The Vatican state was well aware of the Armenian Genocide in 1915, as Armenian Catholic communities were destroyed alongside other Armenians. The Vatican’s Apostolic Delegate to Constantinople Mgr. Dolci reported such developments to Pope Benedict XV, who personally appealed to the Ottoman government to stop the persecutions. Following the end of WWI, the Vatican tried to help surviving Armenians by appealing to the Catholic world for support. Armenian Catholics played an important role in making these efforts fruitful.

To date, little is known of the Vatican’s involvement with Armenians during World War I and its aftermath. This is because Vatican archives have been inaccessible to English speaking scholars. However, the recent translation of Mario Carolla’s excellent book, “Vatican Diplomacy and the Armenian Question: The Holy See’s Response to the Republic of Armenia, 1918-1922”, presents, for the first time, a detailed account of the Vatican’s involvement with Armenians. Carolla’s work rests on original documents from Vatican Archives, most of which have never been subject to scholarly scrutiny. These documents have been reproduced alongside his analysis, and the majority of his Italian documents have been translated into English.

Mario Carolla, “Vatican Diplomacy and the Armenian Question: The Holy See’s Response to the Republic of Armenia, 1918-1922”, translated from Italian by Cynthia Quilici, London: Gomidas Institute, vi + 368 pp., 2010, GB£24.00 / US$35.00. To order, please contact from info@gomidas.org

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