Parallel Empires: The Vatican and the United States - Two Centuries of Alliance and Conflict
: Massimo Franco.
Drawing on unique access to the archives of the Holy See and a range of sources both in Washington, D.C. and Rome, Parallel Empires
charts the path of U.S.-Vatican relations to reveal the dramatic religious and political tensions that have shaped their dealings and our world.
Starting with the Holy Seeâ€™s initial diplomatic overtures to the United States in the 1780â€™s, Franco illuminates a two-hundred-year-old history of alliances, mutual exploitation, and misperceptions. From the nativist anti-Catholicism of the nineteenth century, through JFKâ€™s election as Americaâ€™s first Catholic president and the cold war anti-Communist partnership between the United States and the Holy See, to the establishment of full diplomatic relations in 1984, the story has never before been told quite like this. With U.S.-Vatican affairs still evolving in the present day, Parallel Empires
also details the most recent developments of this ever-changing and often-tenuous relationship, including contemporary disagreements over the Iraq War and engagement with the Islamic world, and the Papacy of Benedict XVI.
leaves no doubt regarding the impact that the struggle between these two great powersâ€”one of secular might and the other of moral influenceâ€”has had on both our history and on todayâ€™s world. Francoâ€™s insights are sure to have lasting relevance as U.S.-Vatican relations continue to evolve, and with religionâ€™s undeniable influence on everything from domestic elections to international terrorism, his work will prove invaluable in coming years.