Former Vatican Ambassador Calls Out Obama for Hostility Toward Church

President Obama, the most virulent anti-Catholic President in modern history, took another shot at the Church when he closed the US Embassy to the Holy See.

In one of the most specious explanations I’ve read in quite some time, the administration says that the United States needs to close the US Embassy at the Vatican because of  – get ready for this now — “security reasons … because of last year’s attack on the American facility at Benghazi.”

When someone comes up with a “reason” as stupid as that, they’re trying to insult you.

Former American Ambassador to the Holy See, Raymond Flynn, said what I think has become obvious when he stated that this action “reflects this administration’s hostility toward the Catholic Church … It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it’s also those who restrict our religious freedom and close down our Embassy to the Holy See.”

This president is not just pro abortion or pro gay marriage. He is aggressively and actively anti-religious freedom and anti-Catholic.

From the Washington Times:

The Obama administration, in what’s been called an egregious slap in the face to the Vatican, has moved to shut down the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See — a free-standing facility — and relocate offices onto the grounds of the larger American Embassy in Italy.

The new offices will be in a separate building on the property, Breitbart reported.

And while U.S. officials are touting the relocation as a security measure that’s a cautionary reaction to last year’s attacks on America’s facility in Benghazi, several former American envoys are raising the red flag.

It’s a “massive downgrade of U.S.-Vatican ties,” said former U.S. Ambassador James Nicholson in the National Catholic Reporter. “It’s turning this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy. The Holy See is a pivot point for international affairs and a major listening post for the United States, and … [it’s] an insult to American Catholics and to the Vatican.”

Mr. Nicholson — whose views were echoed by former envoys Francis RooneyMary Ann GlendonRaymond Flynn and Thomas Melady — also called the justification for closing the existing facility a “smokescreen,” Breitbart reported.

“That’s like saying people get killed on highways because they drive cars on them,” he said in the report. “We’re not a pauper nation … if we want to secure an embassy, we certainly can.”

Moreover, the existing facility has “state of the art” security, he said.

Mr. Flynn, meanwhile, said the administration’s announcement reflects a hostility toward the Catholic Church.

“It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it’s also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See,” he said in the National Catholic Reporter. “[There’s no] diplomatic or political benefit to the United States” from the relocation at all, he added.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/26/obamas-call-close-holy-see-embassy-slap-face-catho/#ixzz2lrEVl1qP
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  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    When I put forth a couple of years ago that Obama was the most anti-Catholic president in our history (on Deacon Greg’s blog when he was taking comments), I was excoriated by some, who I assume were left leaning Catholics. It’s good to see that Democrats such as yourself Rebecca and Ambassoador Flynn see it with me. I saw that article yesterday and clenched my teeth. I have reached a point where i don’t blow a fuse any longer. I just expect the anti-Catholic position to come from this administration. The thing is we need to gather and march in protest. We need to publically express our anger.

    • hamiltonr

      I dread to think what’s ahead Manny. If the Supreme Court rules wrong on the HHS Mandate, we are going to be looking at a long period of third tier citizenship for American Christians. My choice is made, but a lot of other people are going to have to “chose this day whom you will serve,” and a good many of them will chose the world over Him.

      I saw this coming from way back, but the HHS Mandate jump-started me. That’s why I do this blog. It’s my part.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        I completely agree. I’m on pins and needles as to how SCOTUS will decide, but frankly it should be a slam dunk against the administration. But I swore the individual mandate in Obamacare was a slam dunk unconstituional and they proved me wrong. Thank you for this blog.

        • FW Ken

          I hope so, too, Manny, but I thought the SCOTUS would recognize the clear bias in the Prop 8 ruling and they didn’t.

      • AnneG

        I think you are totally right, Rebecca. But, I think the total disdain for the rule of law, constitutional rights and freedoms are much more important than the physical location of the embassy.

