mean the 44-hectare piece of territory, created as a sovereign State in 1929 by virtue of the Lateran Treaty concluded between the Holy See and Italy. 4

Defining the Terms

By that Treaty, Italy recognizes the sovereign and exclusive jurisdiction of the Holy See over the Vatican (Art. 3) and the Pope renounces claims to territories which in past centuries used to constitute the Papal States. The purpose of the creation of this minuscule new State is to assure absolute visible independence to the Holy See in order to guarantee it indisputable sovereignty also in the international field (Preamble §2). This means two things: first, the Vatican is a unique state, because unlike other sovereign states, its sovereignty is ordered to a sovereign entity of another nature, namely: the Holy See; second, Italy recognizes that, in accordance with rules of international law, its diplomatic relations continue to be with the Holy See. 3. Which is the subject of international law: the Holy See or the Vatican City State? The answer is both are subjects of international law. In fact, since the Vatican City State itself has juridical personality in accordance with international law, it can e nter — and, in fact, has entered — into international agreements as well, specifically regarding technical matters, like postal services, telecommunications, media, etc. In 5

J. Giovanni Lajolo

practice, however, it is the Holy See which internationally represents the Vatican City State. When the Holy See enters into agreements for the Vatican City State, it uses the formula: “acting on behalf and in the interest of the State of Vatican City”. In the Listing of Country Names published annually by the United Nations, a note is added to the Holy See entry, stating that in United Nations Documents, the term “Holy See” is to be used, except in texts concerning the International Telecommunications Union and the Universal Postal Union, where the term “Vatican City State” is to be used. 4. The third term I want to define is the Roman Curia. The Roman Curia is more or less equivalent to your national government, only that it functions as a universal government, through which the Pope normally conducts the affairs of his office, be they questions concerning the Catholic Church throughout the world or touching on relations with States. The Roman Curia is, therefore, an instrument in the hands of the Pontiff. It does not operate by its own right or on its own initiative, but in unity with and dependence 6

Defining the Terms

on the authority of the Pope. Of course, there is the “rule of law” and a distinction of powers, in conformity to the general norms of the Catholic Church that define the spheres of competence of the executive organs and guarantees autonomy of the judiciary. The Roman Curia is composed of roughly thirty Dicasteries or Departments, more or less equivalent to your government Ministries. They are the Secretariat of State, the 9 Congregations, the 3 Tribunals, 11 Pontifical Councils and some smaller Commissions. 5. The Secretariat of State is the first and largest of these Dicasteries. It is the Pope’s closest collaborator in the daily running of affairs. It is presided by the Cardinal Secretary of State, presently Angelo Cardinal Sodano, whose office could be very roughly likened to that of a Prime Minister in a Presidential system of government. The Secretariat of State is composed of two Sections, the First being the Section for General Affairs, under the direction of the Substitute, presently Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, with the help of the Assessor; the Second being the Section for Relations with States, under the direction of its own 7

J. Giovanni Lajolo

Secretary, presently myself, with the help of the Undersecretary, Rev. Msgr. Pietro Parolin. The First Section, Section for General Affairs has the duty to expedite the business concerning the daily service of the Pope, to coordinate the work of the other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia without prejudice to their autonomy, to prepare and oversee the correspondence and documents of the Pope, in consultation with the Second Section and with other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia competent of the subject matter at hand. It also has the task of supervising the administrative affairs of the Papal Representatives and of dealing with the logistic needs of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Vatican. Moreover, it oversees the Holy See Press Office, the General Statistics of the Catholic Church, the Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Centre and some other institutions. The Section for Relations with States would be equivalent to your Foreign Ministry. It has the task of dealing with Heads of States and of Governments, of fostering relations, especially those of a diplomatic nature, with States and other subjects of public international law, and of dealing with matters 8

Defining the Terms

of common interest, promoting the good of the Church and of civil society by means of Concordats and Agreements. It oversees the activity of the Holy See with international organizations, like the United Nations, concerning questions of a public nature. In special circumstances and by mandate of the Supreme Pontiff, the Section for Relations with States also takes care of some specific needs of some local Churches, like the appointment of bishops when following the normal procedures becomes difficult. This was the case of countries which were behind the Iron Curtain and still is the case for a number of countries, especially those where the Catholic Church encounters particular difficulties or suffers limitations to its religious freedom. These “job descriptions” would be quite incomprehensible if we did not bear in mind that the Holy See, as a subject of international law, enjoys the juridical capacity to enter into diplomatic relations with sovereign nations and has, therefore, the power to send and receive Ambassadors. Briefly said, the Secretariat of State deals with States and multilateral organizations at the diplomatic level. I shall go back to this later. 9

