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Canada-Holy See relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada established diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 1969 and maintains separate diplomatic missions to the Republic of Italy and to the Holy See in Rome. Canada recognizes the important international role and influence of the Holy See as a sovereign entity governing the Catholic Church. As the headquarters of a faith group with some 1.3 billion adherents across the globe, the Holy See is an important vantage point on global and regional issues.

Canada engages with the Holy See on a number of issues including human rights, migration, and peace-building.

Important milestones for Canadian Catholics have provided the opportunity to build closer ties between the Holy See and Canada. Pope Benedict XVI canonized two Canadian saints, Saint Frère André in 2010 and, in 2012, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. In 2014, Pope Francis marked the canonization of Canada’s two newest saints, François de Laval and Marie de l’Incarnation at a Mass celebrated at St Peter’s Basilica. In 2019, Pope Francis named Canada’s newest Cardinal, Michael Czerny, S.J. The Speaker of the Senate of Canada, the Hon. George J. Furey, represented Canada at Cardinal Czerny’s induction into the College of Cardinals at the Holy See. There are currently 4 Canadian Cardinals in the Catholic Church, all board members of a number departments of the Holy See’s administration, the Roman Curia.

Diplomatic representation

Through its mission to the Holy See, Canada advocates for its interests and contributes to a better understanding of Canada in the Holy See. The Holy See has a Nunciature in Ottawa.

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