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. JW

    Constantine is the Catholic Church First pope and father:

    Constantine was thus appalled to find that the churches were divided by disputes. Eager for consensus, he sought to establish, and then enforce, “correct” doctrine. To win his favor, bishops had to make religious compromises, and those who did received tax exemptions and generous patronage. “Getting the ‘right’ version of Christian doctrine,” said historian Charles Freeman, “gave access not only to heaven but to vast resources on earth.” The clergy thus became powerful figures in worldly affairs. “The Church had acquired a protector,” says historian A.H.M. Jones, “but it had also acquired a master.”

    November 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Just a coincidence that the Roman Empire declined after abandoning their old gods, right?

      November 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      • JW

        At the time of Constantine, the empiour was already in decline. The Roman feline was already written in the bible, and the bible as well foretold that the next world power would come from the roman empiour, the British/US empiour !

        November 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • TNT

          Suuuuuure it was.

          November 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The Bible directly and unambiguously states these things?
          I must've missed that bit of scripture.
          care to cite the passages?

          November 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
        • Ken

          Which verses refer to the Americas, or even Britain which was known throughout the Roman world?

          Sounds like more cheap pamphlet stuff published by televangelists and sold for bestseller hardcover prices to little old ladies who can't afford their pills, let alone this kind of stuff. Shameful!

          November 28, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Catapult

          Or the garbage people leave in mailboxes.

          November 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Ken

      Two other points:
      Constantine couldn't care less about which theology became the standard, as long as there was a unifying standard. In this way, the "winning" theology owes more to political manoeuvring and strong-arm tactics than it's being "true" in any real sense.

      The notion that Christians needed some kind of "protection" is largely overstated. Christians were never persecuted to the degree that legend has it. By Constantine's time even his mother was a Christian, and she had been pressuring him to convert for a long time, so how do you figure that Christians needed protection at that time?

      November 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • JW

        They were persecuted. And the historians say so. But the fact is the what Constantine did, corrupted Christianity, and those teaches continue until today!

        November 28, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • Ken

          Not systematically persecuted to any degree even close to popular opinion, and there is very little evidence to support some martyrs even being actual historical figures.

          November 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
      • Mrs. Travis

        Ken, have you any idea how msny Christians are persecuted through systematic discrimination, terrorism and illegal prosecution daily? You'd be surprised how legendary prosecution pales in comparison.

        November 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Mrs. Travis

          Correction legendary persecution.

          November 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • Catapult

          About the same numbers as other religions?

          November 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
        • Mrs. Travis

          Think again. Research it and see for yourself.

          November 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
        • Des

          Mrs. Travis, how about you actually cite such data yourself. Sources please. And it had better be per capita.

          November 28, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
        • Ken

          I suggest you read The Myth of Persecution by Candida Moss. It's been known for quite some time that Christian tales of persecution and martyrdom are grossly exaggerated.

          November 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
        • hearties

          Jesus is the prime example of someone persecuted over belief.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
        • Ken

          More likely, Jesus was simply executed for stirring up the crowds on Passover, the Jewish celebration of liberation. The Romans crucified thousands of Jews for far less back then. Remember the thieves that he was hung with?

          November 29, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • JW

      When the bible talks about "bests" it's talking about world powers.

      How did the bible predict the rise of the Anglo-American empire?

      After the prophet Daniel saw four bests, he finally mentions the last one. This one comes after he say a "leopard that had four wings and four heads" alluding to the four kings that spilt the Greek empire in four after Alexander the Great died.
      This fourth best is written on Daniel 7:7,8, 23,24 read. What can we learn from this best, and who is it?
      This best replaced the prior one, no doubt that this fourth best was the roman empire, that replaced Greece as the world power.
      What is said about this best?

      Four of the horns, or kingdoms, that sprouted from the head of the ferocious beast receive special mention. Three are plucked out by another horn, “a small one.” This was fulfilled when Britain, a former outpost of the Roman Empire, grew to prominence. Until the 17th century, Britain was a relatively insignificant power. Three other regions of the old Roman Empire—Spain, the Netherlands, and France—were far more influential. Britain plucked those powers out one by one, removing them from their positions of prestige. By the mid-18th century, Britain was on its way to become the dominant power on the world scene.

