Vatican downplays controversy over U.S. embassy move
November 27th, 2013
02:49 PM ET

Vatican downplays controversy over U.S. embassy move

By Dan Merica and Eric Marrapodi, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='danmericaCNN'][twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

Washington (CNN) – When the State Department announced it was moving its Vatican embassy to a compound shared with the U.S. Embassy in Italy, some former ambassadors and conservative American Catholics were outraged.

Former ambassadors to the Holy See said moving that embassy would diminish the stature of the mission and conservative Catholic activists seized on the issue.

Addressing the growing controversy in Rome, the State Department arranged a briefing for reporters on Monday with an unnamed senior official who said the purpose for the move was to save money and increase security.

A spokesman for the Vatican said the move was well within the Holy See's requirements for embassies and that relations with the United States are far from strained.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Canadian priest who works with the Vatican's press office, said the Vatican requires foreign embassies to the Holy See be separate from the country's mission to Italy, have a separate address and have a separate entrance.

Both Rosica and the senior State Department official said the proposed U.S. move satisfies those requirements.

Rosica also praised Ken Hackett, the new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, telling CNN that "at this critical time in history, he brings eminent credentials to represent the United States to the Vatican."

He added there "a very good feeling right now" between the two countries.

Another Vatican official, not authorized to speak on the record about diplomatic relations, told CNN the Holy See understands security concerns are an issue for some countries and this move is "an exception, not the ideal, but not the end of the world."

The State Department contends the move from a free-standing building to a more secure compound that currently includes the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations is a must following attacks on other American embassies.

The State Department official dismissed complaints that the move was hurting the U.S. relationship with the Vatican, telling reporters the embassy to the Holy See will be much closer to the Vatican and there will be "no reduction in diplomatic staff. There’s no reduction in ambassadors, there’s no reduction in mission."

"The plan is to have the U.S. mission to the Holy See relocate to a building" inside the current U.S. government compound, said the official. "We figure that we will save about $1.4 million a year in lease and operating costs in moving them."

Additionally, the official said the security of the current U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is "not in a building that has the kind of physical security protection that we would like it to have" but that the new building affords diplomats with better security.

For Francis Rooney, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush, the proposed move is a slight to the Vatican.

Rooney told CNN that a freestanding, separate embassy shows more value to the relationship and that he worries the move will create "a perception among foreign governments and other missions that the United States does not value its relationship with the Holy See."

"It is going to depreciate the prestige of the mission to relocate" he said.

In response to the Vatican's statement that relations between it and the United States are fine, Rooney said the Holy See is "bending over backwards not to disagree with the Department of State’s decision" and that privately "they wouldn't want it to happen."

Not all former U.S. ambassadors to the Holy See agree with Rooney, however.

Ambassador Miguel H. Diaz, who served as Obama's first ambassador to the Holy See, said those who disagree are not basing their opinion on fact and information.

"I firmly believe that these issues have to be based on facts and not politicized in any way," he said. "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."

He continued: "This was done for security and financial reasons, not in any way to undermine and diminish the importance of the Holy See."

Just as quickly as ambassadors like Rooney and Diaz weighed in, a number of contrastive Catholics began to assail the Obama administration for the move.

"The public perception is going to be a downgrading of the importance of the Holy See," Bill Donohue, head of the conservative Catholic League. "It smacks of an animus."

Donohue and others contend that by moving the embassy into a compound with other embassies, the United States is distancing itself from the Vatican and harming relations. He also finds it hard to believe the Obama administration would make a decision based on security and cost.

"When you have a track record that is not exactly Catholic-friendly, the people like myself are going to ask what is going on here," he said. "This is the first time in six years this administration has ever been concerned with saving money. I am not surprised they found it at the Vatican."

Chris Hale, who helped run Catholic outreach for Obama's 2012 campaign, said the reaction of conservative Catholics is "another attempt to politicize another issue and create a fight that isn't there."

