La congregazione pontificia de Propaganda Fide nel XVII secolo: missioni, geopolitica, colonialismo

Autore: Giovanni Pizzorusso
In: I libri di Viella. 153

This article examines the difficulties which the Papacy had to overcome to found the congregation and impose Propaganda as a curial organ with spiritual jurisdiction over the world. In addition it considers the ways in which Propaganda construed a complex image for itself, even if this was not always exact, of the “four corners of the globe” where it had to operate. Thanks to a vast network which collected information, it was able to be acquainted with the communities to evangelize according to the concepts of natio, language, religion (missionary geopolitics). Ultimately, the article takes up the problem of the stabilization of the missions and the implementation of Tridentine orthodoxy through the foundation of missionary dioceses which depended on Propaganda. This policy of plantatio ecclesiae entered into conflict with the double difficulty of having to act out of the “Tridentine space” and undergo the claims of control of bishops on the part of Catholic colonial powers in virtue of the ius patronatus. Within the limits of a spiritual jurisdiction and with a general scarcity of human and economic resources, Propaganda constituted an instrument of Pontifical universalism in the context of a global missionary geopolitical strategy. The elements which constitute this universalist approach (the peoples, cultures and methods of communication) remained at the basis of Propaganda’s missionary doctrine in the course of the Early Modern period.