La questione della Palestina

La difficile difesa degli interessi cattolici di fronte all’affermarsi dei nazionalismi

Paolo Zanini    Università degli Studi di Milano, Italia    



This paper aims to show how the Vatican’s attitude towards the Palestinian Question changed during the pontificate of Pius XI. To answer this question, it deals with four main issues: the Holy See’s attitude towards Zionism and the perspective of a Jewish State in the Christian ‘Holy Land’; the opposite claims of the Arab-Palestinian national movement; the British rule in the region; the role of the Catholic powers and their effort to use religious aspects to reinforce their policies. Regarding these last three issues, the Vatican’s attitude profoundly changed during this period. The Holy See became more positive towards the British mandate, which started to be considered as a guarantee for the Catholic presence. At the same time, the Vatican became sceptical towards the Arab nationalism, which it initially had supported, showing increasing scepticism towards the activism of the European Catholic powers in the region. In this changing picture, an element of continuity was the Catholic open hostility towards Zionism and its goals, which became only a little more moderate during the period taken into consideration.


Keywords: ZionismBritish PalestineVatican

Copyright: © 2016 Paolo Zanini . This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.