U.S. embassy to the Holy See starts transfer to brand-new area …

Rome, Italy, Aug 11, 2015/ 05:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Today the united state Embassy to the Holy See has actually begun its move to a brand-new structure-- which shares the exact same campus as both the U.S. Embassy to Italy and the united state Mission to the United Nations.

"We are anticipating a larger, more contemporary center that can provide a more practical space for our personnel," U.S. ambassador Ken Hackett said in an Aug. 11 statement announcing the move.

He stated the Unites States' relationship with the Holy See "is very important and continues to grow as we interact to promote human rights, social justice and peace worldwide," adding that the new facility provides "a more robust work area" to carry out their ongoing collaboration with the Vatican and with the Catholic humanitarian and academic neighborhoods in Rome.

"We will have greater area for the future possibility of personnel boosts, and we will certainly have a substantial increase in area to host visitors for meetings and events."

Although the brand-new building will be on the same building as the other two U.S. objectives in Rome, it will certainly have a separate space and entryway.

The embassy is set to open its brand-new center Aug. 17. The new chancery structure will be formally inaugurated in early September, and high-ranking U.S. Department of State and Holy See officials are expected to be present.

Antoinette Hurtado, Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, told CNA Aug. 11 that she is thrilled for the move "since our new facility is really a substantial increase in size and quality."

"It's more modern-day and practical while also maintaining the creative and historical aspects of the renovated 1920s structure we are moving into," she said.

With a number of huge conference rooms instead of the small space made use of in the previous building, the embassy will "finally have the area to host visitors and associates for conferences and conferences," she added.

The brand-new building was recently refurbished in order to be more environmentally-friendly, and is equipped with upgrades developed to save resources and cut operating costs.

It is also the first U.S. diplomatic structure to get a certification in Management in Energy and Environmental Design in the Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance category.

Although the moving of the united state Embassy to the Holy See is being welcomed by current staff, it hasn't constantly been received with such enthusiasm.

In 2013 previous U.S. ambassadors criticized the choice, stating the step would diminish the embassy's impact.

Previous U.S. ambassador to the Holy See James Nicholson told CatholicVote.org in 2013 that the embassy's planned transfer to the grounds of the U.S. Embassy to Italy is "another symptom of the antipathy of this administration both to Catholics and to the Vatican-- and to Christians in the Middle East."

"This is a key post for intermediation in many sovereignties however specifically in the Middle East," Nicholson said. "This is anything but a great time to decrease the stature of this post. To reduce the stature of this post is to decrease its influence."

The U.S. did not establish complete polite relations with the Vatican until 1984, in part because of anti-Catholic belief.

Criticism was also voiced by former U.S. ambassadors Francis Rooney, Mary Ann Glendon, Raymond Flynn and Thomas Melady.

Nevertheless, State Department officials safeguarded the decision as great for security, and Nicole Thompson of the State Department's press relations workplace mentioned security as the main motive for the move.

Security was evaluated after an attack on a U.S. polite post in Benghazi, Libya, eliminated the united state ambassador to the nation. Thompson likewise said the move will save money on operating expense.

"We turn down any tip that this decision, made for security and management factors, constitutes a downgrading of our relations with the Holy See," she stated.

Regardless of the previous controversy, the Aug. 11 statement on the step holds that the moving fulfills the united state Department of State security's suggestions, specifically their call for U.S. government centers to be collocated when located in the exact same metropolitan area.

It is also said the embassy's long-term costs will certainly decrease, because they won't be paying lease charges for the existing building.

Tags: Diplomacy

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