      November 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
      • Mrs. Travis

        You're feeding meat to babes.

        November 28, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • JW

          It's true. But the meat is there for whoever can chew it.

          November 28, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Twist and Shout

          Mrs. Travis,
          "You're feeding meat to babes."

          Yes, lure them in with sweetened milk and pablum first, THEN snap the trap with your hideous fantasies and superst.itions.

          November 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • Mrs. Travis

          Even Jesus spoke in parables that only people blessed with Holy Spirit could comprehend. There's nothing sneaky or magical about it. You either heed his warning and obey or not. Simple, really.

          November 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • Ken

          Mrs. Travis
          So, we're all expected to heed Jesus's teachings while the Holy Spirit's blessing required in order to comprehend them? How is that not "sneaky"? Reminds me of the orders to demolish the Earth displayed in the Alpha Centauri system in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. If we're all bound by Jesus's law he should have made himself crystal clear and have provided evidence that he has the authority to enforce them.

          November 28, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
      • Twist and Shout


        Wow, what contortions you perform to make that fit your purposes!

        If you twist and tweak enough, I'll bet you could even make it fit The Beatles (Fab Four) too! (or many other people/situations)

        November 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • Catapult

        You can interpret those verses in any number of ways. This is why it's called "interpretation".
        If it brings you comfort, fine.
        If you call it truth, it's not.

        November 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • JW

          Ok... Interpret it for all of us...

          November 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
        • Twist and Shout


          It could be interpreted as vivid (perhaps drug-induced) hallucinations of Daniel's - or even sleep paralysis "visions".

          Read this interesting take:

          November 28, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • JW

          Twist- sorry, that's not an interpretation...

          November 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • Twist and Shout


          What makes you think that hallucinations and sleep paralysis 'visions' merit real-world interpretations?

          Read the article... if you dare.

          November 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          JW, here's a guarantee for you: More people around the world would call your interpretation "absolute nonsense" than "good theology." Sorry you're a weirdo.

          November 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • JW

          Cap and twist-

          Who according to God are granted the privilege to understand prophecy?

          Dan 12:10: " Many will cleanse themselves and whiten themselves and will be refined ( through Daniels prophecys).And the wicked ones will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand; but those having insight will understand.

          November 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          "and none of the wicked will understand; but those having insight will understand."

          That is just a variation of the old saw, "Only a fool says there is no 'God'"

          A quite old and sometimes effective tactic – declaring that those who do not believe your story are 'fools' (lack insight/are not special). Nobody wants to be considered 'dumb' for not seeing the Emperor's new clothes, or a 'bas.tard' for not seeing the Sultan's new turban, or a 'cuckold' for not being able to see the Miller's gold thumb.

          Even Joseph Smith used it when he gathered his 'witnesses' to his golden plates. He told them that only those with 'true faith' would be able to 'see' them.

          The ancient, primitive Hebrews who originated those Bible stories were quite adept at manipulative mind-games.

          November 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
      • Ken

        You forgot that Portugal and Germany were also part of the Roman Empire, and that makes for a lot more "horns" than fit your prophecy.

        November 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
        • JW

          It's true, though Spanish Armada, Netherlands Navy and Grance with Napolian stand out ubove Portugal and Germany.

          November 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
        • Ken

          Or none of them can compare with Britain, which leaves only one "horn". That's the problem with forcing these predictions to fit: history seldom cooperates. I grew up listening to televangelists continually reinterpreting Daniel to fit the Soviets, then China, then Iran, and on and on. It just amazes me that more people don't see through this.

          Also, there's no way that the USA figures into these ancient prophecies. Daniel and even Jesus had no clue about the existence of the Americas. There's no spot high enough for the devil to have taken Jesus to be able to see the Aztec empire alongside those he was familiar with.

          November 29, 2013 at 10:16 am |
  2. mike

    Who cares. This is an unimportant "issue".

    November 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Ken

      Yup, it's not like we're processing emigration visas, or our ambassador is negotiating any trade deals with the Vatican. Maybe too many extradition agreements for priests running away from charges here in the US were being processed?

      November 28, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  3. Mrs. Travis

    The warning Get out of Her my People come to mind as the battle fields are being drawn and the time draws near. As for mine, we shall seek out the light in a world consumed in darkness and pray that when others are standing in lines receiving their mark, we shall be held tightly in His bosom of loving grace.

