Tuesday, April 15, 2008

State Dept's Human Rights Report:
Vatican City Exempted

For 24 years the U.S. has recognized Vatican City as a city/state, and as such, we've extended full diplomatic courtesies, including appointing ambassadors and even establishing an embassy, separate from the one with Italy, with the Holy See. The Vatican City embassy web site gives some history:
Formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See were established in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. The mission works in partnership with the Holy See on global issues including HIV/AIDS, world hunger, religious freedom and human rights. As a global entity, the Holy See is influential on many issues and has far-reaching influence in even the most remote corners of the world.
That's quite an enormous agenda with have with the Vatican, especially given the fact that it has a population of around 1,000. Yes, the Vatican has tremendous sway over vital matters of mutual concern with the U.S., and the city/state should be judged on its human rights record and actions by the State Department when preparing its annual human rights report.

But Vatican City has never been included in the State Department's influential yearly survey. Even the tiny republic of San Marino is rated for human rights matters by the department, showing that the small size of a recognized state is no reason to exclude a country, so why is Vatican City granted an exemption?

You won't find a human rights evaluation on Vatican City from the State Department for 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, or 1999.

Why does the U.S. government treat Vatican City equal to any other European country, in official diplomatic terms and exchange of ambassadors, and then stops short of holding the Holy See accountable for its human rights practices and statements?


Anonymous said...

Wasn't it during the 1984 meeting between Reagan and the Pope that Ronnie fell asleep?

Anonymous said...

The Vatican doesn't have a population. It's hard to abuse human rights without any humans.

It's not about what you say as a cleric, it's about what you do as a government, and the Vatican government has got no one to do anything to.