Abstract: The Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences and the Institute of Universal History of the Moscow Academy of Sciences have a 40 years old scientific collaboration. In May 2016, thanks to this cooperation, a scientific seminar has been held in the Vatican City on «The Russian Revolution in 1917 and the Churches». In this volume, a selection of contributions is published dealing with a wide range of topics, such as the problematic relationship between the Catholic Church and Russia, the ecclesiastical consequences of the 1917 Revolution in Russia, the perspective at that time of the soon-to-be Pope Pius XII, the genesis of the independent State of Czechoslovakia, the role of the Sacred Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s reaction to the Revolution.
Abstract – In order to understand the relations between the Holy See and Revolutionary Russia, it must be considerate the previous relations between these two institutions. The Vatican had always looked to Russia as a religious rival. At the same time Czarist Russia identified itself with the Orthodox Church, imposing strong limitations to the Catholics in Russia. During the First World War the Vatican hoped in a compromise peace on the Western front, and at the same time it desired Central Powers’ strong victory on the East. When the Russian Revolution occurred, the Holy See looked it as a good opportunity for the Catholics to gain more religious freedom. From the Vatican point of view, the new Russian government could not be worse than the previous one. The anarchic situation did not allow the Holy See to understand the actual political condition in Russia, but the Vatican did not believe that the Communist party had the capacity to control the country. Even if there were some voices that suggested a stronger religious intervention in Russia, Holy See followed a cautious policy on the East. Indeed, the Vatican understood that Bolshevists were gaining the power and control over Russia. Considering the situation, Pope Benedict XV wanted to find peace in order to reorganise the Catholic ecclesiastical structures, thanks to a larger religious freedom. Only after that, there should be a major Catholic policy on the East. But the Bolshevik victory and Benedict XV’s death stopped these projects.
Abstract – The 1917 revolution had profound effects and consequences not only on the social, political, institutional dimensions of Russia, but also on the religious sphere and the ecclesiastical structure of the Russian Orthodox Church. The author focuses on this delicate and traumatic turning point of Russian history, which changed – so radically and abruptly – a hitherto Ceasaro-Papist absolutist system into a Marxist-Bolshevik atheist one. Further, the author explains how in 1917 the Russian Orthodox Church suffered the loss of its iconoclastic Constantinian legacy (historically tracing to the demise of Byzantine Empire after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453), of which the Russian Orthodoxy was thought to be the religious heir and successor. The Russian Tsars equally identified as the heirs to the Byzantine autocratic tradition following an historical continuum of Byzantium-Moscow-Petrograd. Proceeding from these considerations, the article focuses on the relations between the Russian Tsardom and Patriarchate, re-examining the contentious debate concerning the rehabilitatation of the Patriarchate after the events of 1917. In conclusion, the author argues that the collapse of the normative and ecclesiastical framework that constituted the Russian Tsarist imperial system also led to the collapse of a Weltanschauung, which was both typically Orthodox and Russian.
Abstract – The paper attempts to give an explanation, based on historical evidence, about the controversial and still open debate on Pope Pious XII’s “silence”. The analysis focuses on two alleged arguments regarding Pope Pacelli’s political and ideological stance: Germanophilia and anti-communist creed. The author examines if those two elements attributed to Pope Pious XII’s attitude have an actual validity or whether they have been to a certain extent inflated by some historiographical narratives. To do so, the author explores Pope Pacelli’s period as papal nuncio to Germany (1917-1927) and scrutinises his dispatches related to Russian revolutionary events in 1917.
