Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/4/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Vatican insists relations are fine.

Both the Obama administration and some within the Vatican are working to quell rumors over last week's news that the State Department would be closing the current free-standing Vatican embassy and move the mission to a complex in Rome. Detractors have suggested the move is a symbol of strained relations between Obama and the Catholic Church. Some Church officials are denying this alleged motivation.

The Vatican has more pressing concerns than the move of the U.S. mission.

The Vatican has more pressing concerns than the move of the U.S. mission.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

12/4/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: vatican, embassy, obama, move, state department, security, motivation, Rome, italy, pope

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Citing security concerns and a need to save money, the State Department announced last week that it was moving ahead with plans to shutter the current Vatican embassy in Rome, and would move the mission to a compound where the mission could be more secure.

Many of the faithful, some former Ambassadors and some Catholic News Sources, including Catholic Online, immediately questioned the move as suspect. Now some in the Vatican and other Church leaders have downplayed the significance of the move, saying the plans remain consistent with requirements of the Holy See and that U.S. security concerns are fully appreciated.

The location of the old embassy and the new in relation to Vatican City.

The location of the old embassy and the new in relation to Vatican City.

Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Canadian priest assigned to the Vatican Press office denied that relations between the U.S. and the Vatican are strained. He reiterated that the mission would still be separate from the U.S. mission in Italy, that the new facility would meet Vatican requirements that it has a separate entrance with a separate address.

An unnamed spokesman for the State Department also affirmed these changes.

Roscia told the press, there is "a very good feeling right now" between the U.S. and the Vatican.

In a report by CNN, a Vatican official, which the agency said was not authorized to speak on the record, acknowledged U.S. security concerns and referred to the move as "an exception, not the ideal, but not the end of the world."

The comment suggests that the Vatican would prefer different, but understands the need.

U.S. embassies around the world have been attacked on several occasions by terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda. Political fallout from Benghazi has the administration looking to improve security in every way possible, especially with midterm elections approaching in 2014 and a possible run by Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. Another attack could damage the credibility of the Obama administration and bring Benghazi back into the realm of public debate, which could harm Clinton's political ambitions.

However, multiple former ambassadors to the Vatican still say the move is a slight to the Vatican. Francis Rooney, ambassador during the George W. Bush administration said the move would create "a perception among foreign governments and other missions that the United States does not value its relationship with the Holy See."

Others have been quick to fire back at Rooney and to tow the administration line on the move. Miguel  Diaz, Obama's first ambassador to the Vatican said that people who disagree with the move are wrong and he denies any political slight.

"I firmly believe that these issues have to be based on facts and not politicized in any way. It is absolutely, 100 percent incorrect, it is absolutely erroneous, to interpret this decision in any way as the intention of the Obama administration to undermine or diminish the relationship between the United States and the Holy See," Diaz said.

Still, it's a hard sell for many Catholics. As Catholic Online indicated, there does not appear to be any immediate, credible threat to the Vatican or its U.S. embassy, at least not anything shared with the public-not like it would be anyway. Although Italy, the Vatican, and the U.S. have security apparatus that works around the clock to protect these missions, it must be acknowledged that the Vatican is a possible target.

Pope Francis is very popular and he often outpaces his security detail. The Catholic Church is also featuring more prominently in the news now than even a year ago as public fascination with the Holy Father remains high. These facts make the Vatican, as well as its U.S. mission a possible target.

It should be made clear that the embassy is only being moved, and is not being closed. According to the Vatican, the move will occur in early 2015 and is apparently not an issue for the Holy See.

The Church has greater challenges to face and is properly focused on her mission.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Politics & Policy

NOT EVEN CLOSE: Obama administration falls short of ending child hunger in the U.S. Watch

Image of A pledge, on the part of U.S. President Barack Obama to eradicate childhood hunger in the United States by 2015, has fallen noticeably short.


A pledge, on the part of U.S. President Barack Obama to eradicate childhood hunger in the United States by 2015, has fallen noticeably short. "Needless to say, the nation is not close to eliminating childhood hunger in this - the target - year," Food Research ... continue reading

Kevin McCarthy quits speaker race amid allegations of affair with Renee Ellmers Watch

Image of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pictured with Renee Ellmers (R-NC)


According to Washington insiders, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is having an affair with Renee Ellmers (R-NC). McCarthy dropped out of the Speaker race, and may have done so because an unknown insider is circulating a surveillance video on Capitol Hill, of him dining with ... continue reading

President Obama faces uphill battle with Pacific Rim trade pact Watch

Image of The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being battered on both sides of the right and the left in the U.S.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United States President Barack Obama has hailed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) the largest free-trade agreement in a generation, as its completions will open new markets for U.S. goods and services. While Obama says the agreement will give "our workers the fair ... continue reading

California Governor Jerry Brown signs 'End of Life Option Act' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed the "End of Life Option Act" into law this week. While he remained largely ambiguous about the bill, he came forward with the statement that the "Crux of the matter is whether the state of California should continue to ... continue reading

Trans-Pacific Partnership faces criticism in Congress Watch

Image of Citizen protests the Trans Pacific Partnership (AFP).


The controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership has been finalized and will be presented to business leaders by US President Barack Obama. However, Congress has already shown skepticism over the pact. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Twelve countries in the Pacific Rim ... continue reading

#IAmaChristian: Ben Carson honors the Oregon shooting's fallen students Watch

Image of Ben Carson (Facebook).


Nine were shot dead during the recent horrifying shooting at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon where a student claimed the gunman specifically targeted the religious. Following the claim, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson started a social ... continue reading

Supreme Court to render decisions on sensitive topics of abortion, birth control, race Watch

Image of An even more pressing issue to go before the court will be the issue of religious freedom coupled with President Obama's health care reform.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Supreme Court is rolling up its sleeves to render decisions that have long roiled the United States: abortion, birth control, religious freedom, and race. None of the pending decisions is likely to have the same import as the recent decision regarding ... continue reading

False ambassador has been working in government affairs for five months Watch

Image of Brett McGurk (C-Span).


For five months, an Obama administration official falsely presented himself as an official U.S. ambassador.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Brett McGurk, who is a deputy special presidential envoy to the Global Coalition serving under General John Allen, was ... continue reading

Will slow and steady win presidential race? Bernie matches Hillary with far smaller donations Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Longtime - if recently troubled political warhorse Hillary Clinton and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders are currently duking it out for the lead in the Democratic Presidential Race of 2016. Something highly significant has emerged in the contest ... the poor, ... continue reading

Donald Trump meets with 40 religious leaders and prays Watch

Image of Donald Trump meets religious leaders inside the Trump Tower.


Forty religious leaders and pastors met with presidential candidate Donald Trump in his Trump Tower office Monday afternoon. Trump shared a few minutes of prayer with the religious leaders, some of whom are noted televangelists. LOS ANGELES, CA  (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 4:12-21
12 'Let the nations rouse themselves and march to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:27-28
27 It happened that as he was speaking, a woman in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 10th, 2015 Image

St. Francis Borgia
October 10: Francis was a young nobleman at the court of the King of Spain. ... Read More