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Obama orders closure of Vatican Embassy

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Catholics outraged at the obviously political move.

It's very hard to deny that the Obama administration isn't fighting a war on Catholics. In his latest move, Obama has ordered the closure of the U.S. embassy to the Vatican away from the Holy See to a more distant compound in Rome, allegedly for "security reasons."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
11/27/2013 (1 decade ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obama, Vatican, Catholic, embassy, move, Rome, security, state department

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Obama administration is announcing that late next year the State Department will close the U.S. Embassy in Vatican City, citing security concerns.

The Daily caller was told in an email from the Department of State, "The Embassy will be moved to the U.S. government compound that currently houses U.S. Embassy Rome and the U.S. Mission to UN Agencies in Rome.  At that point, the U.S. government compound in Rome will house three distinct diplomatic missions with three independently accredited ambassadors working in three separate chanceries.  Our Embassy to the Holy See will continue to operate as an independent mission, and our diplomatic presence will remain one of the largest missions accredited to the Holy See."

This will close a mission that has operated at its current location since 1994.

Former ambassadors to the Holy See are blasting the move. Former Boston Mayor and ambassador, Ray Flynn told the Daily Catholic Reporter, "It's not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it's also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See."

Former ambassadors James Nicholson, Francis Rooney, Mary Ann Glendon and Thomas Melady, also criticized the move.

Nicholson told the Daily Catholic Reporter, the move makes "this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy."

Catholic League President, Bill Donohue said to the Daily Caller, "You could make a principled argument that for security or economic reasons the embassy needs to be moved, but that assumes the person making the argument has principles. This administration certainly wasn't concerned about the safety of its embassy in Benghazi. And as for the economic argument, this is the most fiscally reckless administration in American history. It's risible to think this administration is concerned about our safety."

If there is a security concern at the Vatican, then State Department officials should share it. If the move is financial, then that too should be stated. However, without an apparently valid reason for the change, Catholics are forced to add this latest point of data to the growing body of evidence that Obama isn't a supporter of the Catholic Church.

The reality is that Vatican security is among the best in the world. Not only is the Holy See situated in the heart of Rome, Italy, a place which takes security and policing very seriously, the Holy Father has an elite security detail of his own. The Swiss Papal Guard is showy, but they are also trained soldiers of the highest moral integrity. Additionally, they are as capable with a rifle as a halberd. The Vatican Corps of Gendarmerie also provides security as well as plainclothes agents. And does not God also watch? But Obama is no man of faith.

Logically, no attack on the U.S. embassy would be of value to terrorists. The Vatican itself is the greater target, the embassy an inconspicuous second compared to the glory of the Vatican. Still, it's all about a literally non-existent security threat.

Nor is the move one of fiscal interest for an administration that has minimal regard for fiscal concerns anyway. Moving the embassy costs much more than leaving it put.

Instead, it's a message, sent to the Catholic Church. Obama has little regard for the venerable institution. That's unfortunate, because he places himself on the losing side of history. Obama is not the first, nor the last of the world's leaders to hold the Church in contempt. However, it should be whispered to him that great men pass, but the Church remains.

Here is a petition you can sign to voice your opposition to this move.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

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