"This is in no way signaling the administration’s desire to not work with Pope Francis," he said. "I think (conservative Catholics) are concerned with the narrative of Pope Francis being a progressive and they are trying to push any narrative the creates a perceived divide between Pope Francis and President Obama."

In attempt to quell any controversy, earlier on Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See posted on its Facebook page that reports that claim the "embassy to the Holy See is closing, that our Ambassador’s position is being cut, and/or that his residence is moving … are untrue."

The embassy, according to the Facebook post, will make the move in "early 2015."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Pope Francis • United States • Vatican

soundoff (841 Responses)
  1. brian clancy

    It's heartwarming to see these brave Catholic Republicans speaking truth to power as they decry a move of the Vatican US Embassy to safer, reasonably-priced quarters. Oh, the horror.

    Meanwhile, not a peep about the 40 billion dollar proposed drop in the SNAP program that feeds hungry American children pomulgated by the Republican Party and good Catholic Paul Ryan, who fears the kids will get too comfortable in that "hammock".

    And, too, a bevy of Republican governors and state legislators, good Catholics included with evangelical Christians, have found it "saves money" to deny Medicaid coverage to millions of poor working Americans through the ACA.

    President Obama should invite Pope Francis to the State of the Union speech and let us know whether he's more concerned about the location of the Embassy or the location of those Republicans' souls.

    November 28, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • get the facts

      Rather Obama held the Vatican responsible for crimes against children world-wide.

      I would then favor Obama.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:58 am |
      • brian clancy

        Well, you clearly have an ox to gore, here, and that's fine.

        On the other hand, we have a large group of organized hypocrites bemoaning a simple office move while ignoring the boulder in their eye that is the achievable goal of providing food and health care to all Americans.

        Today, I am more concerned about 15 million American families and 40 million American children.

        Doesn't the sheer numbers of that evoke any sense of relative merit on your part?

        November 28, 2013 at 10:18 am |
        • get the facts

          I believe that in a civilized country, everyone should have food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare. This should be established as the very foundation to advancing oneself. Just as business have tax dollars pay for the roads, airports and such as a foundation to enable their businesses.

          The USA is a capitalistic country with an underlying socialistic layer which becomes the enabler to business. Likewise, we need enablers for people to live healthy lives.

          I don't like the conservatives or liberals. They argued without the use of common sense, all for selfish gains from their supporters.

          To cause change? We need to end ALL grants, subsidies and tax exemptions. End all lobby efforts except by individual voting, that's the lobby that should exist.

          In the meanwhile, the conservatives and the liberals all fight for their share of the middle class tax dollar.

          BTW: we also need to tax all property of NFP's and religions, and then return the money in lower property tax to the middle class. If a group wants to develop a church or NFP organization in prime real estate areas? Then pay as the rest of us do.

          November 28, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Brian

        I agree with your post completely, with the exception that the taxes raised by eliminating the exemptions for churches could be spent paying for Food Stamps and health insurance. That's what's MISSING from our tax receipts.

        We don't need to lower taxes. They need to be raised on the 1%, the "carried interest" crowd and the "I'm a Walton and pay little taxes because it's all capital gains and unearned income" group.

        November 28, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  2. EX Catholic

    The Vatican is an Enterprise not a real country but a fake country. If I remember well it was senile crook president Reagan who make decision to place an embassy there. No need at all to have an embassy there, ridiculous beyond belief! What would be next an embassy in Mecca and another in the Potala Palace. Ridiculous!!

    November 28, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  3. Bob Ramos

    Addressing the growing controversy in Rome, the State Department arranged a briefing for reporters on Monday with an unnamed senior official who said the purpose for the move was to save money and increase security.
    Is this not what we all want – to save money and increase security? If the Vatican is on board with this, why the beef?

    November 28, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  4. cnrski

    Why would the Vatican, in the midst of its own reformation of sorts, be concerned with a departmental move from a do-nothing, incompetent government as ours, who over the years has shown its inability to make logical decisions? Tell them to go and don't let the door hit them in the ass....not worth sweating the small stuff.