    • SisterCynthia

      It should be Christians in general, not just baptized Catholics, protesting. I’ve tried to point out to various evangelical Protestant friends who shrug off anti-Catholicism in movies and politics, that the World does NOT differentiate the way denominationalized Christians do. When they depict a priest, the only person in a debauched story who is supposed to have faith, as a perv, a closet alcoholic, or just out of touch with Real Life, they are attacking ALL Christians who hold to traditional Scriptural values, as hypocritical buffoons, not “merely” Catholics.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        Yes, most definitely, and on Deacon Greg’s blog I said he was both the most anti-Christian and specificaly most anti-Catholic president. Thank you for correcting me. In fact, in my experience the Liberals I’ve come across (and I know many living in NYC) hate the Evangelicals even more than Catholics.

        • SisterCynthia

          I didn’t mean it as a correction, more of a lament that those who should stand together have let old grievances keep them apart in the face of cultural warfare. There are certainly going to be areas of disagreement between a good Catholic and an ardent Calvinist or Baptist or whatever, but at the very least, the love of Christ and commitment to Scriptural norms should be enough for us to come together in common cause for the good of society, and to preserve our right TO practice our various expressions of faith. If we cannot stand together now, we will suffer or hide together later. :(

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            I totally agree. And when it comes to the HHS mandate it does seem like most Christian faiths are in agreement, at least the ones that aren’t very Liberal.

      • FW Ken

        SC -

        Many years ago I met a woman from Utah. I think she was a Lutheran, but for this purpose it doesn’t matter. She said that in Utah, when Christians who aren’t Mormons meet, they don’t discuss doctrinal differences, but meet as brothers and sisters in Christ. As a Catholic convert, I firmly hold that “all the Catholic Church teaches is revealed by God”. I hope you believe that about your confession. But we aren’t each other’s enemies. In this day and time, there are secularist forces trying to push Christians out of the public square. They are demanding that we shut up, pay our taxes, and let them run the country. Unfortunately, they currently hold power in Washington and many state legislatures. They aren’t all Democrats, either.

        The good news is that the American people have a long history of recognizing bogus ideologies and the secularist hegemony will end. Or this culture will end. One or the other.

        • SisterCynthia

          Yes, I agree with both paragraphs here, and I should say, by no means do all my friends place Catholics apart from Christians, most feel as I do, even if (unlike me) they don’t think too deep about tv and movie presentation of believers. The differences between those who believe in Christ are smaller than those who militantly disbelieve, or who profess belief but hold to the secularist view of faith’s place in life. I suppose every generation thinks theirs is at a pivotal point, and are to some extent right, but it does indeed seem that America is in the area of a major crossroads, and if she chooses badly, she will collapse. Perhaps not immediately, but within another decade or two. Between the moral/societal decay and the incomprehensible debt of the govt and citizenry, I fear for her.

  • SisterCynthia

    So, as Vlad Putin reaches out to the Holy Father, Obama pulls even a mere diplomatic presence away from the Church. I’m disgusted, but not surprised. However, it makes me sad for our country, to be run this way. :(

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com/ D. A. Christianson

    That pretty well covers it, unfortunately.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      It doesn’t, quite. There is also the slap in Italy’s face – “security considerations” meaning that Rome is no more safe for an American diplomat than Benghazi. Thank you so much, Mr.President. You may not be aware of it, but one of the things that binds Italians together is pride in our security forces, that broke the Red Brigades and brushed back the Mafia at the price of many, many courageous dead. This is an insult to them.

      • peggy-o

        Well said Fabio. I thought it was a terrible slap to Rome and Italy as well as the church. My daughter went to Italy two years ago with People to People. She spent time with a family near Venice, walked the streets of Rome, and found a Vatcan priest to bless rosaries. She felt very safe and loved the Italian people and country. We wouldn’t trust her in Benghazi but Rome is blessed. I should pray more for Obama but it gets harder all the time. I hope to see your country some day and our new pope.

  • FW Ken

    I’m going contrary on this. From what I can read, other countries combine their Italian and Vatican embassies, which saves money and enhances security. The American delegation to the Vatican will have its own building and marked entrance.

