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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:

●  a diplomatic corps: Vatican diplomacy at home and abroad

●  an independent micro-state: The Vatican’s triple crown: church, government and state

●  and reciprocal "state visits": The secret costs of papal visits

Cold-war religious fronts against the Soviets in Poland and Afghanistan?

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.

Vatican Foreign Ministers: Lajolo (2004-2006) on concordat diplomacy

Archbishop Lajolo, former foreign minister of the Holy See, gives an update on papal diplomacy in the course of the three talks outlined here. He also claims that concordats protect “religious freedom” and attempts to justify signing them with questionable governments.

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