    November 28, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • get the facts

      the reformation is merely to distract. The church WILL NOT expose itself to crimes against humanity. The reformation is a joke, from a Vatican full of juvenile delinquents who never grew up.

      The Vatican needs parenting. I remember when in Africa experienced wild baby elephants destroying villages. The solution, which worked, was to bring the baby elephants to the adult ones. The adult ones tamed the babies.

      This is what the Vatican needs.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:32 am |
      • lol??

        Dang Bloods states.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:35 am |
        • get the facts

          dang Vatican hierarchy for destroying small children. What a low life form these sc-umb–ags are

          November 28, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • UpsetVoter

        If I let the bad incidents in my life create the amount of rage that you have, I would be a very miscible and hateful human being. I am a victim of a pedophile and I do not use it as an excuse to have blind hatred of an entire religion. I blame only my abuser. Even though those incidents still haunt me I am hopeful for the future and strive to improve myself.

        BTW... That was by far not the worst thing I have been through. Currently my sense of security has been shattered by a recent violent crime but I do know that I will eventually find a new normal and go on. For now my goal is to make sure that the people who committed this crime will not be able to damage another family like they did to mine. That also has it's difficulties since it involves the death penalty which I feel should not be necessary in a modern society.

        November 28, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • get the facts

          children abused? This is the reality. And an organization that enabled that destruction to lives? Prosecute them to the fullest extent.

          Here is the life of an abused child:

          Between 20-50% of abused children will have some degree of permanent disability as a result of abuse (NASMHPD/NTAC)

          People who experienced considerable trauma during their childhood died 20 years prematurely, CDC researchers have found.

          Females abused in childhood are at greater risk of suicidal and self-mutilating behavior (Herman, 1992).

          Seventy percent of women who are homeless were abused as children. Nearly 90 percent of women who are both homeless and have a mental illness experienced abuse both as children and adults.

          Recent studies have shown that victims of childhood abuse actually experience physical changes to the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory, as well as in the handling of stress. (Bremner JD, Narayan M)

          Sad you take this destruction so lightly.

          November 28, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • UpsetVoter

          get the facts .......

          I am well aware of the results of the abuse. I do not have to look at your statistics. I just have to look at my own life. I was 11 when I was abused by a pedophile back in the mid 1970s and it still haunts and effects my life to this day. The systemic cover-up by the church is one of the principle reasons I have only been in a church once in the past several years. I still do not blame the entire religion. I will never let hate rule my life. I wish you would see that blind hatred is not the answer.

          BTW .... the one time I have been in a church recently is for the double funeral that is a direct result of the for-mentioned violent crime.

          November 28, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • UpsetVoter

          get the facts.....

          It is ironic that you are attacking and trying to school one of the abused on the results of the abuse. I fail to see how your reading about it is more relevant than direct personal experience at the hands of a pedophile.

          I got to go. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

          November 28, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It's hard to remain credible while having cordial relations with the Vatican and nations that want to restrict the rights of women.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:35 am |
      • lol??

        Women ain't so hot with the "rights" they got.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:56 am |
        • get the facts

          women are treated as 2nd class citizens in the catholic church

          November 28, 2013 at 9:58 am |
  5. get the facts

    the world went after war criminals in hitler's regime. The same should happen with the popes, bishops and cardinals for crimes against children.

    The cover ups placed the final blow on the child. A child left to cope alone is at greatest risk to mental illness and suicide.

    This religion not only denied the child needed help, but used threats, by direction of the Vatican doc-ument, stamped secret and to be placed hidden away where no one can find it, 'Crimes of Solicitation'.

    The popes, bishops and cardinals are the lowest form of human and should be ARRESTED.

    November 28, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Vatican didn't go after Nazi war criminals.
      Quite to opposite, in fact. They aided and abetting their escape to South America via Vatican "ratlines".
      Just one of the reasons why Pius XII has become known as "Hitler's Pope"

      November 28, 2013 at 9:25 am |
      • get the facts

        the Vatican aided the Nazi's. They did so by tainting information making it more difficult to see the crimes.