J. Giovanni Lajolo

I would like to recapitulate what I have said so far as follows: • when you hear the term Holy See, don’t think of a place; think of the Pope exercising his supreme authority in the Catholic Church and his sovereign freedom vis-à-vis other authorities in the world; • when you hear Vatican City State, think of that small piece of territory where the Pope lives, assuring him freedom from all temporal powers; • when you hear Roman Curia, think of a government as having a global comtence, like the Roman Curia has in the Catholic world and in international relations; • when you hear Secretariat of State, think of a Prime Minister’s Office or Presidential Cabinet, Interior Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs rolled into one, and you have a fair picture of what the Secretariat of State does.

10

Reproduced from Nature & Function of Papal Diplomacy by Giovanni Lajolo (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005). This version was obtained electronically direct from the publisher on condition that copyright is not infringed. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Individual articles are available at < http://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg >

A History of Papal Diplomacy

3 A History of Papal Diplomacy: From its Origins to the Present

We have said that states and international organizations maintain diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The Holy See is the only religious institution in the world to have access to diplomatic relations and to be directly concerned with and by international law. But it is legitimate to ask why an institution that controls a very small territory and does not pursue economical or financial goals, engages in diplomacy. We can cite at least two main reasons: First, it is due to the universal and transnational character of the Catholic Church under a hierarchical structure governed by a supreme authority who answers for the whole Church and to whom all Catholics are bound. Nobody 11

J. Giovanni Lajolo

would deny today that the supreme Head of the Catholic Church, the Pope, assumes an international profile from the very moment of his election. Second, and above all, it is due to the particular history of the Church across two millennia, during which the active right of the Pope to send envoys and his passive right to receive envoys of sovereigns was constantly exercised and recognized, developed and evolved, and in the end, codified in and sanctioned in accordance with the international law. I shall now endeavour briefly to go through this long history that led to the formation of contemporary Papal Diplomacy. 1. For those not familiar with the doctrine and structure of the Catholic Church, let me recall that Popes are successors of the Apostle Peter as head of the whole catholic community of believers in Jesus the Christ and as Bishop of Rome. 2. Christianity was outlawed under the Roman Empire until 313 A.D. Nevertheless, since the first centuries, the Popes sent representatives to meet with other Bishops 12

A History of Papal Diplomacy

and to participate in assemblies dealing with Church matters. History shows that from the very beginning of Christianity the leaders of the Church were confronted with the difficult task of reconciling diverse cultures and traditions within the unity of faith and morals which mark the Church as Catholic, as “Universal”. So, disputes and controversies, divisions and other problems arose. To deal with them, Councils were held, during which issues were debated, decisions were taken, discipline was applied. By Councils, we mean the highest Assembly of Bishops. When confronted with disputes, Bishops and Councils turned to the Bishop of Rome to seek his mediation or his decision. Since the second century, there are testimonies that the Pope settled these disputes and problems, thus securing the unity of the Church. It is in this religious context that the figure of the Papal Envoys (or Legates) first appeared. 3. The year 313 A.D. is significant in the history of papal representation, because Emperor Constantine — in full control of the Western part of the Roman Empire — and Emperor Licinius — in control of the Eastern part — met near Milan and signed what has 13

J. Giovanni Lajolo

been known since then as “Edict of Milan”, by virtue of which Christians finally enjoyed the freedom to practice openly their religion and regained many other rights. Not surprising, Councils and therefore Papal envoys multiplied: • in 314 A. D. Pope Sylvester sent a delegation to the Council of Arles — in France — to represent him; • in 325 A.D. the same Pope Sylvester sent a delegation to the Ecumenical Council of Nicea (in present-day Turkey, not far from Istanbul); • in 343 A.D. Pope Julius sent a legation to the Council of Sardica (present-day Sofia, Bulgaria) where, for the first time, the authority of the Pope to send legates to act in his name was formally recognized. From then on, Papal envoys became more numerous, more high-level, more frequent and with increased authority to act in the name of the Pope, either before local Bishops or before Emperors and other political leaders. 4. Little by little, the figure of what is today the Apostolic Nuncio began to emerge. 14

