The Holy See

Capital Vatican City

Time Zone CET (GMT+1)

Country Code 39

ccTLD .va

Currency Euro

Land Area 0.44 sq km

Population 836

Language Latin, Italian

Major Religion Roman Catholicism

Key Data

Notable Public Figures

Francis I - Jorge Mario Bergoglio,

Pietro Parolin,
Cardinal Secretary of State

Giovanni Angelo Becciu,
Substitute for General Affairs

Paul Richard Gallagher,
Secretary for the Relations with States

Antoine Camiller,
Undersecretary for the Relations with States

Luciano Suriani,
Delegate for Pontificial Representations

Peter Brian Wells,
Assessor for General Affairs

José Avelino Bettencourt,
Head of Protocol

Domenico Giani,
Chief of Vatican Gendarmerie

Hungary and The Vatican’s Challenges in the Balkans

As has revealed for the first time, Hungary is playing a key, though secret role in advancing the strategic policy and intelligence-gathering of the Holy See in the Balkans. This is centered particularly on Montenegro, but includes other locations as well, and echoes the historic role of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire in the region. The Vatican challenges in the Balkans Bolstering the Catholic Church in 2015 and beyond


Hungary has had an intriguingly complex relationship with the Holy See. After, and perhaps because of its close relations under the Dual Monarchy, it was selected by the Soviets as the prime Eastern-Bloc actor for carrying out espionage against the Vatican.

Buy The Vatican’s Challenges in the Balkans now on Amazon Kindle

Budapest did this with some success, in fact predicting the rise of Pope John Paul II several years in advance and the momentous geopolitical changes that would result. Among these changes would be the return of warm relations between post-communist Hungary and the Holy See, now manifesting in the Balkans where Budapest has multiple objectives.

The role of Hungary as a front for Vatican intelligence in Montenegro is discussed for the first time in the book, where the reader gets an intimate look at the world of contemporary Balkan espionage and diplomacy. Along with its assistance to the Catholic programme in the Eastern Adriatic state, Hungary has a keen interest in the affairs of ethnic Hungarians in states neighboring it; these include Serbia, where the Vojvodina region has a Catholic Hungarian population.

Additionally, Budapest is also an important diplomatic center and a hub of Catholic entities, among many others, geared towards contemporary Balkan politics and social life.

Return to Main Directory of Topics: The Vatican’s Challenges in the Balkans Page

Return to Main Balkanalysis Vatican Page

Vatican’s news feed

View Vatican in a larger map