        My point, is that the Vatican has destroyed 10's of thousands of children world wide. They should be held responsible and we should chase them down and throw them into jails.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • lol??

      "Operation Paperclip"..............Don't forget the Frankfurt School. Kinsey ring a bell with pedophile experiments?? Science demands sacrifice.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:29 am |
  6. Enough Is Enough

    Isn't it enough already with what happened during The Inquisition? Do we have to continue to coddle and formally recognize and be reminded of those heinous acts that were committed during the Inquisition by having the wool pulled over our eyes in an effort to be inclusive of that group? Thousands of innocent people unnecessarily lost their lives. There's no turning the clock back. It happened and there's no changing history. So, Absolutely Not! It's wrong to recognize them and we shouldn't until the Pope issues a formal statement repenting and asking forgiveness from the world for what happened which he has not yet done.

    November 28, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • get the facts

      the pope and the catholic church will state they are sorry, only decades after the damage. And, as criminals, they say they are sorry only after they've been caught.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Easy there, Trigger.
      Come and relax. Have a seat on the Judas Cradle and we'll sort this all out in no time.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • lol??

      The wurld doesn't have the power to forgive. Are you nutz?? You might try a waiver from the Big O, the peaceful guy.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:25 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        "The Big O" = Oprah?
        She certainly wields more influence over America's housewives than the Pope.
        I hear she's going to establish her own soverign city state an call it "Ugogirl".

        November 28, 2013 at 9:28 am |
        • lol??

          If the Big O dumps his wife and marries Oprah, would that be the big OH, oh??

          November 28, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • EU citizen

      Multiple Popes apologized already for multiple events, no one seem to bother to look these up or to remember them, the isue is people whining about these cases forget the Pope is only a single person and in the medieval times you couldn't pick a phone up to discuss things right away and most things were decided by local rulers and leaders. Also many people forget or ignore the fact that their own European ancestors also were Catholic, maybe even put wood on the fire at witch burning events, or threw rocks at people like Galileo.

      Blaming people or religions for "collective sin" is perhaps among the worst sins itself, why the heck do you blame the current Pope for something that hapened centuries ago, not to mention when it has nothing to do with the article and is completely offtopic? Would you also blame Germans for centuries to come because of Hitler (who in fact was Austrian, what US people seem to constantly forget) or maybe Turkey or Saudi Arabia for the muslim invasion and conquest of Christian Africa, Iberia, and Balkans?

      Just how much time you need to realize that today's living people had nothing to do with those events, and neither can you blame the current Catholics and Pope for medieval times?

      November 28, 2013 at 9:29 am |
      • Face the Facts

        One cannot compare condemnation of the German people in general for the crimes Hitler committed as that would be an apples to oranges comparison and the people as a whole do not have sovereign power to issue an apology and ask for forgiveness as the pope. However, as head of the billion plus RCC the pope is ultimately responsible for issuing a Formal Apology, post haste, to allow this black mark in history to begin to heal. He has not yet done that and the world won't forget. There should be no formal recognition of the Vatican until that happens.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • lol??

      There is the "thrown under the bus syndrome" in americult. After a bus crash the number of passengers mysteriously multiplies.

      November 28, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • SouthernCelt

      You really should learn more history before commenting on it. The "Inquisition" you are writing about was a Spanish Civil Government action and when Pope Gregory IX heard about it he threatened to excommunicate the whole Country. That is when your "Inquisition" stopped. The word 'Inquisition' was a legal term back then that was about legal research and not murdering people. Education is always superior to hate.

      November 28, 2013 at 10:21 am |
      • Face the Facts

        It is most sad to report that you are grossly misinformed on history. But 'Education IS always superior to hate.', as you put it. Therefore, please read this as popes were involved.

