Author Topic: Obama’s call to close Vatican embassy is ‘slap in the face’ to Roman Catholics  (Read 352 times)

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Online mystery-ak

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/26/obamas-call-close-holy-see-embassy-slap-face-catho/

 By Cheryl K. Chumley

-

The Washington Times

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Obama administration, in what's been called an egregious slap in the face to the Vatican, has moved to shut down the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See — a free-standing facility — and relocate offices onto the grounds of the larger American Embassy in Italy.

The new offices will be in a separate building on the property, Breitbart reported.

And while U.S. officials are touting the relocation as a security measure that's a cautionary reaction to last year's attacks on America's facility in Benghazi, several former American envoys are raising the red flag.

It's a "massive downgrade of U.S.-Vatican ties," said former U.S. Ambassador James Nicholson in the National Catholic Reporter. "It's turning this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy. The Holy See is a pivot point for international affairs and a major listening post for the United States, and ... [it's] an insult to American Catholics and to the Vatican."

Mr. Nicholson — whose views were echoed by former envoys Francis Rooney, Mary Ann Glendon, Raymond Flynn and Thomas Melady — also called the justification for closing the existing facility a "smokescreen," Breitbart reported.

"That's like saying people get killed on highways because they drive cars on them," he said in the report. "We're not a pauper nation ... if we want to secure an embassy, we certainly can."

Moreover, the existing facility has "state of the art" security, he said.

Mr. Flynn, meanwhile, said the administration's announcement reflects a hostility toward the Catholic Church.

"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," he said in the National Catholic Reporter. "[There's no] diplomatic or political benefit to the United States" from the relocation at all, he added.

Catholic Vote, a publication for the Church community, called the move "an unmistakable slap in the face" that clearly communicates that the United States cares little for the diplomatic facility.

And Mr. Nicholson went on, as Breitbart reported: "It's another manifestation of the antipathy of this administration both to Catholics and to the Vatican — and to Christians in the Middle East. This is a key post for intermediation in so many sovereignties but particularly in the Middle East. This is anything but a good time to diminish the stature of this post. To diminish the stature of this post is to diminish its influence."

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Offline Rapunzel

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Why would a Muslim support the Catholic (or any) church?
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline RandyKaplan

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As someone who worked as an intern in the US Embassy in Rome, I can testify that it makes no sense whatsoever to combine the embassy to the Vatican with the embassy to Italy. It's an insult to the Vatican, to the Pope, to Italy - who certainly does not wish it to be assumed that they will follow the Vatican policy on any number of issues - and to Catholics all over the world.

I think that Republican candidates should hit this issue hard. It seems like finally finding the wedge issue that flips the Hispanic vote into the Republican column has been a conservative obsession for ages. Well, this may be it. It can't hurt with blue-collar ethnic Catholics, either - although I can't imagine a shift in those voters' allegiance could possibly make any difference in any states besides Ohio and Pennsylvania. I'd love to hear what Barone has to say about this.

Offline Rapunzel

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Nothing this administration does make any sense to me.

One interesting observation here, for whatever reason among the Hispanic population in my Arizona town of 50,000 there is a huge portion of them who are Jehovah's Witness...   
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

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Good post, Randy. Welcome!
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Offline SouthTexas

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It seems like finally finding the wedge issue that flips the Hispanic vote into the Republican column has been a conservative obsession for ages. Well, this may be it.

Wish it were true, but sadly I don't see it happening.  Of course, there are exceptions.  From friend's uncle who is a 93 year old WWII vet to SIL that is more of a right wing redneck than I am, but those are the exception, not the rule. 

The rats have it wrapped for some reason, tradition maybe.  Don't know why you would vote for someone that does not share your views.


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