A History of Papal Diplomacy

By Apostolic Nuncio, we mean the Papal Ambassador invested with a diplomatic mission before the host State and a religious mission before the Catholic Church in the host State. In 453 A.D., at the end of the Council of Chalcedon (present-day Turkey, in what is now the Asian side of Istanbul) Pope Leo the Great accredited his Legate, Julian of Coo, both to the religious Hierarchy and to the Emperor of Constantinople. The Pope sent two Letters of Credence: one to the Bishops telling them to consider Julian as his representative among them, and the other to the Emperor, asking him to treat his legate as acting in his name. Here I must add that this practice of double “accreditation” continues to our day without substantial changes. 5. With the transfer of the centre of civil power from Rome to the new capital of the Roman empire, Constantinople (now Istanbul), another designation of papal envoy appeared, namely that of the Apocrisarius. The Popes started to sent “apocrisarii” to the Emperors and, in the course of centuries until the Middle Ages, they came to be seen as the 15

J. Giovanni Lajolo

symbol and instrument of the particular relationship between the Church and the Emperor, who resided in Constantinople. This new figure of a Papal Representative in residence at the Court was also immediately adopted in the new kingdoms that appeared in Western Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. In fact, after the baptism of the King of the Franks, Clovis, in 496 A.D., the Frankish Court gave the Apocrisarius the rank of a principal Court Minister. Some centuries later, during the reign of Charlemagne, the office acquired even greater stability and role in the newly created Imperial Court and started to be reserved for Bishops only. To illustrate the importance of the role of a papal envoy to the Frankish Court, we only have to remember that on Christmas Day of the year 800 A.D., Charlemagne was crowned in the Vatican not only as “King of the Franks”, but as “Emperor of Christendom”. 6. Later, similar missions to the local Churches and to the Kings were entrusted to a “Nuntius” (messenger). These were sent not only to European powers, but also to Asia. For example, in 1245 Pope Innocent IV 16

A History of Papal Diplomacy

sent Fr John of Pian del Carpine as his Envoy (with formal Letters) to the Emperor of the Mongols. The Emperor responded and relations continued for a century. Among the most famous events is the mission of sixteen persons sent by Emperor Shundi of China in 1336 to Pope John XXII, which reached Avignon in 1338. The Pope replied sending Fr Marignolli with several gifts and, particularly, a horse which was highly appreciated in Beijing, where the Papal delegation arrived in 1342. 7. The 15th and 16th centuries saw the birth of nation-states in Europe, like France, Spain, Poland and the Italian States. There were no permanent Embassies at that time and, as relations between States took new forms and became more intense, especially among the various Italian States, diplomacy had to adapt to the new reality. While, before, diplomats were discreetly dispersed among the peoples (more or less like spies), they now began to become visible informers with their own chanceries and public activities. In 1445 the Republic of Venice opened its permanent diplomatic mission in Florence; then later in Milan, Naples and in Rome by 17

J. Giovanni Lajolo

the Pope. Other States began to model their diplomatic formalities and modalities on the diplomatic system of the Republic of Venice. Thus, for example, in 1446 Milan sent diplomatic agents to Florence. Though eventually they adapted to the new situation, at the start the Popes were not so enthusiastic about the new style inaugurated by the Venetians. One reason was that they believed that their forms of representation still functioning at that time were sufficient for the needs of the Papacy. In fact, while Milan and Venice had accredited their Ambassadors to the Papal Court in 1458, the Pope did not reciprocate until 1500, the year when the first two Apostolic Nunciatures were opened in Venice and Paris; then others followed: in Florence, Naples, Vienna, Madrid, Lisbon, Munich, and so on. Diplomatic representations in the modern sense of the word thus multiplied. The specific training of Vatican diplomats takes place in the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, located in Rome, which traces its origin to the year 1701, when Pope Clement XI established the Academy of Noble Ecclesiastics to prepare officers for the Roman Curia. 18