        The Inquisition https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Inquisition.html

        November 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
      • Face the Facts

        And SouthernCelt, here is some added reading from a fine website to help you understand this matter better. It goes into further detail.

        The Inquisition: http://www.thenazareneway.com/inquisition.htm

        November 28, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  7. Street preacher

    Hi I'm a street preacher,

    If think your neighbour is sinning, please contact me... I can go to the front of you neighbours house, and start screaming like there's no tomorrow. Thank you.

    November 28, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  8. Bender Bending Rodriguez

    I see a lot of Catholic conspiracy theories on here. Any legitimate sources to back that up with?

    November 28, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • get the facts

      I don't see any conspiracies. I only see a Vatican full of liars and deceivers. No conspiracy.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:01 am |
      • Bender Bending Rodriguez

        Everyone in the Church's hierarchy is corrupt? Is that what you're saying?

        November 28, 2013 at 9:07 am |
        • get the facts

          without contributions and good team work, the cover ups could have never been successful.

          The crimes existed and NO ONE AT THE VATICAN STOOD UP!! There you have it, they contributed. meanwhile children's lives were destroyed.

          The catholic church is a filthpit

          November 28, 2013 at 9:14 am |
        • SLB

          Some people can be sincere, but the church as an org is corrupt, and will always over take the sincere ones. I'm just waiting see when the Supreme Court is going to allow someone in the Vatican an investigate all the things hidden, and see probably a church lockdown for crimes against humanity!

          November 28, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • get the facts

          won't happen, investigate the Vatican. In 2005 after volumes of do-cu-ments which identified the pope and cardinals of cover up crimes of child abuse, George Bush granted the vatican Immunity.

          I don't think George really understood the seriousness and the volumes of evidence against the Vatican at the time.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I don't think Bush understood any doc/ument that didn't have pictures or that used words with more than 2 syllables.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:30 am |
        • SLB

          Facts- the fact that Bush never did it, it doesn't mean that another won't do it. Who knows if Obama will do what Bush didn't?!

          November 28, 2013 at 9:33 am |
        • get the facts

          Bush never did??? Try a google "GW Bush grants pope immunity for child s-ex abuse crimes"

          Trying to negate my statement, doesn't change reality.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • SLB

          Facts- I didn't negate your statement, I think you misunderstood my statement.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Irish Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse, the John Jay Report.
      Books such as "Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican's Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets", "Genocide in Satellite Croatia 1941–1945" and "The Vatican's Holocaust".

      November 28, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • ?

      Willful ignorance or what? Simply google Roma Catholic Church scandals and open the thousands of links. If you really want to define tour search use banking/money laundering, s&x abuse, and ties to the Mafia.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Science Works

      RCC is still covering up it looks like and according the information released it has been going on for decades !

      St. Paul News Conference Tuesday

      First Child Victims Act Lawsuit to Name Treatment Facility Run by Bishops
      Where Known Offenders were Recycled into Ministry

      Father Francis Hoefgen admitted abuse to police, sent to St. Luke’s
      and placed back in Hastings parish where he molested Doe 27

      November 28, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • EU citizen

      Not even the Pope or Vatican feels bothered by this, actually it is a positive move that will slightly increase influence of the Papacy in Rome. Only people who love drama or hate Catholicism try to create an issue where there is none to be found.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Bender Bending Rodriguez

      The abuse scandal is not what I was referring to. Even I would admit that's true.

      In this thread it was implied that the church didn't give any aid to the Philippines, has financial interest throughout the world, and more.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:25 am |
      • Science Works

        And the pope tweeted to pray he should of tweeted send water or money maybe.

        While at least $300 million has been pledged by nations around the world to help survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines, a billion-dollar non-government organization, has responded to the disaster by sending 1,000 bibles and 12,000 rosaries to survivors, according to CBS News. Additionally, the Pope tweeted for Catholics to pray for the typhoon
        victims. His message was retweeted 30,000 times.


        November 28, 2013 at 9:34 am |
      • ?

