“The Vatican and Zionism: Conflict in the Holy Land, 1895-1925” by Sergio I. Minerbi Oxford University Press, 1990


Vatican = Has consistently Refused to have normal relations with Israel. = Consistently hostile to Zionism since before the First World War.

Unpublished documents from diplomatic archives brings to light the little-known role of the Vatican in relation both to the Great Powers and the Zionists in the early years of the twentieth century.

Vatican was disturbed by a Protestant British mandate–especially after the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which declared Whitehall’s sympathy with Zionist aspirations.

Vatican = Opposed the formation of a Jewish homeland = Zionism = Bolshevism

1904 Zionist leader Theodor Herzl obtained an audience with Pope Pius X to persuade him to support the a Jewish homeland in Palestine = Pope’s response was “We cannot.”

1917 Pius X’s successor, Pope Benedict XV, received a later Zionist leader, Nahum Sokolow, displayed an equally sturdy refusal to support a Jewish state in Palestine.

Zionists = Tried to give Vatican respect for sanctity of the Holy Places = Control over individual sites, rather than territory. But Vatican’s bid for control over the territory encompassing the Holy Places and the international commission on the Holy Places it had hoped for was never formed, and it was not invited to attend the 1920 Sanremo conference, which decided the fate of Palestine.

Vatican = Refuses to establish diplomatic relations with the state of Israel.


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