Foreign Policy and Peacekeeping Initiatives of the Vatican in the Second Half of the 1930s — Early 1940s in the Reflection of the Soviet Press
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Foreign Policy and Peacekeeping Initiatives of the Vatican in the Second Half of the 1930s — Early 1940s in the Reflection of the Soviet Press
Annotation
PII
S207987840017599-7-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Evgenia Tokareva 
Affiliation: Institute of World History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Abstract

In the extremely difficult international situation of the second half of the 1930s, relations between the USSR and the Vatican occupied a very insignificant place. This is partly why the sources that would cover this problem more prominently are very scarce. Under these conditions, the Soviet press becomes an important and still insufficiently appreciated source. With the general strict censorship of the press of this period, it allows us to identify various, but sometimes quite significant nuances of perception of the Vatican policy in the Soviet Union. The first event that influenced some reassessment of the image of the Vatican was the VII Congress of the Comintern, held in 1935, which put forward the tactics of a united front, which assumed, among other things, cooperation with confessional organizations of workers, and even with the petty-bourgeois strata of the population. In the light of this new tactic, a certain line is beginning to be drawn, albeit almost imperceptibly and even, perhaps, unwittingly, between the Vatican as a political force and the national structures of the Catholic Church. A more noticeable reassessment of the image of the Vatican took place in 1938, when the differences between Italian fascism, German Nazism, on the one hand, and the Vatican, on the other, on racial problems and on the issue of the persecution of the Catholic Church became obvious and could not fail to attract the attention of Soviet diplomats and, following them, the Soviet press. The subsequent election of Pope Pius XII to the papal throne in 1939 allows us to strengthen this line and enrich it with attention to the Vatican's peacemaking policy. But the conclusion of the Molotov — Ribbentrop pact once again returns the image of the Vatican to its supposedly political conjuncture, but this time in the interests of the other side, which has now become the main opponent of the USSR, i. e. England and France. And only the German attack on the USSR allows for a brief moment to see the possibility of forming a different image of the Vatican, an opponent of racism and fascism in all its manifestations. A careful reading of the press allows us to draw a preliminary conclusion about the absence of a clearly developed and formulated position of the governing bodies of the Soviet Union in relation to the Vatican, which varied, albeit slightly, depending on changes in the foreign policy interests of the Soviet state.

Keywords
Vatican, Catholic Church, international relations, Soviet power, Soviet press
Received
15.09.2021
Publication date
05.12.2021
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70557
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281
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