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Nov 05 2011

The Vatican sees its diplomatic role as

Can I be mean? Can I laugh a cruel laugh at the Vatican’s shock-horror that Ireland closed its “embassy” to the Vatican on account of how it was useless?

Catholic Ireland‘s stunning decision to close its embassy to the Vatican is a huge blow to the Holy See’s prestige and may be followed by other countries which feel the missions are too expensive, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

Too expensive and too worthless, being as how the Vatican isn’t actually a real state and therefore “embassies” to it are kind of pointless. It’s been very kind and theocratic and respectful for countries to send ambassadors all this time, but all the same the Vatican really does need to learn to stand on its own two feet in their pretty red shoes.

Ireland will now be the only major country of ancient Catholic tradition
without an embassy in the Vatican.

“This is really bad for the Vatican because Ireland is the first big Catholic
country to do this and because of what Catholicism means in Irish history,” said a Vatican diplomatic source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Yes and what does Catholicism mean in Irish history? Centuries of being priest-ridden; Magdalen laundries; industrial “schools” which were actually prisons for children; child rape; refusal to do anything about child rape.

Dublin’s foreign ministry said the embassy was being closed because “it yields no economic return” and that relations would be continued with an ambassador in Dublin.

The source said the Vatican was “extremely irritated” by the wording equating diplomatic missions with economic return, particularly as the Vatican sees its diplomatic role as promoting human values.

Promoting human values. Human values.  What the fuck does the Vatican have to do with promoting human values – the whole point of the Catholic church is that the values are goddy values, not human values. What human values? Kidnapping single women who get pregnant and then keeping them in prison at hard labor for years, after taking their babies away from them? Kidnapping the children of poor women and keeping them in prison at hard labor for years? Telling poor women their babies died and selling those babies to people with more money, as nuns and priests did in Spain? Protecting child-raping priests and bullying their victims into silence? Ordering people not to use condoms for no earthly reason, in the full knowledge that many people will die as a result, leaving orphan children? Human values – how dare the Vatican “see its diplomatic role as promoting human values”?

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  1. 1
    cag

    The catholic church has calculated human value. The number they came up with is 10%.

  2. 2
    Mandrellian

    Oh, this made me chuckle with shadenfreude:

    – “This is really bad for the Vatican…”

    Then it can only be good for Ireland. There wouldn’t be many other nations that have suffered under the Roman yoke as much or for as long as Ireland.

    Sometimes my jaw just drops when the Vatican cries victim. An organisation less self-aware (and less aware of its public perception) would be hard to find – you’d probably have to look at a US merchant bank, NewsCorp or a corrupt third-world dictatorship.

  3. 3
    Mandrellian

    And, might I add, I’ve always thought embassies should be reserved for representatives from actual countries – not from medieval theme parks.

  4. 4
    d cwilson

    The Vatican is the world’s smallest country. It consists of what? The Pope’s house and a few other palaces?

    Why does any other nation need an embassy for that?

  5. 5
    Ahab

    Perhaps this will force the Catholic CHurch to think long and hard about its policies.

  6. 6
    julian

    RCC’s biggest conceit remains thinking the world should hang on its every word.

  7. 7
    JennieL

    Somewhat OT, but this made me curious whether Australia has an embassy in the Vatican.

    I was bitterly disappointed to discover that, oh yes, it does. Moreover, this is a recent thing: it was announced in 2008.

    The about us page burbles smugly about how it

    allows Australia to expand dialogue with the Vatican in areas including human rights, political and religious freedom, inter-faith dialogue, food security, arms control, refugees and anti-people trafficking, and climate change.

    ARE YOU FRICKING KIDDING ME??!
    “Human rights, political and religious freedom.” Yeah, the Vatican is such an authority on those. Not to mention, Australia’s Cardinal George Pell is a raving climate change denier.

    <steam starts coming out of ears>

  8. 8
    Ophelia Benson

    Go, Jennie!

    Hey you peeps in Oz should lobby for a panel on this at the GAC.

  9. 9
    Ophelia Benson

    Whew – that About page is indeed sickening.

  10. 10
    'Tis Himself

    The McCullough Report (2005) and the Ryan Commission Report (2009) showed widespread sexual and other abuses of Irish children by Catholic clergy. But the Catholic Church is still stonewalling attempts to bring child rapists to trial. The Catholic hierarchy continues to be more concerned with the prestige and dignity of the church than with the welfare of children.

  11. 11
    Didaktylos

    Are there actually any physical foreign embassy buildings within the Vatican itself, or do they all “share quarters” with their country’s Rome embassy?

  12. 12
    Ophelia Benson

    None of them share quarters with their country’s embassy in Italy, because the Vatican refuses to recognize any embassy that tries that on. (How extraordinary is that!) So they must all be in Vatican city.

  13. 13
    JennieL

    Hey you peeps in Oz should lobby for a panel on this at the GAC.

    Now, that is actually a good idea. Hmmmm…

    And Didaktylos, as far as I can tell, it’s a different embassy and building, at least for Australia. The Australian Embassy in Rome has a different street address.

    <grumble grumble hmph>

  14. 14
    Ophelia Benson

    How big is Vatican city, anyway? It’s just a neighborhood within Rome…Is it, like, the size of Hyde Park? Bigger? Smaller?

