Monday, December 2, 2013

Embassy to the Holy See Under Attack?

A few days ago news broke out that the United States was moving its Embassy to the Vatican (the Holy See) to the campus of its Embassy to Italy.  The news reports correctly did not state that the United States was closing its Embassy to the Holy See, but that the United States was consolidating operations into one campus due to safety concerns.  The Embassy to the Holy See would still function as before but at a different location.

From the start I was unable to grasp the problem described by so many concerned people.  Unless evidence existed that the State Department or President Obama had directly shown ill-will in the consolidation process of the embassies, there seemed to be no reason to get upset over the move.

Today I came across a picture that in one quick view explains why the embassies were consolidated into one safer campus.  Below on the left is the US Embassy to the Holy See that will be closing, to the right is the US Embassy to Italy out of which now the Embassy to the Holy See will function.  Which building looks safer?

The article I read included another picture that sheds even more light on this issue.  The map of Rome below marks where the US Embassy to the Holy See that will be closing was located (bottom right) and where it will be relocated along with the Embassy to Italy (top right).  Vatican City is marked on the left.  Note that the original embassy was not within the boundaries of the Vatican City State (as are all embassies to the Holy See as far as I know).  Its new location is actually just a bit closer to the Vatican than its previous location.

There have been many grave issues and disagreements between the current government of President Obama and the Catholic Church, but I suspect people are reading too much into the move of the Embassy to the Holy See.  

An article from the State Department even reports that the new location for the embassy will be 78% larger and will retain full independence from the Embassy to Italy.  CNN reports that Father Thomas Rosica from the Vatican Press Office said that the Vatican requires foreign embassies to the Holy See to be separate from the country's embassy to Italy with a separate street address and a separate entrance.  Father Rosica stated that the new location for the US Embassy to the Holy See meets these requirements.  

Ambassador Miguel Diaz who just finished his mission at the Embassy to the Holy See asserted that the move "was done for security and financial reasons, not in any way to undermine and diminish the importance of the Holy See.  I firmly believe that these issues have to be based on facts and not politicized in any way."

Getting upset about the move of the embassy is like getting upset over Waffle House moving from the right side of the exit from the highway to the left side.  It doesn't matter because no matter where Waffle House is, I will still be able to get my tasty waffle along with hash browns scattered and covered.


  1. Very True Father Pablo, Love It♥
    It's also bigger & better... its like going to waffle house & not having to wait for a tabke or booth if one is with its big familia :-)