        Do you know what real estate means? All those churches and Bishop mansions are sitting on of the some most valuable land on earth in every country that the RCC haunts. You also do not seem to know about the Vatican Bank that just recently was forced to open up the books to outside scrutiny. Frankie has even appointed a trusted advisor to get to the bottom of the criminal dealings of the bank. You are typical of the deniers see no evil when it suits you.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • ?

          some of the, poor proofreading.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:36 am |
      • Science Works

        Atheist Billboards Declare Prayer, Bibles Not Helping Disaster Victims
        Posted on: November 25, 2013


        November 28, 2013 at 9:37 am |
      • Science Works

        Hey bender please give if you can the church did not help really.

        All monies go to Doctors Without Borders.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          There's the 9-11 type conspiracy theories I'm talking about. A simple google search showed the church gave $150k in emergency aid and Catholic charities probably gave millions. I can't deny the church has done harm over the years but the atheists on this blog apparently admit the church does any good.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • Science Works

          Wow now it is 9-11 and above post you stated what ?

          November 28, 2013 at 9:56 am |
        • Science Works

          Hey Bender then you have the pope not saying anything about this fruitcake from XMAS past.

          Not good for children or...

          How can honest people believe this stuff ?

          Follow-up on Bishop Exorcist. Wonder if Scalia was present he believes in the devil.

          Bishop Paprocki stages exorcism as gay marriage becomes law: ‘Be gone Satan’

          BY DAVE MCKINNEY Springfield Bureau Chief November 20, 2013 7:22PM


          November 28, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • ?

          Really, I guess it is a matter of degree. They gave $150k for the disaster while the German bling Bishop spent $31,000,000 Euros renovating his mansion. Kind of tells you where the priorities lie. And don't say this is an isolated incident, the princes of the church are just that royalty living off of the backs of the poor.

          November 28, 2013 at 10:02 am |
      • Science Works

        By the way Bender NO gods needed to give.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  9. EU citizen

    Rome was once the capital for the papcy, before being removed and only allowed to keep Vatican. I would say that a move to a different site in Rome for the Embasy could be seen as an improved political and diplomatic position for the Holy See that is now regaining influence and control in the united Italian nation.

    November 28, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  10. magicpanties

    We need an ambassador in Mecca... and the Church of England... and the Church of Scientology... and for the Dalai Lama.... and...

    If you disagree with any of those, then we shouldn't have a vatican ambassador.

    November 28, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • EU citizen

      Because only the Pope of the Holy See/Papal States as religious head was ever also the rightful controller of an independent territory... except Tibet with the Dalai Lama of course but there are rather slim chances to make China accept this fact and force it to make Tibet independent again.

      The Vatican however is a legitimate independent realm with a passport and citizenship and all that, while your other examples (except Tibet) never had any independence, especially talking about an embassy for the fake Church of England that considers the Queen in command is absurd.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:02 am |
      • wjs

        Tell us about the birth rate and population trends in these papal states.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  11. PSYmuffin

    There should be never have been an embassy at the Vatican. The Vatican only has observer status, as the Holy See, at the U.N. and that itself has been questioned under the pretext it does not meet the requirements of being a state. Why did the Vatican warrant an embassy when Monaco and many Caribbean countries do not? Why is Catholicism provided such unequal singular religous status? The Baptists, Lutherans, Jews, Mormons, Methodists, etc should all demand observation status at the U.N. and a U.S.embassy.

    November 28, 2013 at 8:45 am |
  12. JJ

    Is it just me, or does anyone else see the utter stupidity of wasting money on an ambassador to a delusion?

    November 28, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • magicpanties

      Right. What other religion gets its own ambassador? Such stupidity!

      November 28, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • tom

      God loves all of us, stop fighting help each . Stop fighting in Gods name

      November 28, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  13. JW

    According to the bible, What events against all false religion will take place shortly?

