WELCOME TO THE HOLY SEE MISSION
to the Multilateral Activities of the Holy See
The bilateral diplomacy of the Holy See is rooted in distant history. From the earliest centuries of the existence of the Church, even before the birth of modern Nation-States, the Holy See has made use of special envoys, and eventually of Nunciatures or embassies. On the part of the Holy See, the discernment and interest to be engaged in international organizations started after World War I. At that time, States such as Germany requested that the Holy See consider its possible participation in the League of Nations Conference. Subsequently, support was given for the employment of a priest advisor at the International Labour Organization (ILO); such an appointment was first made in 1926 by then Director General Albert Thomas. It was Pope Pius XII, however, who formulated an organic doctrine of the Church’s involvement in international life. In his speeches, most especially in the Allocution of 24 December 1939, “The pacific coexistence of peoples,” and in his Radio Messages, he outlined the essential characteristics for developing the future international order. It seemed logical, therefore, that informal contacts with the new United Nations organizations should begin immediately after the founding of the organization in 1945, and indeed they began on the two issues of refugees and of the holy sites in Palestine.