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

  • CORMAC SHINE (a1)
Abstract

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.

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All documents cited from the Vatican Secret Archives can be located in the catalogue ‘Archivio della Nunziatura Apostolica in Svizzera (Berna) (1915–1935)’, indice 1225, catalogued by Carlo Piacentini, 13 July 2009.

My sincere thanks to Carolyn Biltoft for her invaluable guidance throughout the research and writing process, and to the Editors of this Journal and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article.

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1 See Clavin, Patricia, Securing the world economy: the reinvention of the League of Nations, 1920–1946, Oxford 2013; Gorman, Daniel, The emergence of international society in the 1920s, Cambridge 2012; Iriye, Akira, Cultural internationalism and world order, Baltimore 1997, and Global community: the role of international organizations in the making of the contemporary world, Berkeley 2004; Laqua, Daniel, Internationalism reconfigured: transnational ideas and movements between the world wars, London 2011; Mazower, Mark, Governing the world: the history of an idea, New York 2013; Pedersen, Susan, ‘Back to the League of Nations’, American Historical Review cxii (2007), 1091–117; Rosenberg, Emily S. (ed.), A world connecting, 1870–1945, Cambridge, Ma 2012; and Sluga, Glenda and Clavin, Patricia (eds), Internationalisms: a twentieth-century history, Cambridge 2016.

2 Emily S. Rosenberg, ‘Transnational currents in a shrinking world’, in Rosenberg, A world connecting, 841.

3 Araujo, Robert John and Lucal, John A., Papal diplomacy and the quest for peace: the Vatican and international organization from the early years to the League of Nations, Naples, Fl 2004.

4 Araujo and Lucal, both Jesuit priests, advised and represented the Holy See in various capacities within UN bodies throughout their careers. In their own words, their work was ‘influenced not only by their academic study of papal diplomacy … but also by their participation in the activities of the Holy See in such organisations’: Papal diplomacy and the quest for peace, p. ix.

5 Defined as ‘the sum of practices, representations and organizations that unite believers of different nationalities or ethnicities in a global effort to reform modern society in accordance with the Church's principles’: Viaene, Vincent, ‘Nineteenth-century Catholic internationalism and its predecessors’, in Green, Abigail and Viaene, Vincent (eds), Religious internationals in the modern world: globalization and faith communities since 1750, Basingstoke 2012, 83.

6 Pollard, John F., The unknown pope: Benedict XV and the pursuit of peace, London 2005, 155.

7 See, for example, Pope Leo xiii’s arbitration of the dispute between Germany and Spain concerning the Caroline Islands in 1875: Rooney, Francis, The global Vatican, Lanham, Md 2013, 67.

8 Araujo and Lucal, Papal diplomacy and the quest for peace, 62.

9 Chamedes, Giuliana, ‘The Vatican and the reshaping of the European international order after World War I’, HJ lvi (2013), 955–76.

10 Pollard, John F., The papacy in the age of totalitarianism, 1914–1958, Oxford 2014, 75–6.

11 Idem, The unknown pope, 141.

12 Pope Pius xi, Ubi arcano Dei consilio, Vatican City 1922, col. 45.

13 Reynold, Gonzague de, L'Europe tragique: la révolution moderne, la fin d'un monde, Paris 1934, 385.

14 Chamedes, ‘The Vatican and the reshaping of the European international order’, 964.

15 De Reynold, L'Europe tragique, 372.

16 Gonzague de Reynold to Mgr Lani, 7 Nov. 1924, ASV, ANS/41/142.

17 Heinrich Lammasch to Eric Drummond, 24 Nov. 1919, LNA, R1006/1219/2285.

18 L'Union Catholique d’études internationales, Fribourg 1926, 1.

19 ‘Procès-verbal de la quatrième session de la Commission de Coopération Intellectuelle, tenue à Genève du vendredi 25 juillet au mardi 29 juillet 1924’, ASV, ANS/41/142.

20 For example, when giving a televised tour of his family's sixteenth-century chateau in Cressier in 1957, de Reynold remarked that ‘L'Europe? Je n'ai pas besoin de sortir de ma maison pour la voir. Elle est déjà dans cette maison’: ‘Gonzague de Reynold’, Les archives de la RTS, <https://www.rts.ch/archives/tv/divers/allocutions–declarations/6263955–gonzague–de–reynold.html/>, accessed 29 May 2017.