    Psalms 91

    November 28, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • midwest rail

      "...and the time draws near "
      The time has been drawing near for 2,000 years. You are another in a long line of chicken littles.

      November 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Your magic spells and code words have no meaning.

      November 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • Mrs. Travis

        They are not my words, but they live in my heart as a lamp lighting my way to bring joy to my mother and father. I'm not here to tickle your ears with empty promises like the world holds out to you for the taking while scheming against you. Nor am I here to reason with the unreasonable.

        Enjoy yourself.

        November 28, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • Ken

          Unless you're willing to step away from the Bible script, I think it's you who is being "unreasonable" here.

          November 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • Mrs. Travis

          Ken, this is a belief blog. What would you suggest we discuss... the price of tea in China?

          November 28, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
        • Ken

          How much of a "discussion" can you have with people who merely quote scripture thinking that it'll actually do something, like a Harry Potter spell? If you can't explain why you think some scriptural passage is pertinent to a discussion, why quote it at all?

          November 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Science works

      Richard Dawkins answers the question: what makes us human? | BBC Radio 2

      by Jeremy Vine posted on November 28, 2013 03:24PM GMT


      November 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  4. Topher

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    November 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Happy Thanksgiving, and congratulations on your pending parenthood.

      November 28, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        And may his child escape its parent's delusions.

        November 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • ME II

      Happy Thanksgiving Topher

      November 28, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Happy Thanksgiving Topher. The Mrs. is eating for two this year!

      November 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
      • Mrs. Travis

        Congrats to you and yours.

        November 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Happy Thanksgiving, you have much to look forward to, while I only get an extra day of football, which I am grateful for.

      November 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  5. Corey Mondello

    What I find most humorous is the blantant lies right-wing mouth pieces, which includes politicians, were probably around when JFK's presidential election was bombarded with conservative Christisns stating he would serve Rome because he was a Catholic and this would not be good for the USA. Of course what came out if it was his now famous speech about separation of church and state. Which Reagan and Ayan Rand spoke about the need for, two of the biggest right-wing icons. We can't forget the "Deficit's don't matter" mantra of the GW Bush administration that got us in the political mess in the first place. I also have to wonder where all the people were when the Catholic Church abuse scandal broke, and why they support letting Church-run daycares to have hardly any rules and regulations for the safety of the children. Those that are attacking Obama will do so for any reason, just as those who stated last week that his somewhat successful talks with Iran, that won't lead to eat, was a way of him getting the focus off the healthcare issue. It's sad to say, born and raised in America, as were both my parents, I can safely day I am an American. I can also honestly say that, I am embarrassed at the stupidity of so many Americans. I am not talking IQ, I am talking basic common sense and knowledge. I bland religion, specifically Christianity, because it has been used as a tool from everything to support slavery to being against woman being allowed to wear pants, which would destroy the country. Throughout American's short life, conservative Christians have been the group of people that have caused the most oppression and unrest, I equality and unfairness, bloodshed and misery here in the USA. It's no wonder there is always a group of these kinds of people trying to white-wash the image of Christianity by trying to rewrite history in school history books, which had been going on in Texas for years, and is where the publisher of most books used in schools around the USA are published. While the rest of the world shakes their head in disgust at us, American's today celebrate a holiday so white-washed, most American's don't know the truth of it, until they reach college age. It's the best example to get my point across.....today, Thanksgiving Day.

    November 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Roger that

      Happy Thanksgiving. The day we celebrate the genocide of Native Americans.

      November 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • Sara

        Could you provide a link to anyone celebrating there deaths, or one to any modern spurce that doesn't blame disease for the major depopulation?

        November 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • Roger that


          Like Corey was saying, it's been white-washed.

          November 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Beware the white man bearing blankets.

          November 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • Roger that

          It's similar to Passover, the day we celebrate the killing of innocent children. Of course the Bible story is just that, a story. It didn't actually happen, but believers think that it did. Of course they overlook the part of their loving God killing innocent children. Again, white-washing.

          November 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Ken

          They all pale in comparison to the Noah's Ark story. That was almost a complete extinction of our species by this God character, and parents give their toddlers little arks as toys. Amazing!

