Keywords: Vatican, Pope John XXIII, Ostpolitik, Brandt
On the basis of the Political Archive of the Foreign Affairs of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the essay analyzes some aspects of the political and diplomatic relations between West Germany and the Vatican at the beginning of the Sixties. According to some interpretations of German politicians and Catholic theologians, the encyclicals of John XXIII Mater et magistra (1961) and Pacem in terris (1963) could put in jeopardy the mutual political understanding between the Vatican and the Federal Republic of Germany about the vision of Europe after World War II. But the German Embassy to the Holy See developed a sequence of precise analyses on the social and political teaching of John XXIII regarding the social issues and theory of "just war". In a deep understanding of the new orientations of the Catholic Church in the international Cold War scenario, the Embassy made a contribution which was not received by the German Catholic milieu, political or theological, but by the Social Democrats and Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik some years later.