THE Vatican and Yugo slavia are expected to announce shortly that they are to raise their relations to full diplomatic status, the Italian news agency Ansa said last week.
Yugoslavia severed relations with the Vatican in 1952 after Pope Pius XII gave Cardinal's rank to the late Archbishop Aloise Stepinac of Zagreb, imprisoned by the Communists for alleged war crimes.
Quasi diplomatic relations were re-established in 1966, with Pope Paul VI sending Archbishop Mario Cagna to Belgrade as Apostolic Delegate and Yugoslavia sending Vjekoslay Cvrlje to the Vatican as a Government "envoy."
Ansa said that Archbishop Cagna will now be named an Apostolic Pro-Nuncio and Cvrlje will be given ambassador's rank. It is said this will allow President Tito to call officially on the Pope when he visits Rome later this year to return a recent Belgrade visit of Italian President Saragat.
The reported move would make Yugoslavia the second Marxist country to have an ambassador to the Vatican. Cuba has had diplomatic relations with the Holy See since 1962.