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United States – Holy See relations
United States   Vatican City
Map indicating location of USA and Vatican City
     United States      Vatican City

United States – Holy See relations are bilateral relations between the United States and Holy See (Vatican City). The principal U.S. official is Ambassador Miguel H. Diaz. The Holy See is represented by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who assumed office on December 17, 2005. The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is located in Rome in the Villa Domiziana. The Nunciature to the United States is located in Washington, D.C. at 3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.

Contents

History

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1797–1870

The United States maintained consular relations with the Papal States from 1797 under President Washington and Pope Pius VI to 1870 and President Grant and Pope Pius IX. Diplomatic relations existed with the Pope, in his capacity as head of the Papal States, from 1848 under President Polk to 1868 under President Andrew Johnson, though not at the ambassadorial level. These relations lapsed with the loss of all papal territories in 1870.

1870–1984

From 1870 to 1984, the United States did not have diplomatic relations with the Holy See. Several presidents, however, designated personal envoys to visit the Holy See periodically for discussions of international humanitarian and political issues. Myron Charles Taylor was the first of these representatives, serving Presidents Roosevelt and Truman from 1939 to 1950. Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan also appointed personal envoys to the Pope.

The Vatican has historically been accused of being un-American, at least until the presidency of John F. Kennedy (see nativism and anti-Catholicism in the United States). The bulk of the accusation is found in Paul Blanshard's book American Freedom and Catholic Power, which attacked the Holy See on grounds that it was a dangerous, powerful, foreign and undemocratic institution.

1984–present

The United States and the Holy See announced the establishment of diplomatic relations on January 10, 1984. On March 7, 1984, the Senate confirmed William A. Wilson as the first U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. Ambassador Wilson had been President Reagan's personal envoy to the Pope since 1981. The Holy See named Archbishop Pio Laghi as the first Apostolic Nuncio (equivalent to ambassador) of the Holy See to the U.S. Archbishop Laghi had been Pope John Paul II's apostolic delegate to the Catholic Church in the United States since 1980. On July 10, 2009 President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI met in Rome.[1]

See also

References

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes). http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3819.htm#relations


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