Here’s more evidence — as if some out there really needed it:
White House Concerned over Vatican Threats
President Barack Obama’s spokesman said Monday that the White House is concerned by war threats coming from Vatican City, as the administration issued sanctions against a Vatican bank and official.
The remarks came in response to Vatican state media reports that the secretive Holy See was cancelling the 84-year-old Lateran Treaty that ended political strife between the Vatican City state and the then Kingdom of Italy.
Threats will only “further isolate” the Vatican, Carney says
“We are certainly concerned by the Vatican’s bellicose rhetoric,” Obama spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at the White House. “And the threats that they have been making follow a pattern designed to raise tension and intimidate others. The Holy See will achieve nothing by threats or provocation, which will only further isolate Vatican City and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Europe.”
The Treasury Department announced Monday that it was designating the Vatican’s primary exchange bank, the Banco Ambrosiano, as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction. The department said the bank is used for transactions linked to the proliferation network.
Treasury also made the same designation against Odilo Cardinal Scherer, widely seen as a leading contender to replace departed strongman Benedict XVI (aka Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger), who oversees production of the Vatican’s ballistic missiles. The designation freezes any assets in the U.S. and prohibits transactions with Americans.
Obama National Security adviser Tom Donilon told a meeting of the American Anti-Catholic League in New York that the Vatican’s claims may be “hyperbolic.” He said the United States will protect its allies.
“There should be no doubt: we will draw upon the full range of our capabilities to protect against, and to respond to, the threat posed to us and to our allies by the Holy See,” Donilon said in remarks prepared for delivery distributed by the White House. “This includes not only any Vatican use of weapons of mass destruction but also, as the President made clear, their transfer of nuclear weapons or nuclear materials to other states or non-state entities. Such actions would be considered a grave threat to the United States and our allies and we will hold the Curia fully accountable for the consequences.”
Donilon also said Obama will meet with newly inaugurated Italian Prime Minister Beppe Grillo at the White House in May.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said current U.S.-Italy military exercises — that Vatican City views as a provocation — are conducted annually and are defense-orientated. She said the Holy See had been notified beforehand.
Italy and the United States began the annual military drills Monday despite Vatican threats to respond by voiding the treaty that ended its previous hostilities with Italy and launching a nuclear attack on the U.S.
After the start of the drills, Italian officials said their curial counterparts didn’t answer two calls on a hotline between the sides, apparently following through on an earlier vow to cut the communication channel because of the drills.
French media were citing a story in the Monday edition of the Vatican’s ruling party newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, as saying the treaty is no longer in effect.
Anti-war demonstrators turned out near the U.S. Embassy on the Via Veneto in the Italian capital of Rome to protest the start of the drills.
The Holy See had launched a bombast-filled propaganda campaign against the drills, which involve 10,000 Italian and about 3,000 American troops, and against last week’s U.N. vote to impose new sanctions over the Holy See’s Feb. 12 nuclear test. Analysts believe much of that campaign is meant to shore up loyalty among citizens and the military for the Vatican’s soon-to-be-identified new “pope.”
The Holy See isn’t believed to be able to build a warhead small enough to mount on a long-range missile, and the Vatican’s military has repeatedly vowed in the past to scrap the 1929 Lateran Treaty. The Vatican wants a formal peace treaty with NATO as a whole, security guarantees and other concessions, as well as the removal of 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in and around Rome.
Imagine there’s no heaven.
It’s easy if you try.
No hell below us;
Above us only sky.
Imagine all the people living for today.
Imagine there’s no countries.
It isn’t hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for,
And no religion, too.
Imagine all the people living life in peace.
You may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
I hope some day you’ll join us,
And the world will be as one.
No. Wait a minute. That article was actually about North Korea. Oops.