Communism and the Cold War
This chapter is primarily concerned with the evolution of Vatican policies in response to the systematic persecution of the Catholic Church in Eastern Europe, China, and parts of South-East Asia, culminating in the excommunication of Communists in 1949, against the background of the development of the Cold War between East and West after 1945. It also examines the papacy’s relationships in this period with the countries of Western Europe, especially the reviving democracies in France, Germany, and Italy, but also the Iberian dictatorships, and explores the attitude of Pius XII towards the Atlantic Alliance and the emerging processes of European integration. It focuses attention upon the Americas, North and South, and upon the Vatican’s response to the processes of decolonization, especially in Palestine. It concludes with an examination of claims that the later years of Pius XII’s pontificate constituted a sort of preparation for the Ostpolitik of his successors.
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