21 Reynold, Gonzague de, Mes Mémoires, iii, Geneva 1963, 493–4.

22 Kaiser, Wolfram and Wohnout, Helmut, Political Catholicism in Europe, 1918–45, Abingdon 2004, 75.

23 De Reynold, L'Europe tragique, 371–2.

24 Ibid. 369.

25 Beaupin, Eugène, Les Catholiques et la Société des Nations, Paris 1923, 2.

26 Brown, Stephen J., ‘Catholic internationalism’, Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review xiv (1925), 476–9.

27 Araujo and Lucal, Papal diplomacy and the quest for peace, 142.

28 L'Union Catholique d'Etudes Internationales, 4.

29 de la Brière, Yves, L'Organisation internationale du monde contemporain et la papauté souveraine, i, Paris 1930, 59; Cardinale, Eugenio, The Holy See and the international order, Gerrards Cross 1976, 231.

30 Oskar Halecki to Drummond, 29 Apr. 1922, LNA, R1011/20427/20427.

31 Beaupin, Les Catholiques et la Société des Nations, 2.

32 L'Union Catholique d’études internationales, 3.

33 Renoliet, Jean-Jacques, L'UNESCO oubliée: la Société des Nations et la coopération intellectuelle, 1919–1946, Paris 1999, 181, 184.

34 ‘Gavard-Hochstrasser’ volume, LNA, personnel files.

35 Mgr Eugène Beaupin to Jean-Daniel de Montenach, 9 Jan. 1933, UNESCOA, 1/IICI/B/IV/34; ‘Lemaire-Murray’ volume, LNA personnel files,.

36 Pedersen, ‘Back to the League of Nations’, 1112.

37 Greaves, H. R. G., The League committees and world order: a study of the permanent expert committees of the League of Nations as an instrument of international government, London 1931, 117.

38 Ibid.

39 Ibid. 118.

40 Laqua, Daniel, ‘Transnational intellectual cooperation, the League of Nations, and the problem of order’, Journal of Global History vi (2011), 223–47.

41 De Reynold, Mes Mémoires, iii. 387.

42 ‘Commissione special lavoro intellettuale’, n.d., ASV, ANS/42/142.

43 Halecki to Drummond, 29 Apr. 1922, LNA, R1011/20427/20427.

44 Drummond to Halecki, 29 Apr. 1922, ibid.

45 De Reynold, Mes Mémoires, 386.

46 Barros, James, Office without power: Secretary-General Sir Eric Drummond, 1919–1933, Oxford 1979, 275–8.

47 John Eppstein to Mgr Luigi Maglione, 12 Sept. 1923, ASV, ANS/40/139.

48 Drummond to Mgr Pietro di Maria, 15 Sept. 1932, ASV, ANS/76/183.

49 Primary works on the topic include Kolasa, Jan, International intellectual cooperation, the League experience and the beginnings of UNESCO, Wroclaw 1962; Laqua, Daniel, ‘Internationalisme ou affirmation de la nation? La coopération intellectuelle transnationale dans l'entre-deux-guerres’, Critique Internationale lii (2011), 5167, and ‘Transnational intellectual cooperation’; Renoliet, L'UNESCO oubliée; and Valderrama, Fernando, A history of UNESCO, Paris 1995.

50 Greaves, The League committees and world order, 2.

51 Gonzague de Reynold, ‘La Commission Internationale de Coopération Intellectuelle de la S.d.N.’, Revue de Genève, 30 Dec. 1922, 798.

52 ‘Cette commission de “coopération intellectuelle” ne sera guère qu'une façade, derrière laquelle d'autres forces travailleront’: ‘Commissione special lavoro intellettuale’, n.d., ASV, ANS/41/142.

53 ‘Ces tendances sont particulièrement dangereuses dans un organisme comme la Commission de Coopération Intellectuelle, où il ne se trouve qu'un seul catholique et dont tous les autres membres sont imbus, en matière d’éducation, d'idées qui, si elles l'emportaient, tendraient a substituer une sort de “religion de l'humanité” à la foi chrétienne et à ses dogmes’: de Reynold to Lani, 7 Nov. 1924, ASV, ANS/41/142.

54 ‘Commissione special lavoro intellettuale’, n.d., ASV, ANS/41/142.

