The US Embassy to the Holy See is being moved. Did the US get suspicious about something about to happen there? If I thought like a jihadist, the place I would love to attack would be right in the heart of Christianity ... the Holy See. What would be a better target than an American embassy building catering to the Pope's government?
Patricia Zapor writing at CatholicNews
A State Department spokesman Nov. 25 said plans to move the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See to a different building in Rome are based on cost savings and security concerns.
In a teleconference organized by the agency, a senior State Department official speaking on background told reporters that the U.S. mission to the Holy See will move in 2015 out of its current location in "a decidedly ugly, slab-sided" former residential property in "an unprepossessing building."
Its new location, actually a block or two closer to the Vatican, will be a more elegant free-standing building in a complex that is home to the U.S. Embassy to Italy and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization and other U.N. agencies, each in their own building, with entrances from different streets, the spokesman said.
The teleconference was arranged in response to news stories about the move that the official said have contained several "myths."
The plan has been criticized by some former U.S. ambassadors to the Holy See as downgrading the status of outreach to the Vatican. Jim Nicholson, who held the post 2001-2005, was quoted in the National Catholic Reporter as saying "it's turning this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy."
But the most recent former ambassador, Miguel Diaz, who left the post a year ago after serving since 2009, told Catholic News Service in a Nov. 26 phone interview that such characterizations are not based on the facts.
He explained that he was closely involved in decision-making about moving the embassy and doesn't believe there's any element of downgrading the post. Plans for a move have been in the works since the administration of President George W. Bush........