Embassy of Portugal to the Holy See

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Chronology of relations between Portugal and the Holy See


  • 1179 - Bula Manifestis Probatum, recognition of the independence of Portugal and the title of King to D. Afonso Henriques, by Pope Alexander III.
  • 1276 - Election of Pope John XXI (Peter Julian and Peter of Spain), which reached an agreement with the Byzantines and introduced the practice of the Angelus in the Church.
  • 1455 - Bull Romanus Pontifex (Nicholas V to Dom Afonso V) defines the theory (already touched on in previous leaflets) of Mare Clausum regarding the Portuguese expansion, by which recognizes the Portugal the right to conquer any land of non-Christian people and prohibits any outside interference with this mission. It also sets the patronage Portuguese, later confirmed in successive Bulls (in 1481, Sixtus IV states that every jurisdiction and spiritual power of the Cape Bojador to the East Indies belong forever to Portugal).
  • 1493 - Bula Inter Coetera, in which the Pope (Alexander VI) recognizes the Treaty of Tordesillas.
  • 1513 - Opening of the Nunciature in Lisbon (Pope Leo X).
  • 1716 - Granted the Patriarchal dignity to Lisbon Cathedral (the second in the West, with Venice).
  • 1738 - Signing of the first Concordat (Dom João V).
  • 1748 - Granted to the Kings of Portugal (João V) the title of Faithful, the Bula Motu Proprio.
  • 1778 - Signed in Lisbon (Reign of Queen Mary I) new Concordat.
  • 1834 - Extinction of religious orders.
  • Cutting relations until 1841.
  • 1857 - Concordat between Portugal and the Holy See.
  • 1886 - Concordat between Portugal and the Holy See (June 23). Raising the Bishop of Goa honorary Patriarch of the East Indies.
  • 1911 - Law of Separation of State and Church (entered into force on July 1), condemned by the Encyclical of Pius X (Jamdudum in Lusitania).
  • Cutting relations until 1918.
  • 1940 - Signing of the Concordat and the Missionary Agreement (May 7). Elevation of the Portuguese legation to the Holy See Embassy (the fourth abroad, after London, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid).
  • 1975 - Protocol amending the Concordat with regard to the right to apply for divorce of a Catholic marriage.
  • 1979 - Pope John Paul II visited the Church of St. Anthony of the Portuguese, on the 8th centenary of Manifestis Probatum.
  • 2000 – Portuguese Parliament triggers the start of the Concordat revision process.
  • 2004 - Exchange of instruments of ratification of the Concordat on 18 December in Lisbon.