The United States announced this week that it’s re-locating its Vatican embassy into a shared compound with the embassy in Italy, a move that was brushed off as no big deal by the Holy See. But for Republicans stateside, it was just the latest “anti-religion pursuit” by the Obama administration.
A webpage set up by the National Republican Senatorial Committee contains the ominous headline, “Obama Closes Vatican Embassy.”
“The media is reporting that President Obama plans to close the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican,” the page reads. “This is just the latest anti-religion pursuit of this Administration, a slap in the face to Catholic-Americans around the country that weakens America’s position as a global leader.”
Of course, the embassy isn’t really closing. It won’t even downsize any of its personnel and the State Department estimates that the re-location will save $1.4 million a year.
And compare the NRSC’s reaction to the response from a Vatican spokesman who told CNN that relations with the United States have not been damaged, or the unnamed Vatican official who called the move “an exception, not the ideal, but not the end of the world.”