An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal considers the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican’s move from its standalone facility as “downgrading.” Is this true?
The Fact Checker in WaPo the claim “bogus” (They even post the unclassified 2008 IG report) and Michael McGough writing in the LA Times says its “crazy”:
Nicholson, a former Republican national chairman, and Flynn, a maverick Democrat who supported Mitt Romney for president, say that this move amounts to “downgrading the Embassy to the Holy See,” though they don’t explain how. Presumably the pope’s minions will return phone calls and emails from U.S. diplomats regardless of the address of the embassy.
But the article isn’t just unconvincing; it’s offensive. The authors float, without actually endorsing, the idea that the move is a “deliberate slap at the Catholic Church” or maybe a reflection of “veiled anti-Catholicism.” That sleazy insinuation is what you’d expect from two politicians who played diplomat for a while.
Apparently the Vatican is not terribly moved by the brouhaha.