          November 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • Sara

          You sent me a link to a single battle in one village and nothing to support a claim that even a single person is celebrating this in Thanksgiving...and certainly nothing supporting the idea that disease related deaths, which were inevitable, count as genocide. You appear to be looking for ways to be outraged and delusional about holding some secret knowledge about the history of the Americas.

          November 29, 2013 at 6:30 am |
  6. Ted

    Seems CNN=Catholic News Network lately.

    Way too much news of a dying religion. Wayyyyy.

    November 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Lately there have been several of stories involving religion in this country, but CNN is obsessed with the catholic church and is acting like a teen girl squeeing over the latest boy band.

      November 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • bostontola

      News organizations (CNN in particular) are businesses, they go where the audience wants. The pope is a shiny object that gets eye balls.

      November 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  7. bostontola

    Happy Thanksgiving folks.

    I am thankful for the asteroid that struck earth 65M years ago and set reptiles back allowing mammals to radiate.

    November 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too bostontola. It is good to be thankful.

      November 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • bostontola

        Have a great day Robert. As I get older, appreciating others provides more and more good feelings.

        November 28, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • ME II

      Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

      I'm thankful for the Cyanobacteria that likely oxygenated this world billions of years ago.

      November 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  8. 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 11:21 am |
    • There is one...

      He posts here by the name of street preacher...can you find him and yell outside his house for me?

      November 28, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • New Holiday CD

      1. Chestnuts trolling on an open fire.
      2. Santa Claus is trolling to town.
      3. The Little Troller Boy.
      4. Rudolph the red troll reindeer.
      5. Have yourself a merry trolly Christmas.
      6. Frosty the Trollman.
      7. It's beginning to look aot like trolling.
      8. Go troll it on the mountain .
      9. Grandma got trolled over by a reindeer.
      10. I saw mommy trolling Santa Claus.

      November 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • ME II

      I don't know about sinning, but you can try screaming at 1600 Penn Ave, D.C. and the neighbors across the "way".

      November 28, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  9. get the facts

    A Russian friend of mine quoted a common statement there. "when you touch poop, it begins to smell more and you begin to smell as poop as well" I think the Vatican should be fumigated and never touch again.

    November 28, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Death to Dinner

      The Vatican is way cool except for all the god stuff.

      November 28, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • get the facts

        really,, child abuse cover ups are cool to you?? Wow

        November 28, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • Apple Bush

          That is the god stuff.

          November 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  10. The Turkey That Lived

    It was the love of my delicious parents that saved me.

    November 28, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Death to Dinner

      Kill the animals, swine and fowl. Eat and enjoy. God wants us to kill and be happy and full.

      November 28, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • Man from PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals)

        I agree.

        November 28, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  11. rdn0819

    If the US embassy to the Vatican had been attacked the republicans would have been screaming, yelling and drooling about how Obama didn't protect them. The republicans are like attack dogs yelling at ANYTHING Obama decides or does. Don't they understand that the sane people have caught onto their sick sick game?

    November 28, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Sara

      Yep. But this is pretty much how political parties act in all democracies.

      November 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
  12. Ted Ward

    The move will save 1.4 million dollars!??? Seriously? One POINT four million bucks? Since when is the put everyone possible on welfare, foodstamps and Obamacare administration care one jot about saving any money!? 1.4 million isn't even pocket lint for this administration. Ask them how much them how much the actual moving will cost, plus the necessary refurbishing of an entirely new location with communications, entrances, etc. We don't see that figure anywhere, do we? In diplomacy, appearance counts for almost everything, and this has all the appearance of a diplomatic snub from an administration that now has a long record of leftist "progressive"(sic) animus towards anything that doesn't fit into their narrow and puritanical church of Political Correctness.

    November 28, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • get the facts

      we need to keep watch on the Vatican. Hope we bug their rooms too.

      They are a bunch of juvenile delinquents that never grew up.

      November 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • ironman59

      Since the gop cut $300 million from embassy security budgets that money can be used to improve security at other embassies. The neocons scream about the debt & defecit but lemmings like you scream even louder when something is done to save money. Must be nice living life with a double standard.

      November 28, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  13. beancounterz

    Why do we have an embassy with a church anyway? Separation of Church and State. Where is our embassy to Lutheran, Missouri Senod (sp)? Do we have an embassy with the Westboro Baptist Church? Maybe we should have an embassy with Satan, Budda and one for the Zoroastrians too.

