Eastern Politics of the Vatican, 1917-1979

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Eastern Politics of the Vatican, 1917-1979

By Hansjakob Stehle
Ohio University Press, 1981
466 pp. $26.95
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First published in Germany in 1975, Stehle's book in English translation deserves a hearty welcome, for it provides a remarkably objective and often corrective study, with new material, of a subject of wide general interest: the series of difficult and controversial questions faced by the Vatican in its relations with Soviet Russia, with Nazi Germany, and with the new East European regimes which emerged from World War II. Eugenio Pacelli, of course, has a major role in the story; but there is a continuing concept of Catholic policy, based on the long-term pastoral interests of the Church, that overshadows all personal diplomacy. Stehle, a first-rate journalist who has written at length about contemporary Poland, here proves himself to be an excellent scholar.

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