The Pope and the Sultan: Vatican Diplomacy and the Ottoman Empire (19th - 20th Century)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Between the 19th and 20th century, while international relations intensified, the Catholic Church became a “global” institution and at the same time grow up the crisis of the multi-religious and multi-ethnic empires, such as the Ottoman Empire. Nationalisms threaten imperial unity, while the Catholic Church – a supranational institution - developed its own "eastern policy" aimed at preserving the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, which is conceived as a space of pluralism. In this way the Catholic Church established new contacts with the Ottoman Empire and the eastern Christianity. The representative of the pope in Istanbul tried to establish direct diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Sublime Porte, overcoming religious protectorates imposed by France and Austria. Vatican policy towards the Ottoman Empire was very innovative, a mix of diplomacy, cultural initiatives, religious projects. The Ottomans, on the other hand, began to see the Catholic Church and its supranational feature as a favourable factor to the maintenance of the Empire. The history of relations between the Vatican and the Ottoman Empire represents an unknown chapter in the contemporary history that enlighten many aspects of the current situation in the Middle East. The paper aims to present, on the basis of research carried out at the Vatican, European and Ottoman archives, the history of relations between the Holy See and the Ottoman Empire in a crucial area in which politics and religion have played - and still play - an important role.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOsmanli'da Siyaset ve Diplomasi
Pages213-224
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Diplomacy
  • Diplomazia
  • Diplomazia Vaticana
  • Holy See
  • Impero ottomano
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Santa Sede
  • Vatican diplomacy

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