    What yet unseen event will take place next? Paul stated: “Whenever it is that they are saying: ‘Peace and security!’ then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them.” The first phase of this “sudden destruction” is the attack against “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion, also known as “the harlot.” (Rev. 17:5, 6, 15) That attack against all forms of false religion, including Christendom, is the start of the “great tribulation.” (Matt. 24:21; 2 Thess. 2:8) For many, this event will come as a surprise. Why? Because up to that point, the harlot will confidently view herself as “a queen” who will “never see mourning.” But she will suddenly discover that she has miscalculated her chances of survival. She will be wiped out rather quickly, as if “in one day.”—Rev. 18:7, 8.
    6 God’s Word identifies the harlot’s attacker as a “wild beast” with “ten horns.” A study of the book of Revelation shows that the wild beast refers to the United Nations (UN). “The ten horns” represent all present political powers that support this “scarlet-colored wild beast.”* (Rev. 17:3, 5, 11, 12) How devastating will the attack be? The nations of the UN will plunder the harlot’s wealth, expose her real character, devour her, and “completely burn her.” Her destruction will be final.—Read Revelation 17:16.
    7 Bible prophecy also indicates what will trigger this attack. Somehow Jehovah will put it into the hearts of political rulers “to carry out his thought,” namely, to devastate the harlot. (Rev. 17:17) Warmongering religion continues to be a disruptive force in the world; hence, the nations may feel that destroying the harlot is in their own national interests. In fact, when the rulers attack, they will think that they are carrying out their own “one thought.” In reality, however, they act as God’s tool for obliterating all false religion. Thus, in a stunning reversal, one part of Satan’s system will attack another part, and Satan will be powerless to prevent it.—Matt. 12:25, 26

    November 28, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • JJ

      Take your medication.

      November 28, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • kspn

      "Frog in a well". We are not in the dark ages. We are in the 21st century.

      November 28, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • ?

      What is your blood type? Do you know? I'll send you a pint for your consumption.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:14 am |
      • SLB

        No thank you. I prefer safer alternatives, and avoid all kinds of diseases that come from blood.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The End is nigh!
      The Ancient propecies are being fulfilled!
      Here on Earth, humankind has abandoned their traditional ways, disregarded the bonds of kinship, and sank into a wayward, listless nihilism.

      "The age of evil has come to the world . Everyone steals and hoards great wealth, and sensual sin rules the day. The end of the world is at hand – yet men are hard and cruel, and listen not to the doom that is coming . No one heeds the cries of his neighbour, or lifts a hand to save."

      Pledge your soul to the King of Gods for only Odin can save you from Ragnarok!

      November 28, 2013 at 9:14 am |
      • Science Works

        Or the Green Lantern .

        November 28, 2013 at 9:19 am |
  14. UpsetVoter

    The story could be better understood if the article included a map with the locations of the current embassy and the compound where the new building will be located. If they are right near each other and all the same services will be provided at the same level, it is a practical cost saving move. If the new location is in another part of Italy, it is a bad move.

    November 28, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Colin

      Both are in Rome. The USA embassy is on the other side of the Tiber, about 4 miles form the Vatican. There is no operatioanl reason to have two US embassies so close together. Apparently it was well known within the service that the embassy in the Vatican was supurfluous and kept open for purely political reasons.

      November 28, 2013 at 8:35 am |
      • UpsetVoter

        Thank you for the explanation. It looks like it is a practical solution to the security issues that will save money.

        November 28, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • Lovely


      November 28, 2013 at 8:37 am |
      • IS that

        you faith ?

        November 28, 2013 at 8:39 am |
      • Colin

        None of that matters, Mr. Santorum, you still lost the Primary.