A History of Papal Diplomacy

8. Historical vicissitudes in the successive centuries saw the ups and downs of diplomacy in general, and Pontifical diplomacy was not spared: the Reformation, the Counter Reformation, the Wars of Dynastic Successions and other major events altered situations and the balance of forces and influence. New Treaties redefined relationships of the powers, like the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 and the Congress of Vienna in 1815. In particular, the Congress of Vienna sanctioned the most fundamental character of Papal diplomacy, that is, it recognized the Pope not only as a temporal sovereign, but above all as the Spiritual Head of the Catholic Church. It must be noted that in 1815 the Pope was still a temporal sovereign over the Papal State, which extended itself over a territory comprising more or less the central part of present-day Italy. 9. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 reaffirmed the papal active power to send envoys and passive power to accredit diplomatic agents, establishing further in Article 14 that Ambassadors and Nuncios accredited to Heads of State are of “equal diplomatic class”. 19

J. Giovanni Lajolo

10. At present, the Holy See maintains diplomatic relations with 174 countries, as well as with the European Communities and the Sovereign Knights of Malta. It maintains “relations of a special nature” with the Russian Federation and with the Palestinian Liberation Organization. In the multilateral section, the Holy See maintains relations with some thirty international and regional organizations, among which are the United Nations Organization and most of its agencies. The Holy See became a Permanent Observer on 6 April 1964 and since then has always been invited to participate in the meetings of all the sessions of the General Assembly. Moreover, the Holy See is a founding member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It enjoys Observer status to the Organization of American States (OAS) and to the African Union (AU). It has a Delegate to the Arab League. One might not be aware that the Holy See is also a founding member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and was one of the first governments to become part of the Executive Committee of 20

A History of Papal Diplomacy

the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). I would like to conclude this part of our talk by underscoring three major points: 1. First, the ancient practice of papal legation has been confirmed and “coded”, so to speak, in treaties and conventions, such as the Congress of Vienna and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. 2. Second, throughout history the active and passive rights to send and receive envoys have been attributed to the Holy See, not to the Papal States nor, later, to the Vatican City State. In fact, during the period that the papacy did not enjoy the exercise of temporal sovereignty because of the occupation — from 1870 to 1929 — of the Papal Territories by the then-newly created Kingdom of Italy, the Popes continued to exercise, with unaltered recognition on the part of sovereign States, their diplomatic prerogatives. 3. Third, the international community, in recognizing the papal active and passive rights of legation, has always taken into primary consideration the moral and spiritual nature of papal diplomacy.

21

J. Giovanni Lajolo

4 Guiding Principles of Contemporary Papal Diplomacy

After such a journey across almost two thousand years, I shall now briefly illustrate the nature and function of contemporary Papal Diplomacy. The diplomatic action of the Holy See, be it bilateral or multilateral, does not depend on political and economic power. As I have tried to show in the second part of this talk, Papal Diplomacy is founded on the Pope’s moral and spiritual authority as supreme Head of the Catholic Church, duly recognized by and sanctioned in accordance with international law. Without pretending to be exhaustive, I shall now mention some of the leading principles that guide Papal Diplomacy. 22

Guiding Principles of Contemporary Papal Diplomacy

1. First and foremost is the centrality of the human person, his or her dignity and rights: the right to life in all the stages of his development; the right to freedom of expression, of conscience, of religion, in all its dimensions and not only as freedom of worship; the right to be given a central place in social, cultural, economic and political life. In his Address to the United Nations on its 50th Anniversary in 1995, Pope John Paul II declared at the General Assembly that a “universal longing for freedom is truly one of the distinguishing marks of our time... It is precisely the global character [of this worldwide movement to freedom] which offers us its first and fundamental ‘key’ and confirms that there are indeed universal human rights, rooted in the nature of the person... it is a matter of serious concern that some people today deny the universality of human rights” (NN. 2 & 3).