Abstract – Against the background of the Russion revolution 1917, the article reconstructs the genesis of the Czecho-Slovak state and the struggle for its future political orientation and ideological character. It follows the political action of Tomáš G. Masaryk, a Czech politician and Socialist thinker and the future first president of Czecho-Slovakia, who came to Russia in May 1917 in the double role as a British agent with the task to face the pacifist propaganda of the Central Powers, to maintain Russia at war and to deliver information to London, and as the leader of the Czecho-Slovak exile movement who aimed at the foundation of a Czecho-Slovak state with a liberal and pro-western orientation. In this spirit Masaryk tried to influence also the Czecho-Slovak legion in Russia and to form its esprit des corps in a liberal-socialist and anti-Catholic sense, making an instrumental use of Hussitic historical imagery and of Hussitism as a metaphorical expression of Czech national resistance against Rome and Habsburg and a legitimation of its liberal and progressist ideals. This impostation, completely strange to Slovak soldiers, together with the Czech national spirit of the legion, led to national conflicts within in. Masaryk’s relation to the bolsheviks remained ambivalent: on the one hand, he denounced them as German agents, on the other hand he maintained with them practical contacts and his thoughts were deeply influenced by Marxism. Masaryk was well aware of the „political price“ of the legion that could facilitate the recognition of the future state on behalf of the Entente, at the same time however he refused its participation in the anti-Bolshevik struggle, promoting a neutrality that in the end served the bolsheviks.
Abstract – The essay focuses on how the Holy See approached the occurrence of the Russian revolutions in 1917, based on the analysis of the documentation available in the Historical Archives of a specific body which goes under the name of Congregazione degli Affari Ecclesiastici Straordinari (Congregation of the Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs). The role of this institution appeared to be crucial in shaping the Vatican diplomacy during the papacy of Pope Benedict XV. The two revolutions occurred in Russia in 1917 were addressed by two distinct congregations of cardinals, the first in July of the same year and the other in June, the following. If, at a first stage, the revolution of February 1917 seemed to create better conditions for the Catholic Church in the country, ensuring a wider religious freedom, the Bolshevik revolution overturned the situation later that year. For this reason, while at the beginning the Cardinals judged the first stage of the uprisings as positive (“providential”), they changed their attitude during the 1918 meeting, which was specifically dedicated to organisational matters (such as the re-organisation of the dioceses), rather than to take a stance towards the Bolshevism. The Congregazione assumed a pragmatical attitude, its primary aim being the preservation of the position of the Church in that time of instability, and not an ideological analysis of the situation.
Abstract – The aim of the current paper is to present an attempt for conceptualization of the existing empiric collection of publications in the church press and the records of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Also, it aims to reconstruct certain forms of reception, perception and reflection in the Bulgarian Church discourse relating to Bolshevism and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. The Bulgarian Church community in the period (the early 1920s) is aware of the danger of the Bolshevism, which threatens the foundations of the Bulgarian spiritual identity and statesmanship. This threat is not looked upon in isolation but as part of a global threat to the fundamental foundations of humanity, whose traditional values are replaced by its antipodes. Through its most active clerics, the Orthodox intellectuals and the active support of the Russian emigration in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Church explains and discloses this historical exchange trying to warn the Bulgarian society of the imminent evil by strengthening its religious consciousness.
Abstract – The articles in this volume represent the proceedings of the 10th annual Conference on international security, focusing on the history and the current affairs of the Atlantic Alliance, organized by the Department of Political Sciences of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan. The departmental research activities have been supported throughout the years by NATO Public Diplomacy Division and other military, political and cultural institutions, such as the Atlantic Treaty Association, the International Commission of Military History and the NATO Rapid Deployment Corps-Italy. This year’s conference analyses the recent evolution of NATO policy and its critical flashpoints, mainly the tension with Putin’s resurging Russia and its many hybrid strategies – as seen in the ongoing Ukrainian conflict – and the rising threat posed to global and especially European security by radical Islamic terror. The conference aims at defining NATO’s contemporary role facing the aforementioned security risks and challenges in view of US President Trump’s foreign policy. The conference further considers the ramifications of the special meeting held at NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels on 25th May 2017, focusing on highly debated and unresolved issues such as the budgetary burden sharing and the military gap between the two sides of the Atlantic, as well as the alleged US military disengagement from Europe under Trump’s administration. Last but not least, attention is given to Italy’s geopolitical and military role in today’s NATO strategic environment and its weight with regards to what Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg considers of utmost importance, i.e. the cash, capabilities and contributions triad.