    The Obama administration is certainly hostile to Catholics. But I’m not sure that this is evidence of that.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      When you say that sort of thing, make sure nobody who knows the city of Rome hears you. You have talked utter crap. No first-rate country has joint embassies to Italy and the Vatican. I know that for a fact for Russia, France, Britain, and Germany. Joint embassies are for tiny and distant countries. America cheapens itself with this piece of crap, and incidentally insults Italy – for Mr.Obama’s information, Rome is NOT like Bengasi.

      • FW Ken

        I found after posting this that we’ve had this interchange on another thread, which is fine. I was hoping you would show up and answer a question I have. How far from the Vatican are the old and new locations for the embassy? Are embassies physically within the Vatican?

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          Neither location is at all near the Vatican. They are both on the eastern bank of the river, within the circle of the imperial walls, but they could not be much further from each other either. The Embassy to Italy is in a former World War One military hospital on Via Vittorio Veneto, the famous shopping avenue, near Porta Pinciana; the Embassy to the Holy See is in the sheltered and expensive residential neighbourhood of the Aventine Hill. But physical closeness to the actual territory of the Vatican does not matter, because the Church has numerous institutions – national colleges, universities, and so on – all over Rome.

          • FW Ken

            Thank you.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              One thing that American dimensions might make it easy to misunderstand: all these distances are rather small in American terms. A man walking briskly might cover them in from one to two hours.

      • Donalbain

        The UK Embassy to the Holy See is co-located with the UK Embassy to the Republic of Italy at Via XX Settembre in Rome. This follows the closing of the UK’s Embassy to the Holy See’s rented building in 2006 which led to protests from the Vatican “that senior Holy See officials cannot be expected to go to Villa Wolkonsky”, the UK Embassy to the Italian Republic.[10]

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          Ah, yes. 2007. Gordon Brown as Prime Minister – the most incompetent and damaging character in the last 200 years, the man who, one, nearly bankrupted the United Kingdom, and, two, set the standard – before Obama – for vicious anti-Catholicism. On both points, an example to imitate. And I don’t believe that supposed Vatican quote for a second.

          • Donalbain

            No. Not 2007, 2006. It says 2006 in the paragraph you are responding to. And Gordon Brown was not Prime Minister in 2006. Tony Blair was. I guess he was viciously anti Catholic as well?

    • Sus_1

      I agree. Catholicism is not the only religion in the United States. If the President made all decisions around Catholics then that would be a slap in the face to all the other religions practiced on this country.

      I have no problem with the President doing what he needs to do to make sure Benghazi never happens again. Rome is not dangerous but the money saved by sharing facilities can go to another country where it is dangerous. Everyone was all over the President and his administration about what happened. He is trying to fix it only to add this to his list of hating Christians. Ridiculous!

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        Go home. Take a course in Diplomacy. Study all the conventions and courtesies involved in relationships between states. Then open your mouth,

        • Sus_1

          Fabio, I learn from some of your comments. When you get nasty, I just feel pity for you.

          • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

            When you pronounce dogmatically on things you know nothing about, you lay yourself open to condemnation. If you react to this well-deserved condemnation with factitious pity, you only make it impossible for yourself to learn anything from your mistakes. You said something foolish and ignorant. Be aware of it. Ask those who know more than you do why they think it is foolish and ignorant. That way you might learn, instead of taking pleasure and pride in your ignorance.

        • hamiltonr

          Fabio, do not talk like that to Sus.

      • FW Ken

        Sus

        There is no religious location like the Vatican. I suppose Mecca might count, except that only Muslims are allowed there. Jerusalem? Not a religious capital. In any case, the Vatican is a crossroads of the world. There is all sorts of non-religious diplomatic reasons to have an embassy there, however it is configured.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        Sus, this if this was the only slight, it wouldn’t be much. But this is one of many. Do you realize that Ex-Ambassador Flynn is a Democrat and appointed to the Vatican by Bill Clinton? Do you really think it’s nothing if he’s upset?

        • Sus_1

          I think the world has changed considerably since Bill Clinton was President. I don’t know if Ex-Ambassador Flynn is in a position now to know about the current security concerns around the embassy.

          I do know that if our current President did nothing and there was an incident there, everyone would be screaming that he is persecuting Christians because he did nothing.

          • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

            No. Everyone would be screaming if, like in Benghazi, there was an incident AND THEN your idiot of a leader did nothing and let people die. But Rome is not Benghazi: you don’t have to send in the army from another country, and you can count on a tough and well-prepared group of local police forces. But then you don’t want to hear reason, only to defend your idiot of a leader cost what may. Your loyalty is commendable and he does not deserve it.

          • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

            You keep on saying things that are totally irrelevant to the facts. “The world” has not changed; some things have changed, some have not, and some have gone. One thing that has not changed is the entirely artificial, game-like environment of diplomacy. If you insist that President Obama would not use the coded language of diplomacy to send a brutal insult to the Vatican and to his own Catholic voters, you understand neither Obama nor diplomacy.

  • Dale

    The Obama administration, in what’s been called an egregious slap in the face to the Vatican, has moved to shut down the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See — a free-standing facility — and relocate offices onto the grounds of the larger American Embassy in Italy.
    No, the US Embassy to the Vatican is not being closed. It is, however, being moved to a new compound, which it will share with the US Embassy to Italy. As such, the two embassies will share security arrangements.

    However, the embassy to the Holy See will be located in a separate building from the embassy to Italy,. It will have an entrance to the compound which is separate from the entrance used for the embassy to Italy. This entrance will open on a street different from the one used by the embassy to Italy. It will have a difference address than the embassy to Italy. It will have signage which is different from the embassy to Italy.

    All that is happening is that the embassy to the Holy See is being moved to a safer location. I don’t see how this can be considered a downgrade or anti-Catholic.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Which shows that you know NOTHING about diplomacy.

    • Justice

      Rome and italy are to two seperate nations. How would like the french embassy located in england.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        Um, actually, Rome is the capital of Italy. Rather put it like that: if you are ever playing riddles, murder the opposition with this simple question – “Which great European city is the capital of two independent states?” The answer is, of course, Rome. The Vatican itself is a fortified hill within the city of Rome, made into an independent State so that the Pope might not be the subject of any country.

  • ambrosechick

    I am not Catholic but I stand with my Catholic brothers and sisters. This action by the Obama administration is just another erosion of religious freedom for all of us. I’m gobsmacked by his blatant discrimination against Christians.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    The American Embassy to the Holy See is in Villa Damiana on the Aventine Hill – a super-luxurious residential neighbourhood made for old money and a few of the more discreet institutions, isolated from main roads (although well connected) and served by churches of incredible antiquity. The head office of the Knights of Malta (a theoretically independent state and the last redoubt of Europe’s bluest blood) is not far. It is about as likely to be struck by a riot or invaded by terrorists as one of the more exclusive gated communities in the richer towns in America. And reflecting on the two embassies, it occurs to me that their setting and environment corresponds to their different role and use and confer on each a clear atmosphere that means that the workers of each would find themselves terribly ill at ease in the other. The Embassy to the Holy See is, as I said, in the most expensive, quietest and most secure neighbourhood in inner Rome, a place for soft contacts and careful deliberation. The Embassy to Italy, a former military hospital, is a large building that towers over the bend of Via Vittorio Veneto, one of Rome’s busiest and most luxurious highways, surrounded by hotels, businesses and splendid fashion shops, and constantly at work with American citizens and foreign visa seekers. To bring them together in the Via Veneto building is an act of brutality.

    • FW Ken

      So how do the two locations compare in access to the Vatican. I realize I could eventually decipher it on a map, but that doesn’t tell me how traffic flows.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        I hate to have to tell you this, but physical closeness is not particularly important. They are at fairly similar distances – not wanting to get out a ruler and measure – but that is of no importance. First, the actual Vatican offices are spread all over Rome, and definitely not limited to the actual walled hill; and second, diplomatic contact is rarely so urgent that being physically close can make a lot of difference.

        • FW Ken

          Oddly enough, I am aware that distance is not a controlling factor; hence my comment about traffic flow.

  • Gregory Peterson

    “The new offices will be in a separate building on the property…”

    So in other words, the embassy will move from one ” free-standing (sic) facility” to another freestanding facility in a more secure location…and one which is said to be more attractive.

