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Vatican Diplomacy and the Armenian Question: The Holy See’s Response to the Republic of Armenia, 1918-1922

Vatican Diplomacy and the Armenian Question: The Holy See’s Response to the Republic of Armenia, 1918-1922

translated from the original Italian by Cynthia Quilici
London: Gomidas Institute, 2011, paperback
vi + 368 pp., map
ISBN 978-1-903656-98-3, paperback
UK£24.00 / US$35.00

To order please contact books@gomidas.org




The Vatican state was well aware of the destruction of Ottoman Armenians in 1915. Many Armenian Catholic communities were wiped out during this period, alongside the Apostolic and Protestant ones. The Vatican's Apostolic Delegate to Constantinople, Mgr. Dolci, reported such developments in the Ottoman Empire. Pope Benedict XV personally appealed to the Ottoman government to stop the persecutions. But the Vatican was in no position to change the course of the Young Turk executioners.
 
Following the end of the war, the Vatican was in a better position to help survivors of the Armenian Genocide. The Vatican expended great energy to help the new fledgling Republic of Armenia. Vatican diplomats worked hard to harness support for Armenians, at least in the Catholic world. Armenian Catholics also played an important role in making these efforts fruitful.
 
However, until recently, very little was known of the Vatican's involvement with Armenians during World War I and its aftermath. This is because Vatican archives were inaccessible to mainly English speaking scholars writing on the Armenian issue.
 
The recent translation of Mario Carolla's excellent book, Vatican Diplomacy and the Armenian Question: The Holy See’s Response to the Republic of Armenia, 1918-1922, presents for the first time, a detailed narrative of the Vatican's involvement with Armenians. Carolla's solid work rests on original documents from Vatican Archives, most of which have never been subject to scholarly scrutiny. Since the majority of documents are in Italilan, these have also been translated into English for American and British audiences. This new publication promises to shed new light on this turbulent period of history in the Middle East and the Caucasus.

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