    November 28, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • fyi

      The Vatican is a nation.

      Yeah, it's a theocracy - even a cathlocracy!

      November 28, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • fyi

        Actually, it's officially called Vatican City State:

        Vatican City, officially, Vatican City State, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of around 840. This makes Vatican City the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.

        November 28, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Roman Catholic Church is not American.

      November 28, 2013 at 11:30 am |
      • CharlesP

        Like many Americans, this guy probably doesn't realize that there's a whole world outside of the US.

        November 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Ted Ward

      Separation of church and state does not apply to our diplomatic relations to other states, many of which are effectively theocratic or religiously based. Take, for example, most Islamic nations, and Israel, with which we have long standing diplomatic relations.

      November 28, 2013 at 11:47 am |
      • Copenshaw

        Israel does not have a state religion. People just jump to conclusions.

        November 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
        • ME II

          I thought is was formed in 1947 as "the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel," (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel)

          November 28, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  14. whitepine

    I don't see the big deal. Then again...our country is deceasing our SNAP program and is complaining about taxpayers giving health to the poor and sick.

    November 28, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • igaftr

      Who is complaining about tax payers giving health to people? How are tax payers giving anyone health?

      November 28, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  15. leo

    1 of my rich friend say to me when you have money you have power leo I look him in the eyes he said nothing more guess he got wake up out of his dreams without leo saying a word 1 fool make many fools but when fool talk not all the time foolis listening

    November 28, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

      Said the talking fool....

      November 28, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      When you have a moment, I'd like to introduce you to my friends Punctuation and Grammar.
      becuase nobody can understand poorly phrased run on sentences that ramble like theres no tomorrow and have no point other than to confuse the people who are trying to read and guess what you mean but you sound insane and totally incoherent and maybe english isnt your language or maybe you started writing in a different alphabet like cyrillic or maybe farsi do you speak farsi becuase youre a muslim but i dont think youre muslim you seem christian but my friend told me that terrorists usually have bad english

      November 28, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • TNT

        Lol. Well played!

        November 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • Ken

        That was still many orders of magnitude more lucid than some theist posters here, Doc. It's really difficult to act like an illiterate when you aren't actually one, eh?

        November 28, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  16. leo

    the government of rome did not kill jesus it was the religious leaders work the woman cry for jesus but jesus say to them cry not for me but for your self and childrens are the women crying today for themselves and children they tyrants of the earth have them crying those tyrants of the earth the church mosque stones have these people crying for their childrens if you are wise when you see a place call mosque church run for your life genesis 3 15 will be the cure for all religious clowns sickness

    November 28, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

      Can we have a translator please?

      November 28, 2013 at 10:31 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Agreed. Perhaps LionlyLamb can translate.

        November 28, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Were there any mosques when Jesus was alleged to have been among us?

      November 28, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  17. Doc Vestibule

    A couple in Russia are facing jail after they took their seriously injured child to a church for an emergency baptism rather than take him to a hospital.
    The two-month old baby boy sustained a severe head injury after the family were involved in a car accident in St Petersburg.
    His parents took him to the church because they were worried "he would be denied the kingdom of Heaven".


    November 28, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Science Works

      Doc and there is a peti-tion for Amazon to quit selling this book.

      Another couple found guilty of murder for parenting by "To Train Up a Child"


      November 28, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Science Works

      Doc hope topher does not get this book.

      November 28, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  18. Phil

    Put an embassy in the Vatican and Mecca, and show us all what has been hiding in secret for centuries!

    November 28, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  19. leo

    all country that is wise will keep away from all religion religons are the weeds of the earth they are being bundle today they make wars in god name for greed they are drunk on human blood for their big church mosque business in family names they take down government they kill kings they kill presidents they kill their own kind if any government is wise ask where the people get money to buy wepons poor people cant even buy food how they get money for wepons the tyrants of the earth the church mosque chosen stones no government is safe with these clowns good for nothing slaves

    November 28, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • igaftr

      Are they too poor to buy punctuation?

      November 28, 2013 at 9:56 am |
      • leo

        you can put what is missing 1 eye good for nothing slave fit that cap good

        November 28, 2013 at 10:10 am |
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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.