In the first post-war period the Holy See had to deal with a difficult task, the revising of the boundaries of the diocese of Bressanone (Brixen), sanctioning in ecclesiastical terms what had been laid out in political terms by the peace treaties with the transition of German South Tyrol to Italy. The diocese, which extended on the two sides of the Alps, was now divided in two by the new Brenner state border. The Holy See could not ignore either the Italian request for a complete separation of the Italian part of the diocese from the Austrian one, or the Austrian desire to keep the existing long-standing ecclesiastical bond. Linked to the new structure of Bressanone was also the issue of the German deaneries of the diocese of Trento, where clergy and the faithful - who had been in disagreement with the Italian bishop Endrici over national issues for a long time - asked for the good offices of Bishop Waitz in order to be removed from that jurisdiction and to join the all-German diocese of Bressanone. Based on unpublished archival documentation, the essay reconstructs the alternate phases of those particularly laborious procedures, which ended in 1925 with what was meant to be a temporary solution. That solution, however, remained into force until the mid-1960s.
Keywords: Relations between Holy See and Italy, relations between Holy See and Austria, South Tyrol, bishop Celestino Endrici, bishop Sigismund Waitz, Catholic Church and Nationalism