Prissy pedants: Vatican walls are SO not like Trump’s mean defensive wall

Prissy pedants: Vatican walls are SO not like Trump’s mean defensive wall

[Ed. – Give me a break.  NYT had to dig really deep for this.  The modern arrangement of walls in Vatican City doesn’t mean that the old walls weren’t built for defensive purposes.  They were.  Moreover, no one has seriously suggested that the walls stand today because they are needed to defend the Vatican in modern Rome.  That’s just a straw man to argue speciously against.]

Supporters of Donald J. Trump were quick to suggest on Thursday that Pope Francis was being hypocritical to criticize as un-Christian Mr. Trump’s proposal to build a wall between the United States and Mexico because the pontiff himself lives in Vatican City, a small state with sturdy walls of its own. …

But scholars who study Medieval Italy and the history of the Roman Catholic Church dismissed those criticisms as the product of a basic misunderstanding of both the geography and the history of Vatican City, a roughly 100-acre enclave in Rome that is the seat of the Holy See. …

“It isn’t all surrounded by walls, and it’s not like you need a separate visa or a passport to enter,” he said. “You wouldn’t know, almost, when you even entered Vatican City. There is a white line painted on the ground in St. Peter’s Square, but that kind of thing is not obvious everywhere.”

There are, to be sure, formidable walls in Vatican City, and much of of the site, including the gardens and the modest guesthouse that is home to Francis, is set behind them. But the walls do not entirely enclose the city-state, and in the modern era they are not meant to, historians said.

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.