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There are a bunch of reports flying around the internet that Obama wants to appoint Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to the Vatican, and the Vatican is rejecting her because of her stand in favor of abortion.

Vatican sources told Il Giornale that their support for abortion disqualified Ms Kennedy and other Roman Catholics President Barack Obama had been seeking to appoint. UK Telegraph Updated 11 Apr

Or maybe not.

A Vatican spokesman dismissed reports that the Holy See has rejected several candidates for U.S. ambassador to the Vatican because of their support for legal abortion.

"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. Catholic News Servce (CNS) 9 Apr

So what gives?

First, let's be clear that the Vatican - or any other state - has the right to reject a proposed ambassador, or later on to declare the ambassador - or any other diplomat - persona non grata and demand that he or she leave the country. But this is usually for some personal reason; the receiving country somehow finds this person offensive or unsuitable.

But what the Vatican is doing, if the reports are true, is refusing to accept someone whose policies they object to, even though those policies are the ones officially held by the country she represents.

Abortion, even if under siege, is legal in the United States. The new President of the United States campaigned on a platform of continuing legalized abortion, and once in office, acted to remove abortion and family planning restrictions that Bush had put in place.

Now, an ambassador does not act on his or her own, and is not appointed so that he or she can carry out whatever policies and advocate whatever views he or she happens to favor. The job of an ambassador is to represent the President of the United States and to be a forceful advocate for the policies and positions of the President. A pro-choice president is going to expect, and rightly so, that his ambassadors will represent his pro-choice position.

So the Vatican is not going to be able to dictate that only an ambassador who agrees with it will be acceptable. As one wag put it, does this mean that China "can insist that only someone sympathetic to dictatorships be named as the US ambassador there?" Of course not.

Obama won the election, and he gets to pick the people he wants to represent him overseas. That's what winning means. The Vatican knows this; they've been heavy players in the diplomatic world since it was flat.

The Vatican has not been in the habit of vetting the personal beliefs or ideas of candidates before accepting them as ambassadors, [Vatican sources] said. CNS

On top of which, the description of the rejection - Obama floated three names, including Kennedy's, and the Vatican reject them all - in contrary to the way the process actually works. Quoting the Catholic News Service story again, where they asked Thomas Melady, a former (Republican) ambassador to the Holy See:

[N]ames of potential nominees are proffered to governments in utmost secrecy. That secrecy is part of a protocol dating back centuries, which is generally strictly observed, said Melady, now a senior diplomat in residence at the Institute of World Peace in Washington.

The typical response to such proffers is no more than an indication that the person suggested "is agreeable" or that there is "no objection" ....

and that the only time the Vatican has objected is when the ambassador's private life has not been in keeping with Catholic morality. There has been no indication that Obama has changed this protocol for this or any other ambassadorial appointment.

(A contrary report says that the Vatican requires ambassadors to the Holy See to be anti-abortion:

One of the few conditions the Vatican places on diplomats accredited to the Holy See is that they hold pro-life views in line with Church teaching. Newsmax  2 Apr

but this same story says the Vatican has already rejected three proposed ambassadors, so its veracity is suspect.)

So what we seem to be looking at here is a preemptive campaign by the anti-abortion folks to force Obama to name one of their own to "represent" him in Rome. And to generally stir up Catholics against the Democrats.

The Telegraph reports that Caroline Kennedy has been turned down as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, as a result of her pro-abortion views. ...

In any case, it's a clear message that the Vatican is taking a harder line with pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. It remains to be seen if this will gain significant traction with the Catholic electorate by 2010/2012. Conservatives for Palin 11 Apr

Reaction to Caroline Kennedy’s potential appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican continued to sour yesterday as one conservative Catholic group called the possible nomination "a calculated insult to the Holy See." ...

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Raymond L. Flynn told the Herald on Wednesday the strong pro-choice stance taken by JFK’s daughter is "problematic," and giving her the Vatican appointment would be "a mistake." Boston Herald 12 Apr

"The chatter on the streets this week is that at least three nominees have been shot down by the Vatican," [Bill] Donohue [President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights] said.  "I mean, the Obama administration is smart enough at least not to say we’ve chosen Caroline Kennedy, and then just let the boys in the Vatican find out by reading the New York Times.  They’re vetting a few.  The reports are that three have been shot down already. One would expect that the reason for it is that [the Vatican] wants someone who is pro-life.  I would bet my last dollar that the Vatican would take a pro-life Protestant or Jew before they’d take a pro-abortion Catholic.  After all, being an ambassador to the Vatican doesn’t mean you must be Catholic: it means that you must be someone who is not anathema to their way of thinking.  If they can’t find another Ray Flynn, that says something about the Democratic Party." ... Human Events (HQ of the Conservative Undergound)  10 Apr

Donahue also said that Obama's pro-choice position reflected a general disdain for Catholics and Catholic values:

Anyone who would take the Catholic vote with such a cavalier attitude, it’s bound to come back and haunt them."