55 De Reynold, Mes Mémoires, 384.

56 ‘Il y a là des besoins latents auxquels seule l'Eglise peut satisfaire: l'heure de l'apostolat intellectuelle et sonnée, et il ne faudrait pas la laisser passer’: de Reynold to Maglione, 9 Sept. 1923, ASV, ANS/41/142.

57 Brzezinski, Andrzej M., ‘Oskar Halecki: the advocate of Central and Eastern European countries in the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations (1922–1925)’, Studies into the History of Russia and Central-Eastern Europe xlviii (2014), 519.

58 Ibid. 10.

59 Halecki to Andre Fernandez, 10 Jan. 1923, LNA, R1050/24014/25571; Halecki to Michel d'Herbigny, 22 Dec. 1922, LNA, R1050/24014/25423.

60 ‘Union Catholique d'Etudes Internationales: Commission de Coopération Intellectuelle, première session 10, 11 juin 1924’, ASV, ANS/41/142.

61 De Reynold to Lani, 7 Nov. 1924, ASV, ANS/41/141.

62 ‘League of Nations Committee on Intellectual Cooperation: report by Professor de Reynold on the Exchange of Students’, 21 July 1923, LNA, R1055/28306/29850.

63 Ibid.

64 ‘M. Gonzague de Reynold … a pu, par ailleurs, faire ajourner l'examen d'autres projets moins heureux’: note enclosed with de Reynold to Lani, 7 Nov. 1924, ASV, ANS/41/142.

65 ‘Procès-verbal de la quatrième session de la Commission de Coopération Intellectuelle, tenue à Genève du vendredi 25 juillet au mardi 29 juillet 1924’, ibid.

66 Confidential note, de Reynold to Maglione, Aug. 1922, ibid.

67 Note enclosed with de Reynold to Lani, 7 Nov. 1924, ibid.

68 Confidential note, de Reynold to Maglione, Aug. 1922, ibid.

69 ‘Essentiellement et confidentiellement, je désirerais rendre compte à Sa Sainteté et à S.E. le Cardinal Secrétaire d'Etat, de mon action passée, présente et future dans la Commission de coopération intellectuelle, et conférer sur les moyens les meilleurs d'assurer au catholicisme l'influence à laquelle il a droit dans la Société des Nations’: de Reynold to Maglione, 9 Sept. 1923, ibid.

70 De Reynold, Mes Mémoires, 458.

71 Ibid. 459.

72 De Reynold to Maglione, 4 Sept. 1923, ASV, ANS/41/142.

73 Araujo and Lucal, Papal diplomacy and the quest for peace, 253.

74 Ibid. 238.

75 De Reynold, Mes Mémoires, 398.

76 Renoliet, L'UNESCO oubliée, 185.

77 Laqua, ‘Internationalisme ou affirmation de la nation?’, 55–6.

78 ‘Liste des représentants des commissions nationales de cooperation intellectuelle, qui assisteront à la réunion de Genève’, 12 July 1929, LNA, R2242/9432/13394.

79 De Reynold, Mes Mémoires, 401.

80 L'Institut International de Coopération Intellectuelle, 1925–1946: rapports de fonctionnaires et anciens fonctionnaires, Paris 1946, 539.

81 Northedge, F. S., The League of Nations: its life and times, 1920–1946, Leicester 1986, 329.

82 Beaupin to Georges Oprescu, 6 May 1929, LNA, R2209/651/11370.

83 Kolasa, International intellectual cooperation, 27.

84 ‘Mémoire de l'IICI sur la Commission de Coopération intellectuelle de l'Union Catholique d'Etudes Internationales’, 7 Jan. 1937, UNESCOA, FR PUNES AG 1–IICI–B–IV–34.

85 L'Union Catholique d’études internationales, 9.

86 Ibid.

87 ‘Liste et addresses des membres de la Commission Catholique Coopération Intellectuelle de l'Union Catholique d'Etudes Internationales’, 1924, ASV, ANS/41/142.

88 Kolasa, International intellectual cooperation, 35.

89 ‘Lemaire-Murray’ volume, LNA, personnel files.

90 As, for example, when de Montenach suggested to Gilbert Murray that he delegate his duties as committee chairman to de Reynold on occasion: ‘[I]f it is difficult for you to come again to Geneva for so short a stay, perhaps you would think it wise to delegate the necessary authority to the rapporteur – M. de Reynold. He is in the neighbourhood of Geneva and could easily come’: de Montenach to Gilbert Murray, 1 Sept. 1931, LNA, R2187/220.

