Switzerland celebrates the centenary of its diplomatic relations with the Holy See


Swiss soldiers have guarded the Pope since 1506, but diplomatic relations have not always been easy. Keystone / Alessandro Di Meo

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis met Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin on Monday on the occasion of the centenary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and the Holy See.

This content was published on November 8, 2021 – 15:44


Diplomatic relations date back to the establishment of the Apostolic Nunciature in Switzerland in 1586 – the oldest permanent representation of the Vatican north of the Alps.

The Swiss Papal Guard, a tradition that continues to this day, had already been established in 1506 under Pope Julius II.

But ties were severed in 1873 at the start of the so-called “Kulturkampf” conflict that took place between many European countries and the Vatican over the hold of the Catholic Church over education and other social issues.

Switzerland reestablished diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 1920. Efforts to mark the centenary of this event were postponed for a year by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cardinal Parolin first met Guy Parmelin, who this year holds the rotating presidency of Switzerland, before a discussion with Ignazio.

“In the context of the multiplication of armed conflicts and the growing erosion of fundamental rights in the world, Switzerland and the Holy See have declared their intention to strengthen their mutual engagement and cooperation in bilateral and multilateral fields in order to consolidate peace and protect human dignity. ,” the The Swiss government saidExternal link.

This led to the signing of a joint declaration to promote peace and human rights, the global abolition of the death penalty, the protection of minorities and interfaith dialogue.


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