"...it’s hard to see how the Vatican is "irrelevant." I watched the build-up to the Iraq war, for example, when Tony Blair, Jose Maria Aznar, Tarik Aziz, Koffi Annan, and other diplomatic heavyweights were rotating in and out of the Vatican like clients at a deli counter. It wasn’t because they had nothing better to do; it was because John Paul II’s position on the war was moving opinion, undercutting the moral argument for the intervention.
Rarely has the Holy See been more relevant. The Vatican is, and will remain, an extraordinarily important global point of reference.