U.S.-Vatican Relations: An Historical Perspective from Reagan to Biden
Webinar Panel Discussion
Charles Gallagher, S.J., Boston College
Peter G. Martin, Boston College
Mark Massa, S.J., Boston College
Oliver Rafferty, S.J., Boston College
Date: Friday, February 26, 2021
Time: 2 - 3pm EST
Historians Oliver Rafferty, S.J. and Charles Gallagher, S.J., theologian Mark Massa, S.J., and Peter G. Martin, former policy advisor with the U.S. State Department, will discuss the history of U.S.-Vatican relations between Ronald Reagan and Joseph Biden (our second Catholic president). The panel will focus on long-term patterns and political issues in American politics and social movements that have changed the context for Vatican relations with American Catholics and with the larger political culture.
· “U.S. Relations with the Holy See: Bilateral Relations Fact Sheet.” Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State. August 27, 2020. https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-the-holy-see/.
· “History of the U.S. and Holy See.” U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. https://va.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/policy-history/io/.
· Sawicki, Nicholas D. “Explainer: The (complicated) history of U.S. ambassadors to the Vatican.” America. January 29, 2021. https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2021/01/29/united-states-ambassadors-holy-see-vatican-239828.
· Faggioli, Massimo. Joe Biden and Catholicism in the United States. New London, CT: Bayard, Inc., 2021.
· Franco, Massimo. Parallel Empires: The Vatican and the United States—Two Centuries of Alliance and Conflict. New York: Doubleday, 2008.
· Rooney, Francis. The Global Vatican: An Inside Look at the Catholic Church, World Politics, and the Extraordinary Relationship between the United States and the Holy See. Lanham, M.D.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.
Former Ambassador to the Holy See, Miguel Díaz, speculates in an article for the National Catholic Reporter that the relationship between Pope Francis and President Biden will likely be positive, benefitting from their history—Biden’s pre-existing relationship with Francis during his time as Vice President—as well as their shared interest in fighting both the “biological pandemic and social pandemic,” as seen in the policies already advanced by Biden and Francis’s latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti.