LA RELIGION AU SERVICE DE LA DIPLOMATIE : LAZARISTES AU COURS DES GUERRES BALKANIQUES (1912–1913)
Études balkaniques (Sofia) 2023, N 4
Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Religion at the Service of Diplomacy: Lazarists during the Balkan Wars (1912–1913)
Abstract: In the presented article the author researched the role and the position of catholic mission Lazarists based in Macedonia during the Balkan Wars (1912–1913). The articles explore the relations of Serbia toward this catholic community but take into consideration the entanglements of the other states involved in the Balkan Wars: Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and the Ottoman Empire. Special attention is given to the mission’s humanitarian work conducted during the war operations, as well as its complex position during the Second Balkan war and the problems they have faced after the Wars in Serbia and Greece. A great part of the article is dedicated to France’s attitude and aims to protect Lazarists’ work in the Ottoman Empire and accordingly its religious diplomacy. For two centuries in the Ottoman Empire Lazarists had been closely tied with the French diplomatic network benefiting from diplomatic protection while working in promoting French culture along with Catholicism. France used all diplomatic resources to (re)assure the continuity of its cultural influence after 1913 and the decay of Ottoman rule in the Balkans. The article is based on documents from the Diplomatic archive and the Archives of Congregation of the Mission.
Keywords: Lazarists, Balkan Wars, Macedonia, Serbia, France