    Moving isn’t “shutting down,” it’s “moving to a new site.” The embassy will not be shut down at any time, though moves are always an inconvenience. Such things have been done before, so it’s not like it’s unprecedented.

    “As long as the embassy remains ‘completely separate’ from other U.S.
    missions, the Vatican official said, the new site represents a tolerable
    exception to normal practice.”

    http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/vatican-embassy-move-draws-fire-former-us-envoys

    So the move has been approved by the Vatican itself, which very much understands the needs of security in these turbulent times…but it’s not OK by you and the Washington Times?

    Conference Call With Senior State Department Official on the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican
    Press Conference
    Washington, DC
    November 25, 2013
    http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ci/vt/rm/2013/218088.htm

    http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ci/vt/rm/2013/218088.htm

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Gregory, you are a donkey. More attractive site, Hell. I have spent decades in Rome, my family live there. Via Veneto is not in any way, shape or form more attractive than the Aventine. If you don’t know what is going on, and you rely for your facts on politicians, you are apt to make a complete fool of yourself, and I have news for you, buddy, you just did. And what was the Vatican supposed to do – dictate to the USA what the USA were to do with their own men and resources? Of course the Vatican “approved”. Do you realize what it means, in diplomatic language, to say that this “represents a tolerable exception to ordinary practice”? “A tolerable exception”!! Meaning, I guess we can put up with this, but we would not recommend it to anyone; meaning, we know it’s a spiteful, useless bit of posturing, but there isn’t much we can do except make it worse. So we tolerate it.

      • hamiltonr

        Fabio, watch the name calling. For all you know, Gregory may be an eagle. :-) (No offense Gregory.)

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          If it brays like a donkey, the chances that it might be an eagle seem to me rather short. Mind you, it might be a lost eaglet brought up by donkeys and taught to bray and to stay on the ground.

  • Heloise1

    I’ve quit praying for Obama to have a “road to Damascus” moment. Now I pray that The Church can be saved from him. The time is long past for all Christians in America to Stand UP and say No. What shocks me more than this evil move by Obama is the utter silence of all the elected officials in Congress. They paint themselves Christian but they certainly don’t behave like it.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      Actually my Congressman (Michael Grimm) has spoken up. It’s in our local paper today. But I haven’t seen anything from leadership.

  • m8lsem

    The American facility in the Vatican was NOT secure, and the Vatican admits as much. The move is made to enhance security. Benghazi teaches us that security is important. The type of Muslim who attacked on 9/11 and at Benghazi has no respect for any faith other than radical Islam, and if it occurred to them to tour the Vatican wearing business suits and carrying briefcases, they could get to where they wish to do harm. Not so on the major campus of the embassy.
    Imagine the scorn for, and the attacks on the President if the move was not made, and an attack occurred inside Vatican City. The right-wing endless attacks on the President over Benghazi, a matter all steps in which were well below the decision-making level of the President, may well be responsible for this move.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      If you insist on reading A as if it meant Z, I am sorry to have to tell you that you have a problem. But you should not try to teach about the “safety” of a place to a man whose family lives there. And your utter ignorance of Rome – not to mention the fact that YOU HAVE NOT READ A WORD I WROTE – becomes clear when you say that an attack might take place “inside the Vatican”. The Aventine is not the Vatican, any more than Staten Island is Harlem. And incidentally, if you had ever been anywhere near the Vatican, you would know that it is among the most heavily guarded spots in the world, with Swiss Guards and heavily armed Carabinieri everywhere. There are elaborate and constantly reviewed security protocols between Italy and the Vatican. Nowhere is safe, but nowhere is safer than the Vatican.

      • AnneG

        Fabio, the Vatican is very safe except from pickpockets and petty theft.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          Which is why the Vatican has a criminal court and a jail for such gentry. OF COURSE where millions of pilgrims come every year there will be thieves and pickpockets! Incidentally, there is nothing funny about altering my name. Or perhaps you are dislexic and can’t tell the difference?