The Catholic Church has always taught that, since the purpose of the political community is to protect and foster the common good of the persons composing it, public authority can only claim obedience from the citizens if it is exercised in view of the common good (cfr. GS 74 & 75). In other words, it is the 23

J. Giovanni Lajolo

human person — in his or her individual and social dimension — that every law, every system, every structure, every programme must serve. That is why the Holy See participates actively in international conferences on human rights, and has signed and ratified international treaties and conventions aimed at promoting and defending human rights, most recently the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. 2. The second principle I wish to mention is the promotion and, if necessary, the defence of peace and peaceful co-existence, in the midst of ethnic, religious and cultural differences; the rejection of war as a way of solving disputes between States; the promotion of conflict-resolution and postconflict reconciliation and healing. To encourage all nations to sign and ratify treaties and conventions which can make this world a better and safer place, the Holy See has signed and ratified the Treaties on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1971) and the Banning of the Use of Personnel 24

Guiding Principles of Contemporary Papal Diplomacy

Land-mines (1997), as well as the Convention Prohibiting the Use of Chemical Weapons (1999), the main Disarmament Treaties and the Geneva Conventions. After September 11, as you well know, Pope John Paul II multiplied his condemnation of terrorism and his appeals to avoid the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. However, as humanity has not yet learned to totally renounce war and other forms of violence as means to resolve conflicts or, even worse, to achieve political ends, our diplomatic agents remind tirelessly that, “even if we accept that, under some circumstances, a limited and strictly conditioned use of force could be inevitable in order to fulfill the responsibility to protect every State and the international community, we are called to be realistic enough to recognize that peaceful resolutions are possible and no effort should be spared in achieving them” (Statement of the Permanent Observer at the 59th Session of the General Assembly, New York, 9 May 2005).

3. The third principle is support to institutions and peoples that foster democracy and dialogue even with “difficult” regimes. 25

J. Giovanni Lajolo

The Catholic Church does not recognise any political system or any constitutional order as the best one, but does recognize that democracy guarantees the participation of the citizens in the political process and assures them co-responsibility in determining the destiny of their own country. Of course, authentic democracy is not a mere question of votes; it means informed, responsible and free votes. The late Pope John Paul II wrote in his Encyclical Letter Centesimus annus of 1991 (N. 46): “Authentic democracy is possible only in a State ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person... if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.”

4. The fourth principle I would like to mention is respect for international law and support for multilateral diplomacy. The Holy See has always expressed esteem for international law as the basis of inter26

Guiding Principles of Contemporary Papal Diplomacy

national order, an order governed, as the Charter of the United Nations provides, by “the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members” (Art. 2.1) within the framework of “friendly relations between nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and of self-determination” (Art. 2.1). From Pius XII (1939–58) to John Paul II (1978–2005), the Popes have explicitly stated their support for the United Nations. Pope Paul VI (1963–78) expressed this in his Address to the U.N. General Assembly in 1965, on the occasion of its 20th Anniversary of Foundation, when he said: “Our Message is meant to be first of all a solemn moral ratification of this lofty Institution.... It is as an ‘expert on humanity’ that we bring this Organization the support and approval of our recent predecessors, that of the Catholic hierarchy, and our own, convinced as we are that this Organization represents the obligatory path of modern civilization and world peace... You sanction the great principle that relationships between nations must be regulated by reason, justice, law and negotiation, and not by force, violence, war, nor, indeed, by fear and deceit.” (NN. 1 & 2). 27

J. Giovanni Lajolo

Thirty years later Pope John Paul II addressed the U.N. General Assembly on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary, saying: “Fifty years after its founding, the need [for the United Nations Organization] is even more obvious. But if it is to be up to the challenge, it must rise more and more above the cold status of an administrative institution to become a moral centre where all the nations of the world feel at home and develop a shared awareness of being, as it were, a ‘family of nations’... The family is by nature a community based on mutual trust, mutual support and sincere respect. In an authentic family the strong do not dominate; instead, the weak members, because of their very weakness, are all the more welcomed and served.” (N. 14)

This attitude is born out of an encompassing reflection on history that has constantly showed that without a common code of conduct that could bind nations together, the result is almost invariably the law of the jungle, in which force means right and which, in turn, perpetuates cycles of hatred, violent conflicts, unredeemed vindications, and a constant state of alarm. 5. The fifth and last principle of papal diplomacy I wish to mention, is the most 28

Guiding Principles of Contemporary Papal Diplomacy

obvious, namely: the diplomatic action and presence of the Holy See in the international community is not coloured by political, economic or military interests. In his Address to the U.N. General Assembly in 1965, Pope Paul VI said: “the man who is speaking to you is a man... (that) has no temporal power, no ambition to enter into competition with you. As a matter of fact, we have nothing to ask, no question to raise; at most a desire to formulate: that of being allowed to serve you in the area of our competence, with disinterestedness, humility and love”.

