I was chatting with a couple of friends over lunch about the uselessness of Dan Brown's writing and general sense of history. Personally, if he wanted to make amends for the literary abuses he's inflicted, he could offer a literary award for worthy writing; it's like Nobel's effort to make up for the discovery of dynamite. The centerpiece of that conversation had to do with the existence of the Vatican. Simply put, until you get to Girabaldi and Mussolini, there is no Vatican. I don't know what the hang-up with the word "Vatican" is, but it does seem popular.
This news report from BBC Online should remind readers that the Vatican is not the same thing as any other secular power. It strives to accomplish the work of the Church universal by coordinating various efforts and necessary administrative tasks. Therefore, I can understand exactly why the Vatican is now trying to distance itself from the downward spiral of the Italian government. Given the general instability of the Italian government, I'm surprised that the severing didn't come sooner.