          • AnneG

            Fabio, sorry about your name. I have a friend named Fabiola. Just autocorrect on my ipad. And, no I’m not dyslexic, either. I didn’t know they ever caught those guys pickpocketing.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              And how! But you can never catch them all, especially now that Rome is literally besieged by Gypsy settlements that exist on street begging and petty crime. I’m sorry to sound racist, but that is one ethnic group that seems to live on crime. IN the last year or two, the mood in Rome has got rather ugly. But that has nothing to do with the security of Rome’s embassies – Gypsies steal, they don’t do terrorism.

  • FW Ken

    Perhaps Rome is not so safe:

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Nowhere is safe. So do us all a favour and keep all your embassies behind barbed wire in the Pentagon. That will work.

  • FW Ken

    http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2013/11/putin-with-pope-francis-enemies-of.html

    A church desecrated in Rome was the point of that last comment.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Oh. And I am sure that if you look you will find someone murdered someplace, or perhaps a robbery, or even a traffic jam. In a city of three million people, these things can happen.

      • FW Ken

        The desecration was a political act. I wouldn’t say “terrorism”, but some might and I wouldn’t argue. Political acts are not like traffic jams.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          And a few people screaming bad words and taking off their clothes is the same as an armed force assaulting a diplomatic compound. Sure they are.

  • AnneG

    Rome is beautiful, but services are terrible. The US has Three ambassadors to Italy, THREE. That is very expensive. Security and services like GSO and Security will be easier in a city where the only thing easy is coffee in the morning and wine at lunch. I can see why a logical administration would do this. The administration is very hateful towards Catholics, particularly, and that may be the inspiration for the move, though. Plus, the old building was ugly and probably, the electricity probably goes out a lot.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Diplomacy is always expensive. Period. The US embassy to Italy is the least safe of the lot, quite simply because it is on top of a densely trafficked main road: a car bomb might conceivably come close, whereas Villa Domiziana, surrounded by high walls and gardens and “state of the art” security, cannot possibly be reached except, perhaps by military helicopters. (Hey, you know, Rome is so UNSAFE! We have to keep all possibilities into consideration!)

      As for Rome, your opinions are worthless. Power cuts happened forty years ago, which gives us an idea of when you last heard anything about the town; they were a part of the great oil-and-inflation crisis of the nineteen-seventies. Rome is crowded and sometimes hard to deal with, because it has more things to be protected than any other place in the world. The second underground line took thirty years to be built. Want to know why? because if you kick the ground in and around Rome, out spurt archaeological treasures. Obviously you can’t take a place like that, both the greatest concentration of precious antiquities in the world and the active working place of three million people and capital of two independent states, and expect to have enormous square grids of freshly-made roads. What any of this has to do with security you would have to explain, were it not clear that yours is simply a desperate attempt to use any kind of negative notice, however old, however ill-understood, in order to make the place sound somehow worse than it is.

      • AnneG

        Fabio, Not so long ago, my experience. In this century. One of the fascinating things about Rome is the layer upon layer of history. I was commenting on requirements of the US Embassy for personnel, etc. diplomacy is expensive and necessary. Moving the Mission to FAO and Vatican to the same grounds frees up some other space for somebody else to use. I’m sure the neighbors will be happy. Don’t take it personally. In LA nothing works, traffic is awful and it’s ugly. I’d much rather have Rome if given the choice.
        It is Bella Roma and that’s just the way she works.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          There are no black-outs in Rome. Are you sure the Embassy had paid its bills?

          • AnneG

            Haha, maybe not! Sometimes it would be the whole neighborhood.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              Look, I’m not calling you a liar, but that is one of Rome’s most expensive neighbourhoods, and there would be hell to pay – and I mean it – if power ever went out. My mother, my father and my brother live in various parts of the town, and I NEVER heard of any such things since about 1978. My brother is disabled, and my mother has a sister who is hospitalized and severely dependent, so if there were blackouts they would be in danger of their lives and I would hear about it. Not to mention that no such thing ever happens when I am visiting. I can’t imagine what you are talking about, because it is simply nothing to do with the city I have known for half a century.


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