DACOR - Event Information

Event Name:U.S. - Vatican Relations 1975-1980: A Diplomatic Study
Event Type(s):ADST-DACOR Book Launch
Description:Drawing on his posting as chargé and ambassador of the Presidential Mission at the Vatican, Peter Sarros explores bilateral relations during a turbulent period that saw two presidents, three presidential envoys, and three popes. This previously untold story shows how the United States and the Vatican worked quietly together behind the scenes to influence the international response to major issues of the day, including the Iran hostage crisis, the tensions of the Cold War, the Helsinki process, and the Beagle Channel dispute, among other issues. These interactions produced a tacit alliance in the foreign policies of the United States and the Vatican even before the establishment of full diplomatic relations. 

“The scholarship is amazing: firsthand accounts, personal notes of the author, State Department documents, biographies, journals, and newspapers. In the field of resources on modern U.S.-Vatican relations, there is a significant gap that this book fills.”
––Andrew Essig, DeSales University

This unique book is based largely on official documents from the archives of the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy of the United States to the Vatican, supplemented by Sarros’s contemporaneous diaries, notes, and other unpublished sources. The confidential consultations at the Vatican by three special envoys and by Sarros in his role as chargé and ambassador at the Vatican were critical in obtaining Vatican support on major international issues. The Vatican also derived substantial benefits from the partnership through U.S. support of Vatican initiatives in Lebanon, on humanitarian affairs, and elsewhere, and by U.S. policies that gave Vatican diplomacy the flexibility to play a larger role in the international sphere. Sarros concludes that American diplomacy was successful at the Holy See during this period because it took advantage of the Vatican’s overarching international strategy, which was to increase its influence through support for the global balance of power while blocking the expansion of Soviet power and communism in Europe.

P. Peter Sarros is a retired Senior U.S. Foreign Service officer whose career spanned four decades. Besides the Holy See, his postings included Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Iceland, and at State. He was Diplomat-in-Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and taught diplomacy at George Mason University. He has a BA Summa Cum Laude from Hobart College and masters and PhD degrees from Princeton.

To be published by the University of Notre Dame Press in January, in hardcover at  $50 ($42.50 for DACOR members), with 496 pages and 16 illustrations. Preorder from admin@adst.org.
Event Date:2/13/2020
Event Time:6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Eastern
Location:DACOR Bacon House
1801 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

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Contact Person:DACOR Programs
(phone: 202-682-0500 x20)
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U.S.-Vatican Relations, 1975-1980: A Diplomatic Study
By P. Peter Sarros

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