The relocation of the US Vatican Embassy onto Italian soil has come under fire from past US ambassadors who say the move will diminish its influence, though State Department officials defend the decision as good for security, reports CNA.
Former US ambassador to the Holy See James Nicholson said the embassy’s planned move to the grounds of the Embassy to Italy is “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,” Nicholson said. “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.”
Nicholson, who served as ambassador from 2001-05 under President George W Bush, said that the State Department has sought for years to relocate the embassy. “It came up when I was an ambassador. I explained the folly of this and it went away. But now they seem determined to do this,” he said.
Jeb Bush Perpetuates Myth That Obama Is Closing The Vatican Embassy (Huffington Post)