Pietro Gasparri e il Regno dei Serbi, Croati e Sloveni nella prima fase dei rapporti diplomatici tra il Vaticano e Belgrad
Abstract: The birth of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918 is a case of great interest for the study of the relationship between the Holy See and the authoritarian regimes in the post-war period. Pietro Gasparri, as Secretary of State, was one of the main interlocutors of the government in Belgrade. The analysis focuses above all on the first years of this relationship, during the pontificate of Benedict XV, between 1918 and 1919, when was still the nuncio in Vienna to report to the Vatican on the situation of the dioceses that previously belonged to the Habsburg Empire; then, on the first pontifical diplomat accredited to Belgrade, Francesco Cherubini(1920–1922); finally, from 1922 onwards, after the election of Pius XI, on the new nuncio Ermenegildo Pellegrinetti. The analysis showes that Gasparri privately considered the existence of the Yugoslav Kingdom to be completely negative and contrary to the interests of local Catholics and the Vatican. He did, however, publicly implement the line established by the popes on the states that arose from the ashes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The facts would have proved that the Secretary of State was right and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes would have progressively plunged into an irreversible institutional crisis, in which there were strong tensions between the Vatican and Belgrade on political-religious issues.