Vatican-Ukrainian diplomatic relations

Vatican-Ukrainian diplomatic relations. The Vatican maintains diplomatic relations with various states (currently 180). In November 1918, after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Pope Benedict XV (Giacomo Della Chiesa) issued a directive calling for the establishment of friendly relations with all the nations of the empire (including Ukraine) that had formed independent states. Prior to that, in April 1918, he had sent A. Ratti (later Pope Pius XI) as an apostolic visitator to Poland and Lithuania to study Ukrainian affairs. Relations were maintained through the apostolic delegates in Constantinople, Washington, DC, and Rome before Mykhailo Tyshkevych arrived in February 1919 and was formally accredited as a consul to the Holy See from Ukraine (he had been sent by the government of the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic). He was succeeded by Rev Franz Xavier Bonne; Petro Karmansky represented the Western Ukrainian National Republic. In 1920 Ratti was succeeded by Giovanni Genocchi as apostolic visitator to Ukraine. He was never permitted to visit Soviet Ukraine, and carried out his duties from Poland. After the consolidation of Soviet power in eastern Ukraine and the conclusion of the 1925 concordat with Poland, which implicitly recognized Polish control over Western Ukrainian territories, the Vatican cut off formal diplomatic relations with Ukraine until Ukraine’s renewed independence in 1991. Archbishop A. Franco became the first papal nuncio to Ukraine in 1992. (See also Italy, Ukrainian Catholic church, and History of the Ukrainian church.)

Stehle, Hansjakob. Eastern Politics of the Vatican, 1917–1979, trans Sandra Smith (Athens, Ohio 1981)
Moroziuk, Russell. Politics of a Church Union (Chicago 1983)
Khoma, Ivan. Apostol’s’kyi Prestil i Ukraïna, 1919–1922 (Rome 1987)
Dunn, Dennis. ‘The Vatican, the Kremlin and the Ukrainian Catholic Church,’ in The Ukrainian Religious Experience: Tradition and the Canadian Cultural Context, ed David Goa (Edmonton 1989)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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