Vatican diplomacy refers to the diplomatic activities and foreign relations conducted by the Holy See, the central governing body of the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy See, represented by the Pope and the Roman Curia, maintains diplomatic relations with many countries and international organisations. Its primary diplomatic goal is to promote and protect the interests of the Catholic Church, as well as to foster peace, social justice, and human rights around the world.
The Vatican is recognised as a sovereign entity, and its diplomatic activities are carried out through the Secretariat of State and the Apostolic Nuncios, who are the Holy See’s diplomatic representatives to foreign governments and international organisations. Apostolic Nuncios hold the rank of ambassador and are responsible for establishing and maintaining diplomatic relations, communicating the Holy See’s positions on various issues, and supporting local Catholic communities.
Vatican diplomacy operates based on principles rooted in Catholic social teaching, such as the promotion of human dignity, the common good, and the preferential option for the poor. It also emphasises dialogue and cooperation among nations, as well as respect for international law, in order to address global challenges and protect the rights of all people.
Throughout history, the Holy See has played a significant role in mediating international disputes, advocating for peace and disarmament, and promoting human rights and interreligious dialogue. While Vatican diplomacy is unique due to its spiritual and religious nature, it continues to be an influential actor in international affairs.