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“In 1929 the Lateran Treaty was concluded between Mussolini’s Government and the Papacy. In the eyes of the Italian people this gave Mussolini further status. Under the terms of the Lateran Treaty, that part of Rome which comprises the Vatican and St Peter’s became an independent sovereign state governed by the Pope.”
“was a problem and so he passed the apartment entrance and continued to walk down the street. The porter eventually caught up with him and explained that the Via Firenze apartment had been raided. In the succeeding hours and days however, it became clear that this was the limit of the breach of the organisation’s security as all the priests reported back that the other locations were safe. New security arrangements were immediately put in place by Derry. Escapees were moved to different billets and a strict limit was put on the amount of knowledge available to those who were assisting the groups. The total picture was known only to O’Flaherty, Simpson and Derry. Clearly, however, Kappler, Koch and their associates knew what was going on in general terms. Intimation of this came in the form of an invitation to O’Flaherty to attend a reception at the Hungarian Embassy. This particular Embassy was one that the Germans often chose for informal diplomatic activities. Accepting this invitation would involve O’Flaherty leaving the sanctuary of his accommodation and there was a suspicion it might be a trap, given recent developments. However, in typical fashion, he decided to attend. As it turned out, there were not many guests but the German Ambassador was one of them. Towards the end of the evening, von Weizsaecker asked the Monsignor for a quiet word. The Ambassador explained to the Monsignor that they knew precisely the activities he was involved in so, while the Ambassador would guarantee him safe conduct back to the Vatican that night, he added, ‘If you ever step outside Vatican territory again, on whatever pretext, you will be arrested at once. Despite the consequences one could foresee, that decision has been agreed in your case and I cannot alter it. Now will you please think about what I have said?’12 O’Flaherty smiled down at the Ambassador and in a cheerful voice, which he raised so others in the room could hear, replied, ‘Your Excellency is too”
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