Vatican diplomatic influence seen in decline
November 30, 2011
Ireland is the first nation to announce that it is closing its embassy at the Vatican, but may not be the last, observes John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.
Recognized for centuries as an important center of diplomatic activity, the Vatican is no longer regarded as a major international player, especially by Western governments, Allen says. Some diplomats express impatience with the Holy See's emphasis on religious freedom, wishing that Vatican diplomats would become more involved in talks on international crises. Others note the declining public influence of Catholicism in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal.
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