Vatican Rejected Three Obama Candidates For Ambassador

Today the Washington Times is reporting that the Vatican has rejected at least three candidates for ambassador.  Could one of those candidates been Doug Kmiec?  Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago?  Caroline Kennedy? 

The Headline Bistro is reporting that Senator John Kerry is pushing for Caroline Kennedy for the position.  A left-leaning Italian daily, Panorama, is speculating of the ‘glamorous’ benefits of having Miss Kennedy as the Holy See’s ambassador.

Caroline Kennedy?  You’ve got to be kidding me!  What is interesting to note is the sheer lack of understanding on behalf President Obama of what the Catholic Church stands for.  It is not a political entity, but Christ’s church on earth.  Abortion is not one of a myriad of policy differences that can be pushed under the rug when it comes to appointing a U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

The U.S. has a right to appoint whomever they want, but the Pope has the right to reject any ambassador that will not “improve relations” with the Vatican.  If President Obama appoints a pro-choice (pro-abortion) candidate, one who promotes the death of innocent children, how can this candidate  improve relations with the Holy See that defends the rights the most vulnerable among us?  Logic and reasoning seem to be lacking in finding a candidate from the Obama administration.

The following is the entire article from the Washington Times:

The Vatican has quietly rejected at least three of President Obama’s candidates to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See because they support abortion, and the White House might be running out of time to find an acceptable envoy before Mr. Obama travels to Rome in July, when he hopes to meet Pope Benedict XVI.

Italian journalist Massimo Franco, who broke the story about the White House attempts to find a suitable ambassador to the Vatican, said papal advisers told Mr. Obama’s aides privately that the candidates failed to meet the Vatican’s most basic qualification on the abortion issue.

“The informal dismissal of the first names whispered in the Obama inner circle is a signal,” Mr. Franco, a columnist with Corriere della Sera (Evening Courier), told Embassy Row in e-mail.

He said the Vatican recognized that a foreign nation is free to appoint the ambassador of its choice but that the pope is free to reject a proposed envoy if he believes the candidate would “fail to improve relations” with the Catholic city-state.

Mr. Franco, who has close connections at the Vatican, added that the rejection of the Obama candidates “would suggest that, at least so far, none of the potential Democratic diplomats were considered fit to ‘improve relations’ with the Holy See.”

Neither the Vatican Embassy in Washington nor the White House would comment Monday on the appointment of a new U.S. ambassador.

Mr. Franco – whose new book, “Parallel Empires: The Vatican and the U.S.,” explores U.S.-Vatican relations over the past 200 years – said Mr. Obama’s predicament underscores a deeper problem the Vatican has with the Democratic Party and its pro-choice positions on abortion.

He also noted that the lack of a U.S. ambassador “could become embarrassing” for the White House, if the position remains unfilled when Mr. Obama attends a summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in Italy in July. The White House is trying to arrange a time before or after the summit for Mr. Obama to meet the pope.

Since the United States established formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1984, the ambassadorial position has been held by political supporters and pro-life Catholics under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

President Reagan appointed political supporters William Wilson and Frank Shakespeare. President George H.W. Bush named Thomas Patrick Melady, a university professor. President Clinton selected former Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn and Rep. Corinne Claiborne “Lindy” Boggs, Louisiana Democrat.

President George W. Bush named three ambassadors during his two terms: James Nicholson, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee; Francis Rooney, a top campaign fundraiser; and Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard University law professor.

For the Washington Times article click here.

For the Headline Bistro article click here.

For the previous American Catholic article on this issue click here.

(Biretta Tip: Fr. Zuhlsdorf)

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  1. So now we have 3 articles with the same source. The Wash Times didn’t report anything.

    If I’m not mistaken, the US didn’t have a Vatican ambassador prior to 1980, so I’m not sure how “embarassing” it would be.

  2. M.Z.,

    The U.S. did not have formal (diplomatic) relations until President Reagan recognized this need in 1984 to help in the battle with communism (which Pope John Paul II help to bring down).

    The Washington Times and Headline Bistro offered different sides to the news of the Obama administration’s folly in finding an ambassador to the Vatican using different sources.

    Your accusation is a non-sequitur.

  3. Phillip,

    If President Obama is offering such type candidates, it says a lot about his lack of depth and intellect. His failure to see other perspectives and thinking that abortion is just a part of a myriad of other policies that two people can disagree upon.

    When President Obama arrogantly and disrespectfully told Pope Benedict that we have to agree to disagree on abortion, he ended any possibility of further dialogue and discussion. It’s his way or the highway and he will only fail in the end in everything that he does if he continues down this road.

  4. Tito,

    Didn’t you watch the debates between him & McCain?

    I believe it was in the last one where he had stated to the effect that abortion was not actually a moral issue and is entirely (and quite legitimately — at least, in his opinion) up to the individual.

  5. e.,

    He told Pope Benedict we must agree to disagree on what abortion is. He was opposed from budging from his position that a woman has a right to choose to kill her child. What part of ‘dialogue’ am I missing here?

  6. What I was alluding to is the fact that this incident should not strike you at all surprising given the bold-faced response Obama gave during his last debate with McCain where Obama basically said that abortion was not a moral issue and that it is up to the individual decide accordingly.

  7. Much of this has sounded like jumping on the Obama-as-unpopular-with-Catholics bandwagon.

    And now John Thavis at CNS has a pretty definitive debunking:

    “No proposals about the new ambassador of the United States to the Holy See have reached the Vatican, and therefore it is not true that they have been rejected. The rumors circulating about this topic are not reliable,” the spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told Catholic News Service April 9.The spokesman’s comments echoed off-the-record remarks by informed diplomatic and Vatican sources in Rome, who said the reports appeared to be unfounded.

    “It’s possible names have been circulated inside the U.S. administration, and perhaps rejected for some reason or other, but not because of any Vatican veto. It’s also quite possible that the whole thing is conjecture,” said one source.

  8. Michael I.,

    I didn’t delete any comments. It must have been someone else. Unless of course, you are ‘m’?

    By the way, I am on permanent moderation over at VN. What’s up with that? I don’t really care, but I don’t understand how you continue to complain to everyone how your comments are being moderated, yet you get off moderation after a day or two, while I’ve been on moderation for about two years now.

    Just comparing the discrepancy between your rhetoric and mine, which is as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon.

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