(Parenthetically, a majority of American Catholics in a 2008 poll, 51% to 44%, support legal abortion at least in some circumstances. A Gallup poll last month found the same percentage.)

Obama has ticked off conservative Catholics by appointing Kathleen Sibelius to be HHS secretary (and conservatives are even more ticked off that the two Kansas senators, especially Brownback, who is Catholic, are not opposing her). And then there is the whole Notre Dame business:

The Notre Dame administration knew it was entering a political minefield. But the intensity of the reaction in the week since Obama accepted demonstrates the depths to which Catholics are divided about how Catholic individuals and institutions should engage politics in a pluralistic society.

Adding to the rancor, the Obama invite comes after an election that frustrated the Catholic right and featured prominent Catholic voices making a case for Obama. Early moves by the Obama White House — such as lifting restrictions on overseas family planning groups that perform abortions and on stem cell research that destroys embryos — have prompted some U.S. bishops to challenge the new administration. AP via Google 28 Mar

The bishop of Ft. Wayne, Notre Dame's diocese, is boycotting the commencement, but Notre Dame has shown no signs of backing down.

Also noted is a dKos diary from earlier today: Declining CAtholic Support for Obama:

In the 2008 election, Barack Obama carried 54% of Catholic votes. Now his support is down 14 points among Roman Catholics, according to data cited by conservative writer David Gerson.

We are, I suggest, looking at a complex act in play. Conservative Catholics, having failed to get Sibelius blocked, even by a conservative Catholic senator, having failed to get Notre Dame to rescind its invitation to Obama, having totally failed to get anywhere with the Obama administration, have now created a false report that Obama tried to appoint a pro-choice Catholic as ambassador to the Vatican in order to (1) further rile conservative Catholics to oppose Obama, and (2) to get the Vatican to take a more active role in opposing Obama within the United States.

So far, the Vatican, however unhappy it is with Obama, is not cooperating. Nor does the White House look to be taking the bait, either.

The White House refused to comment. UK Telegraph

Originally posted to DanK Is Back on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 11:38 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips (17+ / 0-)

    and Happy Easter, Passover, whatever.

    It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

    by DanK Is Back on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 11:39:07 PM PDT

  •  i wish we didn't have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raatz, wader, MTmofo

    to have an ambassador there.

    is it really that important?

  •  You'd think that Catholics would have a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, MKSinSA

    generally more wide-ranging set of measures for HHS appointee or Ambassador to the Vatican's state than a black/white definition of when human life "begins" and what that means from medical procedure standpoints.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 12:17:55 AM PDT

    •  Catholics DO have a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, DanK Is Back, openDoc

      wide-ranging set of measures.  What they also have is huge conflict between the Church's doctrine on social justice and the way political issues break down in this country.  With the exception of abortion-related issues, those social justice concerns are almost entirely in line with the Democratic party principles.  Weighing abortion against all other social ills is what has Catholics divided, although from personal experience, I don't think we are as divided as we have been in the past.  For that, we owe W and the arrogant GOP a debt of gratitude.

      The Church is remarkably consistent when it comes to issues of life.  Many "Christians" find no problem being pro-life when it comes to fetuses and pro-death penalty.  The Church is pro-life, from conception to natural death, no exceptions.  I don't necessarily agree with that in practice but it is consistent.

      -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

      by luckylizard on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:03:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  SEX Related Issues. nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, luckylizard

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:37:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My issue is with taking the extremist (0+ / 0-)

        "pro-life" position above all others at times such as documented here.

        This only discourages a 3D view of Catholics as actual, thinking people.

        I've had more free-thinking Catholic friends than those who follow the Vatican's missives without deviation on all things, but the posturing and reporting above does not help their cause by sticking to a one-note hard line, IMHO.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 09:11:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fits the pollsq (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, luckylizard

          Researching this diary, I came across a number of polls showing most American Catholics hold values similar to, or even slightly more liberal than, the general American population. Only the numbers for abortion were useful for the diary, though.

          (Parenthetically, a majority of American Catholics in a 2008 poll, 51% to 44%, support legal abortion at least in some circumstances. A Gallup poll last month found the same percentage.)

          It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

          by DanK Is Back on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:13:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand why (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            you concentrate on the abortion stats, but ignoring the disconnect between the larger social teachings and this one issue just reinforces the polarity among (especially) American Catholics, and lets the Church off the hook for not acknowledging the full spectrum of its doctrine.  We're missing a chance to illustrate the many ways in which people are acting un-Catholic by concentrating on one issue.