91 Kolasa, International intellectual cooperation, 34.

92 Ibid. 32.

93 De Reynold, Mes Mémoires, 9.

94 Valderrama, A history of UNESCO, 2.

95 ‘Intellectual Cooperation Organisation: proposal by M. Castillejo’, 16 July 1932, LNA, R2187/220/36340.

96 Eppstein, John, Ten years’ life of the League of Nations: a history of the origins of the League and its development from A.D. 1919 to 1929, London 1929, 79.

97 Fuchs, Eckhardt, ‘The creation of new international networks in education: the League of Nations and educational organizations in the 1920s’, Paedagogica Historica xliii (2007), 199209.

98 De Reynold to Julien Luchaire, 15 Apr. 1926, UNESCOA, FR PUNES AG 1–IICI–B–IV–34.

99 ‘Je suis particulièrement heureux de cette décision, qui resserrera encore les liens qui unissaient notre Institut à votre Union dans votre personne. Les excellents rapports personnels que j'entretiens déjà avec Mgr Beaupin rendront encore cette liaison plus facile et plus fructueuse’: Luchaire to de Reynold, 18 Apr. 1926, ibid.

100 Luchaire to Beaupin, 19 Apr. 1926, and Giuseppe Prezzolini to Beaupin, 18 Nov. 1926, ibid.

101 ‘Note sur la collaboration de la Cité du Vatican avec l'Office International des Musées’, and de Montenach to E. B. Foundoukidis, 5 Mar. 1934, UNESCOA, FR PUNES AG 1–IICI–OIM–XIV–15.

102 Les Grands Problèmes internationaux de l'heure présente: conférences de la première semaine Catholique internationale de Genève, 16–22 Septembre 1929, Paris 1930, 1920.

103 Oprescu to de Reynold, 10 Feb. 1926, LNA, R1023/48790/48790.

104 ‘Intellectual Cooperation Organisation: proposal by M. Castillejo’, 16 July 1932, LNA, R2187/220/36340.

105 ‘Lettre d'envoi qui serait adressé avec les deux mémoires suivants à quelques notabilités catholiques’, 1926, ASV, ANS/42/154.

106 Ibid.

107 Araujo and Lucal, Papal diplomacy and the quest for peace, 238.

108 ‘L'Institut de Genève deviendra donc une pépinière de fonctionnaires pour la S.D.N. Mais il ne faut pas se dissimuler que l'esprit et les tendances qui domineront dans cet établissement, seront fort loin d’être d'accord avec l'esprit et la doctrine catholiques. Il risque d'en sortir des générations imprégnées d'internationalisme humanitaire et de laïcisme’: ‘Note sur un Centre Catholique de Réunion et d'Information’, enclosed with Maglione to Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, 28 Oct. 1926, ASV, ANS/42/154.

109 Ibid.

110 Ibid.

111 Ibid.

112 ‘En asseyant ainsi l'Union sur deux bases, nous lui donnons la meilleure garantie d'avenir et de travail efficace pour la défense des intérêts catholiques et l’établissement du règne du Christ dans le monde’: ibid.

113 Iriye, Cultural internationalism and world order, 64.

114 De Reynold to Besson, 28 Dec. 1926, ASV, ANS/42/152.

115 Inazō Nitobe to Drummond, 18 Oct. 1923, LNA, R1011/20427/31878.

116 ‘[G]râce à cette représentation l'activité de ce comité, où sont représentées les associations et les idées les plus dangereuses, maintenue dans les limites raisonnables’: ‘Liste des avantages obtenus en faveur des catholiques par les interventions de l'Union catholique auprès de la Société des Nations’, enclosed with de Reynold to Bishop Marius Besson, 28 Dec. 1926, ASV, ANS/42/154.

All documents cited from the Vatican Secret Archives can be located in the catalogue ‘Archivio della Nunziatura Apostolica in Svizzera (Berna) (1915–1935)’, indice 1225, catalogued by Carlo Piacentini, 13 July 2009.

My sincere thanks to Carolyn Biltoft for her invaluable guidance throughout the research and writing process, and to the Editors of this Journal and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article.

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