The Rejected Ambassadors: The Plot Thickens
A couple weeks ago, Tito posted on the Washington Times report claiming the Vatican has rejected several candidates for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. It appeared the report had been satisfactorily debunked by the Catholic News Service, which quoted a statement by Father Federico Lombardi to the effect that the rumors were unreliable. Now, however, the Times Online has received confirmation of the story from “Vatican insiders”. This confirmation reconciles the two statements to a certain extent: no candidates have been officially rejected, but apparently informal rejections have taken place. Ultimately, this type of story is of little significance, but it’s always interesting to watch the interaction of the Vatican and the media. Here are some excerpts from the Times Online story:
Caroline Kennedy, the Roman Catholic daughter of the assassinated President, has been rejected by the Vatican as the next US ambassador to the Holy See because of her liberal views on abortion, stem-cell research and same-sex marriage, according to Vatican insiders.
Andrea Tornielli, the biographer of Pope Benedict XVI, said that at least two other potential ambassadors put forward by President Obama have also been blocked because they did not share the Vatican’s views on “pro-life” issues. A Vatican spokesman said that no candidates had been formally submitted “and therefore it is not true that they have been rejected”.
Vatican sources said that there had been “informal soundings” over a replacement for Mary Ann Glendon, the outgoing US ambassador to the Holy See, who is a Harvard law professor, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and close to the Pope.
The Vatican hopes that the issue can be resolved before Mr Obama meets the Pope in the margins of the G8 summit to be held on the island of Sardinia in early July.
Raymond Flynn, a former US ambassador to the Vatican, told the Boston Herald that the views held by Ms Kennedy, 53, were “problematic”. “It’s imperative, it’s essential that the person who represents us to the Holy See be a person who has pro-life values,” he said.
Mr Obama was said to have wanted to reward Ms Kennedy for supporting his election. The other rejected nominees reportedly included Douglas Kmiec, professor of constitutional law at Pepperdine University and a former legal adviser to Presidents Reagan and George Bush Sr, who urged American Catholics to vote for Mr Obama.
The full article is here.
h/t to Mirror of Justice.