Become a Supporter

Kotarski: Does the pope still matter in international relations?

By: /
4 March, 2013

“And how many divisions has the pope?”

The Vatican is a major geopolitical actor. It may not look this way from secularized Canada where the words of the pontiff no longer carry much weight, but when the pope has a clear purpose, the Vatican is a soft-power superpower and the pope’s influence spreads far beyond the Vatican’s tiny borders.

In recent decades, each pope’s positions on social policy and social justice have a significant influence on local politics in a number of regions, and the Vatican’s mobile diplomacy keeps the church internationally relevant by either bestowing legitimacy or showing disapproval to political forces across different continents. That’s a position usually reserved for superpowers, not for city states with a population of just over 800.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 

Open Canada is published by the Canadian International Council, but that’s only the beginning of what the CIC does. Through its research and live events hosted by its 18 branches across the country, the CIC is dedicated to engaging Canadians from all walks of life in an ongoing conversation about Canada’s place in the world.

By becoming a member, you’ll be joining a community of Canadians who seek to shape Canada’s role in the world, and you’ll help Open Canada continue to publish thoughtful and provocative reporting and analysis.

Join us