Luke Wadding and Irish Diplomatic Activity in Seventeenth-Century Rome

Matteo Binasco


The aim of this article is to provide a new assessment of the diplomatic
role played by the most prominent Irishman in seventeenthcentury
Rome: the Franciscan Luke Wadding. Hitherto, the available
analyses on Wadding have focused on his literary and theological
activity, with the consequence that, with the exception of one old
essay, the ‘diplomatic’ role he played for the Irish Confederates during
the years from 1641 to 1649 has been neglected. Indeed, during
this crucial period, he acted as the agent of the Irish Confederates at
the papal curia, thus strengthening his role as the most influential
Irishman in Rome. The article will illustrate how this appointment
placed Wadding under growing pressure from Ireland, and how this
led him to play a seminal role in shaping or influencing the decisions
taken by the Holy See concerning his country.

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