29

J. Giovanni Lajolo

5 Conclusion Remarks

To contribute to the attainment of an international moral consensus out of legitimate differences: this is what matters to the Holy See. This is what it strives to achieve in all its bilateral and multilateral diplomatic efforts. While the Holy See is represented by Papal Ambassadors in almost all capitals and seats of international organizations, we could say that in a certain way the Holy See’s first and principal diplomatic agent is the Pope himself. Our beloved Pope John Paul II exercised his fruitful Ministry for almost twenty-seven years. He travelled three times the distance of the moon from the earth. He met millions and millions of people here and abroad, encouraging political and civic leaders to work 30

Conclusion Remarks

always for the common good, provoking changes for the better in many societies and systems, inspiring millions of young people to reconsider their scale of values, promoting mutual understanding and dialogue among peoples and religions, praising good works and condemning evil deeds and structures. He did all this, convinced that the one and only “axis” of the diplomatic action of the Church is the human person and all that pertains to his dignity and rights. Before that most international tribune, namely the U.N. General Assembly, on its historic landmark of fifty years of existence in 1995, the Pope challenged his listeners to turn their attention to the human person, without whom politics and all activity would lose their raison d’être. He said: “In order to ensure that the new millennium now approaching will witness a new flourishing of the human spirit... we must learn not to be afraid, we must discover a spirit of hope and a spirit of trust... Hope and trust: these may seem matters beyond the purview of the United Nations. But they are not. The politics of nations, with which your Organization is principally concerned, can never ignore the transcendent, spiritual dimension of the human 31

J. Giovanni Lajolo experience, and could never ignore it without harming the cause of man and the cause of human freedom.”

Our present Pope, Benedict XVI, in his first address to all the Ambassadors of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, after having referred to the untiring work of Pope John Paul II in favour of reconciliation and peace among all nations, wanted to mark the continuity of its intents with these remarkable words: “For my part, I come from a country where peace and brotherhood are treasured by all the inhabitants, especially those who, like myself, lived through the war and the separation of brothers and sisters belonging to the same nation because of destructive and inhuman ideologies that, beneath a mask of dreams and illusions, burdened men and women with the heavy yoke of oppression. Thus, you will understand that I am particularly sensitive to dialogue between all human beings in order to overcome every kind of conflict and tension and to make our earth an earth of peace and brotherhood. All together, by combining their efforts, Christian communities, national Leaders, Diplomats and all people of good will are called to achieve a peaceful society, to overcome the temptation of confrontation between cultures, 32

Conclusion Remarks races and worlds that are different. For this, each people must find in its spiritual and cultural patrimony the best values it possesses so that it may advance undaunted to encounter the other, ready to share its own spiritual and material riches for the benefit of all.”

In this spirit of dialogue and friendship the Vatican Diplomacy wishes to be further understood and accepted as a trustworthy companion of mankind in its pilgrimage towards a better, a more human world.

33

J. Giovanni Lajolo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR HE Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo is the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States (Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Holy See). He was born in Novara (Piedmont), Italy on 3 January 1935 and ordained as a Priest on 29 April 1960 in the Marian Shrine of Re and incardinated in the Diocese of Novara. He obtained his Licentiate in Philosophy (1955) and in Theology (1959) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and his Doctorate in Canon Law (1965) from the University of Munich (Germany). He speaks Italian, English, French, German and Spanish. He entered the Holy See’s Diplomatic Service in 1970 and served in the Apostolic 34

About the Author

Nunciature in Bonn, Germany (1970–74), in the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State (1974–88), notably as Secretary of the Vatican Delegation for the updating of the Concordat with Italy (1979–85). From 1985 to 1989, he served as Professor at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome and from 3 October 1988 he concurrently held the appointment of Secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See. On 6 January 1989, he was ordained Titular Archbishop of Cesariana by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica. He was subsequently appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Germany on 7 December 1995. HE Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo was appointed Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States on 7 October 2003.

35