        November 28, 2013 at 8:41 am |
      • magicpanties


        November 28, 2013 at 8:47 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        It is very important to keep taking your pills even after you start to feel better and think you don't need them.
        I understand it can be scary when the voices stop and you know longer know exactly who is a demon or what you need to burn, but the nice men in white coats are there to help you.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:18 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          But they make me weak and that's what the doctors want. I must be strong for the end times.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:31 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          It'll be OK, Tom.
          We'll have a drowning ceremony and give you some Soylent Saviour so that you'll ascend bodily to God's Magic Kingdom before the 10 horned, 7 headed, amphibious bear beast comes ashore.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  15. Chip

    Why the Vatican received the hypocrites/heretics Pelosi and Biden at the Popes Inauguration is beyond me.

    November 28, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • get the facts

      Vatican is nothing more than a bunch of juvenile delinquents who never grew up. They don't deserve a country, they need the world to parent them.

      Money laundering

      worldwide child abuse

      November 28, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • wjs

      I'm guessing because they are catholics, and because they are US Government officials.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Do you also object to the attendance of the RCC bishops who covered up the various scandals – surely that's the epitome of hypocrisy.

      November 28, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Smart money says most rational things are beyond you.

      November 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  16. get the facts

    The Vatican recently caught money laundering in Italy. This organization delivered the final blow to children abused with the cover ups, rather than help. All for their own reputation over the lives of destroyed children.

    Take away the 110 acre Vatican's rights as a sovereign state, The fact they are recognized as a state, is laughable.

    If this were a national day care center, the popes, bishops and cardinals would all be sitting in jails today.

    November 28, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • UpsetVoter

      Weather or not the Vatican is recognized as a state is not the decision of the United States alone. It was recognized by Europe as a state long before the United States existed.

      From what I can see, the current pope has nothing to do with the recent corruption, child abuse, or cover-ups. Everything I see in the news about him shows that he is trying to make the issues more transparent and correct the problems that are plaguing the religion. I hope he is able to do that.

      I will agree that the pope that just retired was part of the problems and cover-up.

      November 28, 2013 at 8:38 am |
      • get the facts

        and the current pope contributed. The cover ups would not have successful, unless all cardinals and bishops helped. This pope was a cardinal.

        More so, the very FIRST thing this pope should have done was to come to the rescue of the children victims and their families. However, he didn't. Instead he runs around deflecting, call media attention to himself. 'Look at me!! I'm humble."

        He and the Vatican are a disgrace to humanity.

        November 28, 2013 at 8:57 am |
        • UpsetVoter

          Your response makes no sense. All governing bodies have people on both sides of every issue. Just being a member does not make someone guilty of something another person does. Your objectivity is being blinded by your hatred towards the religion.

          I hope this current pope will be able to correct the problems and put an end to all the wrongs. I personally was a victim of a pedophile yet I am still able to look at things objectively even though those incidents still haunt me to this day.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • get the facts

          if you were talking about a democratic society, then yes. However the Vatican is a dictatorship. Anyone cannot become ruler unless you are part of the hierarchy, the clergy mob.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  17. Science Works

    Politics – ACA – Maybe the biblical stand on procreation and the 40 some private (for profit) companies suing the gov. played a role ?

    November 28, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Science Works

      Forgot they are catholic companies suing over contraceptive requirements or the day after pill.

      November 28, 2013 at 8:35 am |
  18. Emilio

    A open shack at the Vatican is safer than the pentagon. The reason is no terrorist wants the world coming after them. The money is a joke, for most Americans it sounds like a big figure. Not even a drop in the bucket for the US budget. The Vatican goes to places and has people in certain parts of the world that America needs. Why after all these years do they need to move?

    November 28, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Ken

      Maybe this Pope just doesn't like them?

      November 28, 2013 at 8:20 am |
  19. Dave

    Why does the Vatican have an embassy in the first place. Hasn't anyone heard of the separation of church and state?

    November 28, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • skytag

      The official name is Vatican City State. It's actually its own country.

      November 28, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Separation of church and state is an American ideal not necessarily shared by the rest of the world.
      Even England has an officially established church.
      The Vatican became an internationally recognized city state at the beginning of the 20th century and has maintained diplomatic relations with the US since the mid 1980s.

      November 28, 2013 at 8:11 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.