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Papal Diplomacy by Proxy? Catholic Internationalism at the League of Nations’ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, 1922–1939


The Holy See's involvement in interwar multilateralism is rarely acknowledged, largely due to its exclusion from the Versailles settlement and resulting institutions. Using new archival findings, this article reevaluates the Vatican's role in the contestation and construction of this new order, focusing on the League's International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. Unofficially acting as Vatican intermediaries, a number of League officials quietly promoted Catholic visions of internationalism from within this body. The activities of these individuals provided an alternative method for promoting the Holy See's interests within the emergent international order, in conscious competition with more dominant secular conceptions of internationalism.


Publication Information

Journal of Ecclesiastical History
21 pages