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A look inside the Vatican's Diplomatic Power

2015-06-27

From U.S president Barack Obama to Queen Elizabeth...From controversial leaders to Hollywood stars. Pope Francis has met them all. The Vatican may be the smallest country in the world, but it has real diplomatic influence

NIGEL BAKER 
UK Ambassador to the Holy See 
"Possibly the world’s most extensive network today, functioning on all sorts of levels from the political to the religious to the NGO, to the street, to the media.”

Nigel Baker is the UK's ambassador before the Holy See. He says a lot more than just religion is addressed. There's also immigration, war, nuclear disarmament and inter-religious dialogue. 

NIGEL BAKER 
UK Ambassador to the Holy See 
"These are top of the agenda issues and the Holy See not only has something to say, but it’s having influence on the debate.”

With more than 170 countries accredited before the Holy See, it has an extensive international network, other nations want to tap into. It's not just the small diplomatic team in the Vatican, but the Universal Church it has access to. 

NIGEL BAKER 
UK Ambassador to the Holy See 
"We don’t have at the moment an embassy in Damascus. But, we may be able to talk to Syrians, Syrian Christians or Syrian refugee workers who are working closely inside Syria and have information on what’s happening.” 

Since being elected, Pope Francis has been top news. Getting an audience with the Pope is a way to deal with concrete issues, but there's also a popularity element, world leaders may not always  admit to. 

NIGEL BAKER 
UK Ambassador to the Holy See 
"Even world leaders I think can be susceptible to a little bit of the star dust and see whether that may rub off on them and I think it’s difficult to find a world leader that has the star dust that Pope Francis has.”

So it's not just countries with a majority of Catholics that expect to have diplomatic ties with the Holy See. Even more, it's about being connected to an international network that has real influence out on the ground. 

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