Concordat diplomacy: Tricks of the trade
How does the Vatican get a country to enter into a concordat? A pincer movement can combine diplomatic pressure from the Vatican “state” outside the country with religious pressure from the Church inside the country. Papal trips play a role here and share the ambiguity: they are called both “state visits” and “pilgrimages”.
Vatican diplomacy, described in the Wikileaks as "always active and influential behind the scenes", is conducted by three principal means:
♦ an independent micro-state: The Vatican’s triple crown: church, government and state
♦ a diplomatic corps: Vatican diplomacy at home and abroad
♦ and reciprocal "state visits": The secret costs of papal visits.
This excerpt gives some of Avro Manhattan's astute observations on Vatican diplomacy, not his sometimes unsupported theories. “The Papal representative has at his disposal, not only the diplomatic machinery that any ordinary diplomatic representative of a lay State would have, but also the vast religious machinery of the Catholic Church inside the country to which he is accredited, as well as outside it.”
The first phase of the war in Afghanistan, which forced the USSR to retreat, is claimed to have begun as part of “a secret initiative” by the US and the Vatican to use religion to weaken the Soviet Union. It is depicted as a pincer movement of Catholic dissidents rousing Poland in the west, and Islamic insurgents expelling the Red Army in the south. Today the Vatican is happy to take credit for the first, but doesn’t mention the second.