Abstract – Donald Trump is very uncertain about the NATO’s future. His remarks, albeit later corrected, show that for the United States NATO needs a new strategy, not just of defense and protection, but of offensive presence, especially in the Middle East crisis. The active presence of Russia and Iran in the region requires not only Washington greater military activity, but above all a joint effort of the Alliance in order not to deliver the Middle East to Moscow and Tehran after the ISIS’s defeat. In short, NATO needs a deep redefinition of its tasks and area of intervention. In fact, the Mediterranean sea risks to go under Russia’s control, and Iran itself takes advantage of its presence in Syria to face the Mediterranean. The United States, which has lost its hegemony on the region because of Obama’s disengagement, must again be protagonist; at the same time, NATO must wake up from its political torpor.
Abstract – The special relationship between the United States and Great Britain is historically unique. This specialty is inherent in the role played by the two countries in the evolution of the international system. Just as the architecture of the current global system is an Anglo-American legacy of the Second World War, the Atlantic Alliance emerged thanks to the US-UK special relationship. The Anglo-American relationship was also the driving force that pushed NATO to evolve during the Cold War. Relations between the US and Britain in the bipolar era saw the prevalence of American interests over British ones. London, however, chose to play the role of junior partner alongside the American superpower. If US military pre-eminence within NATO is well-known, British contributions tend to be underestimated. The special relationship played a key role in the good functioning of the Alliance also in the post-bipolar era, in particular for the transformation of NATO and in the framework of the War on Terror. The current importance on the international scene of the Anglo-American bond has declined compared to seventy years ago. The recently-proclaimed Global Britain is a regional power, at best with global interests, while Europe is no longer the heart of the American strategic interest. But the author still maintains that NATO remains the pillar of the transatlantic security, which is not divisible into a multipolar world where the concept of the West is in trouble before the assertive emergence of other actors.
Abstract – This paper will try to address the evolution of the EU-NATO relationship after the Cold War, in order to give some insight into the most pressing problems to be dealt with today to strengthen the transatlantic link. The reason is clear: the relationship has to be reconstructed avoiding approaches and policies that have been detected leading to failure and squandering money in the past decades. As far as NATO is concerned, we can also detect the underlined philosophy that has prevailed in the last decades, implicitly revised during President Obama’s Administrations and, in particular, in a more explicit way, after the nomination of President Trump. Thus, the essay analyses the origins and trajectory of the EU-NATO relationship, focusing only on selected topics, in order to understand their complex relationship, the reasons and the dynamics of change, the present situation and the lessons learned on the approaches and policies adopted in the last decades.
Abstract – The geographic dimension lies at very heart of the Atlantic Alliance. This is the reason why “out-of-area” has always been a divisive issue. At the beginning of the Cold War, the Mediterranean was the Alliance’s “soft underbelly”, a role that changed during the years, since in the Eighties the region became one of the core areas for common security. When the Soviet Union dissolved, efforts were made to develop a new Mediterranean strategy, more attentive to the emerging threats and more “projected” towards the new fronts of crisis. These efforts went side by side with the enlargement process in Eastern Europe, with the aim of shaping new forms of collaboration between the Alliance and its partners. The Mediterranean Dialogue (1994) and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (2004) were the two main tools developed to this end. However, none of them seems having been really successful. The emphasis that NATO placed on technical cooperation triggered criticisms among the Mediterranean partners, hoping for a more political engagement. At the same time, the quickly evolving strategic environment contributed in fuelling divergences among the members states as to the real threat the Alliance have to face. The increasing weight of the Eastern European partners and their fear of the new Russian assertiveness, as well as the widespread concerns about the costs of the “projected” mission, have favoured a return to the old “deterrence and defence” posture; a posture that – in the eyes of the Mediterranean members – underestimates their security needs and makes NATO more vulnerable to the many threats coming from its southern side.
