Holy See's reaction to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence

Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia was enacted on Sunday, 17 February 2008, by a unanimous vote of the Assembly of Kosovo.[1] All 11 representatives of the Serb minority boycotted the proceedings.[2] International reaction was mixed, and the world community continues to be divided on the issue of the international recognition of Kosovo.


In February 2008, the Vatican called for "prudence and moderation" in Kosovo and Serbia. The Holy See urged politicians in the region to show "a decisive and concrete commitment to ward off extremist reactions and violence", Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi announced. "The Holy Father (i.e., the Pope) continues to look with affection at the people of Kosovo and Serbia, is close to them and is praying at this crucial moment of their history," the statement said.[3][4] In April 2008, Monsignor Miguel Maury, referring to this statement of Father Lombardi, told U.S. diplomats that, in order not to undermine its relations with the government of Serbia and its ecumenical dialogue with the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Holy See was not ready to formally recognise Kosovo, but would "continue to promote dialogue in a way that implicitly acknowledges and respects Kosovo's de facto independence".[5] In June 2008, Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, stated that the Vatican had not recognised the independence of Kosovo and did not intend to do so in the near future.[6][7]

At a meeting in September 2009 between the Kosovan Foreign Minister, Skënder Hyseni, and Dominique Mamberti, the Holy See's Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Mamberti said that the Holy See was closely following developments in and around Kosovo, and he expressed his willingness to continue and intensify mutual communications.[8] Following a meeting in November 2009 between the Serbian President Boris Tadić and Pope Benedict XVI, Tadić said that the Vatican supported Serbia's integration and membership within the EU and the sovereignty and preservation of its territorial integrity.[9]

On 10 February 2011, the Vatican appointed a new Nuncio to Slovenia, who was also assigned the position of Delegate to Kosovo. In a press release, the Vatican stressed that this appointment (of non-diplomatic character) was "completely distinct from considerations regarding juridical and territorial situations or any other question inherent to the diplomatic activity of the Holy See".[10] On 5 September 2011, in a meeting between Kosovo's Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj and the Apostolic Delegate of the Vatican to Kosovo Juliusz Janusz, Janusz indicated that there would soon be good news for Kosovo regarding its recognition by the Holy See.[11] However, the head of the Vatican Press Service, Father Federico Lombardi, later stated that there was no change in the attitude of the Holy See toward Kosovo.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kosovo MPs proclaim independence, BBC, 2008-02-17
  2. ^ Transkript: Nga Seanca Plenare e Jashtëzakonshme Solemne e Kuvendit Të Kosovës Me Rastin e Shpalljes Së Pavarësisë, Të Mbajtur Më 17 Shkurt 2008 Archived 2008-10-28 at the Wayback Machine, Republic of Kosovo Assembly, 2008-02-17 (in Albanian)
  3. ^ Vatican calls for moderation in Kosovo and Serbia, Christian Today, 2008-02-18
  4. ^ Vatican advises moderation in response to Kosovo independence, Catholic News Agency, 2008-02-19
  5. ^ US embassy cable – 08VATICAN38 Holy See has recognized Kosovo "de facto", says Vatican Official, US Embassy to the Vatican, via Wikileaks, 2008-04-30]
  6. ^ Надо чаще встречаться, Itogi, 2008-06-17 (in Russian)
  7. ^ Vatican Does Not Intend To Recognize Kosovo Soon, Casper Archived 2011-10-01 at the Wayback Machine, Tanjug, 2008-06-16
  8. ^ Minister Hyseni asks the Vatican to consider recognition of Kosovo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, 2009-09-25
  9. ^ Vatican shows support for Serbian EU integration Archived 2009-11-21 at the Wayback Machine, B92, 2009-11-14
  10. ^ "Note on Appointment of Apostolic Delegate to Kosovo" (Press release). Vatican Information Service. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  11. ^ Vatican supports Republic of Kosovo in every aspect, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, 2011-09-05
  12. ^ Vatican position on Kosovo "unchanged", B92, 2011-09-05