United States Establishes Diplomatic Relations with Holy See

January 10, 1984

Although most European nations had long maintained ambassadors to the Vatican, the United States government limited its representatives to special envoy status. The prospect of an Apostolic Nuncio to the US had from time to time aroused anti-Catholic sentiment. President Harry Truman broached the idea of full diplomatic ties in the 1940s, but it provoked such an outcry that he abandoned the plan. President Ronald Reagan appointed William Wilson as the first ambassador to the Holy See, and he was confirmed by Congress on March 17, 1984. Archbishop Pio Laghi was named Apostolic Nuncio.

Photo: President Ronald and Mrs. Nancy Reagan with Pope John Paul II. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration (unrestricted)


Wikipedia * US State Department