  15. 15
    Ophelia Benson

    Jennie, yesssssss, go for it. Hey go suggest it on Kylie’s blog – it’s right next door.

  16. 16
    Ophelia Benson

    She’s got contacts.

  17. 17
    RW Ahrens

    World Fact Book:

    0.44 sq. Km.

    or about .7 times the size of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

    Pop. 832 as of Jul 2011.

    Literacy rate: 100%.

  18. 18
    Ophelia Benson

    Wow. Not a lot of space for embassies. Maybe an embassy is just a couple of rooms.

  19. 19
    rmw1982

    “Dublin said it was closing its mission to the Vatican along with those in Iran and East Timor to help meet its fiscal goals under an EU-IMF bailout. The closures will save the government 1.25 million euros ($1.725 million) a year.”

    Bailout or no, 1.25 million Euros a year seems like small change in a government’s budget. I do wonder (with glee) if this was more Ireland telling the Vatican “F*** you, Ratzi.”

    (Link: http://news.yahoo.com/vatican-stunned-irish-embassy-closure-131052801.html)

  20. 20
    JennieL

    I do believe I will.
    While we’re at it, we can discuss why the Vatican is still allowed to be a member state of the UN.

  21. 21
    Alyson Miers

    Of course you can have a cruel laugh at the Vatican being all shocked. If we can’t point and laugh at the godbotherers, then what, indeed, can we do?

  22. 22
    Ian MacDougall

    JennieL: Don’t forget the important function that diplomatic posts like that serve: as sinecures (like the Oz embassy in Ireland for that matter) wherewith people can be rewarded for services rendered to the government of the day. Generally ex-politicians, or politicians about to become ex.

    http://www.holysee.embassy.gov.au/hyse/home.html

  23. 23
    submoron

    I became aware of these embassies when I read “The Case of the Pope” by Geoffrey Robertson. They are not in the Vatican, or that would establish islands that were nominally parts of other countries within that postage stamp sized dictatorship, but in Rome and separate from the embassies to Italy. Could anyone find out the total area occupied by nunciates as I suspect that together they’d be bigger than the Vatican itself?

  24. 24
    peicurmudgeon

    I wonder if the catholic will ever catch on to the concept that somethings don’t go away with a faux-apology and a prayer. But as I wrote that, I realized that is the essence of the role of confession in their beliefs.

  25. 25
    Stephen Turner

    I couldn’t be bothered looking it up, but I imagine there’s an Italian embassy to the Vatican as well!

  26. 26
    docslacker

    I danced a little jig when I read the news.
    More and more of my Irish friends are expressing their disgust with the RCC.

  27. 27
    shockwaveplasma

    I remember reading recently about the Australian Govt having an ambassador to the Vatican. Not really surprising to see it was done when godbotherer (First Class) Kevin Rudd was PM.

    This would have been around the time of the Mary MacKillop thing, and the Pope visiting for World Youth Day.

    I guess Rudd also thought it would get him a few favours from the National Party when he sent Tim Fisher over. The Liberal Party is also very Catholic, so it might have been able to get him some concessions from them as well.

  28. 28
    sailor1031

    “Bailout or no, 1.25 million Euros a year seems like small change in a government’s budget. I do wonder (with glee) if this was more Ireland telling the Vatican “F*** you, Ratzi.”

    It may just be the sensible response to the Vatican withdrawing its displomatic representative from Ireland this past summer after the irish PM commented about RCC Inc blocking investigations into the child-rape scandals.

  29. 29
    macallan

    Of course Germany has an embassy as well. This part from the about page made me laugh though:

    Preußen entsandte eminente Persönlichkeiten des Kulturprotestantismus nach Rom, die sich neben den Beziehungen zum Vatikan wesentlich auch mit der römischen Geschichte, insbesondere mit der römischen Antike befassten ( z. B. Wilhelm von Humboldt, Barthold Niebuhr und Christian von Bunsen). Die preußische Gesandtschaft bereitete das Umfeld für die Gründung des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts im Jahre 1829, welches zunächst seinen Sitz in der Gesandtschaft auf dem Kapitol im Palazzo Caffarelli nahm.

    translation:

    Prussia sent eminent personalities of cultural Protestantism to Rome which, in addition to relations to the Vatican, focused particularly on Roman antiquity (such as Wilhelm von Humboldt, Barthold Niebuhr and Christian von Bunsen). The Prussian Legation was preparing the environment for the establishment of the German Archaeological Institute in 1829, which first took his seat in the embassy at the Capitol in the Palazzo Caffarelli.

    How very, very appropriate.

  30. 30
    lordshipmayhem

    I must admit that I was unaware that child rape was a basic human value. I must thank the Roman Catholic Church for telling me otherwise, for it gives me yet another reason to point at it and laugh.

  1. 31
    Irish Government Closes Vatican Embassy | Filipino Freethinkers

    [...] view their diplomatic role with Ireland as ‘promoting human values’. As Ophelia Benson wrote in a post about the closure of the embassy: Promoting human values. Human values. What the fuck does the Vatican have to do with promoting [...]

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