Abstract – Manlio Brosio was the only Italian Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); he was the fourth in charge, from August 1964 through September 1971, his office being one of the longest so far. During Brosio’s seven-year term, the Atlantic Alliance had to face some of the most crucial challenges since its foundation, the first being the withdrawal of the Gaullist France from the military integrated structure, in 1966. Two different processes originated from that moment of potential crisis: the reorganisation and transferral of the NATO Headquarters from Paris to Brussels, and the political rethinking of the Alliance as a whole, through the study which goes under the name of Harmel Report. Projecting the Alliance on the new international framework of improved East-West relations, the Secretary General himself was reflecting upon the key-question “Will NATO survive détente?”; indeed, in his personal diaries (all now published) Brosio revealed his own doubts, fears and sense of inadequacy for the tasks ahead. Having retraced the evolution of Brosio’s political thought and career, the essay then focuses on how he approached his difficult position, always honouring his “Atlantic conscience alongside an Italian heart”. Untiring in his work, he steered the Alliance through and out of the potential crisis, always striving to reach consensus in any decision taken during the Council meetings; his seriousness and meticulous method have been widely acknowledged. He finally managed to preserve the fundamental “political ingredient” of the Alliance and to avoid that it “maintain its shell but lose its essence”.
Abstract – This paper aims at analysing the contribution of the former Italian Foreign Minister, Gaetano Martino, to the Committee of the “Three Wise Men”, established by the North Atlantic Council in May 1956 in order to suggest the ways and means to widen and improve the cooperation among Member States in non-military sectors. The need for reflection on this issue, already dealt with by the Commission on the Atlantic Community between 1951 and 1952, was linked both with the evolution of the East-West confrontation during the years of coexistence and with the breaking point that transatlantic relations experienced during the Suez Crisis.
In this framework, the Liberal, Gaetano Martino, who led the Italian Foreign Ministry from 1954 to 1957, expressed the need to rethink the Atlantic Alliance according to the new dynamism of Italian foreign policy. He thus acted in continuity with the pro-western choice the country had made after the Second World War and with the initiatives on non-military cooperation within NATO that the previous Italian governments had carried out. The Report of the Committee of the Three Wise Men stressed the crucial importance of shaping a multi-level dimension of security that was to be confirmed as a task for NATO and for the entire international community, after the end of the Cold War.
Abstract – The NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-Italy) is one of the 9 High Rapid Force Headquarters in the NATO Force Structure.
At NRDC-Italy one can hear different languages, see different uniforms and meet persons with different cultures and backgrounds. Nations with different cultures and traditions, once opposed, have been cooperating shoulder to shoulder for years now, operating with determination, for a better future, trusting in the highest of ideals. This is the power of diversity and the strength of our multinational headquarters. We all share common values. courage, integrity, loyalty, ethos, camaraderie, honor are no strangers to the military.
In the NATO Long Term Rotation Plan the Headquarters served a one-year tour of duty supporting ISAF throughout 2013. Around 400 personnel from NRDC-ITA (among them, over 70 personnel provided by the outstanding 14 contributing Nations to NRDC-ITA HQ) took part in ISAF 2013, supporting both the strategic and the operational levels of command in Afghanistan (in both HQ ISAF and HQ IJC) in the Combined Joint Area of Operations (CJOA).
Abstract – By considering the ecclesiastical social teaching as an organic and systematic corpus, the present text outlines and analyses the most important papal documents in the social field: Leo XIII’s Rerum novarum (1891), Pius XI’s Quadragesimo anno (1931), John XXIII’s Mater et magistra (1961) and Pacem in terris (1963), Paul VI’s Populorum progressio (1967) and Octogesima adveniens (1971), John Paul II’s Laborem exercens (1981), Sollicitudo rei socialis (1987) and Centesimus annus (1991), Benedict XVI’s Caritas in veritate (2009) and Francis’s Evangelii gaudium (2013). Without theorising a rupture between a pre-conciliar Church and a post-conciliar Church, this essay aims at showing both faithful continuity and constant renewal of the Social Doctrine of the Church. As an integral part of the Christian message, the ecclesiastical social teaching is deeply rooted in the tradition of the Catholic Church. The doctrinal continuity, therefore, is not jeopardised by the inevitable differences in style and approach among the Pontiffs.
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