            I realize that is beyond the scope of your diary, but I do think it's an important consideration in the broader context of how conservatives have been able to peel off Catholics from what would otherwise be a Democratic stand on social issues.  It still amazes me when I talk to fellow Catholics who will not even consider anything beyond abortion.  Many of these folks would give the shirt off their backs to a stranger, but they will not vote for a party that doesn't agree with them on that one issue.

            -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

            by luckylizard on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 11:16:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wader, luckylizard

              and it is a subject that needs to be addressed. Off topic for the diary - well, mostly off topic, and since I tend to get long-winded in my diaries, I didn't want to start discussing Catholic attitudes in general.

              I would prefer not to start such a general discussion myself, since I am not a Catholic (nor any other kind of Christian), and while I know a great deal about Church and Christian history, I can get somewhat polemical about it, especially when the Church tries to interfere with secular matters.

              It is important, though, to examine what inroads (if any; I'm suspicious of the evidence presented in the other diary) political conservatives are making into the Catholic voting community. But I don't think I'm the one to start it, as I have no ties to any part of that community.

              My point of interest here was to explore what seems to me a fake attempt to discredit an ambassadorial appointment that was never made.

              It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

              by DanK Is Back on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 12:29:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not me, either. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wader, DanK Is Back

                I only know enough to be dangerous.  I am a cradle Catholic with more knowledge than most, but nowhere near enough to address it in the way it requires.

                My sense is that Catholics are reexamining their politics.  I don't know how many actually knew about or read the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops statement on Faithful Citizenship (PDF), but it was not as black-and-white as individual bishops, priests, and laypeople try to make it.  In my conversations with colleagues, I was surprised that people who are passionately pro-life were also enthusiastic about Obama.  Some of them had just had enough of the GOP, but many have finally taken off the blinders that allowed them to ignore every other social ill by focusing on abortion.  I was/am pleased...

                -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

                by luckylizard on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 12:58:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Does anybody actually listen to the Vatican (0+ / 0-)
    •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

      As someone who's in the churches and ethnic social clubs routinely for most of my life even though an outsider.

      The lower the education level, the more they listen, which doesn't seem to be appreciated here.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:38:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  PS What was their last Fatwa? (snark) NT (0+ / 0-)
  •  Many countries do not have no abortion views (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Do those countries not have ambassadors to the Vatican?

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 12:32:11 AM PDT

  •   I can't imagine that this is a post she would (0+ / 0-)

    ... be interested in anyway.

    Of course, if this is the Vatican's viewpoint,  I don't see why they would actually need an ambassador from the US in the first place. They seem to be confused about what the role is, and it's not acting as an emissary for them or any particular church.

    "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

    by AmericanRiverCanyon on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 12:32:12 AM PDT

  •  We do know that Newsmax is right wing drivel. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    khereva, alba, MKSinSA

    Why does anyone listen to them?

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)

    by MTmofo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 12:35:52 AM PDT

  •  David "AEI" Gerson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alba, Captain Antelope

    He's one of your sources?  Color me unconvinced.

  •  Interesting position (if true) (3+ / 0-)

    I am rather skeptical of the story - I suspect the poster is dead-on with the assessment that:

    what we seem to be looking at here is a preemptive campaign by the anti-abortion folks to force Obama to name one of their own to "represent" him in Rome.

    In addition to all of the reasons discussed, I would add one that might have been too basic for the poster:

    The key criterion for an ambassador for any host country is that ambassador's access and credibility at home.

    Suppose, for example, that a pressure campaign worked and Obama named Bill O'Reilly as ambassador to the Vatican.  What does the Vatican gain?

    The Vatican policy team knows that meeting with Ambassador O'Reilly is pointless, because no one in the Administration is taking his calls.  So any concern they have, and attempt they might make to influence US policy, is wasted on an Ambassador with no support at home.

    Caroline Kennedy is clearly close to Obama.  And it is hard to imagine the Vatican could or would ask for anything more.  They know that if they can have her over for dinner and convince her of something, that message will go straight back to the White House.

    •  Ummm (0+ / 0-)

      I believe I did make that point when I said that the ambassador's job is to represent and advocate for the president.

      Different slant, same idea.

      It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

      by DanK Is Back on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 08:48:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the follow-up. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DanK Is Back

    I found the original "report" to be a little odd, a bit too much like all the shrieking over the Notre Dame speech.  The Vatican may yet refuse an ambassador for this or a similar reason - nothing that comes from a Benedict papacy surprises me - but this doesn't strike me as a hill they'd want to die on.  I suspect it has a lot more to do with what a few Catholics would like the Vatican to do than with what will actually happen.  

    Thank you for offering the added information.  Please help us keep an eye on this as it goes forward.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:10:11 AM PDT

  •  Should Vatican's rep to the U.S. be prochoice? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That would seem ... equivalent.

    Republicans are liars, by deed or proxy. There is no such thing as an honest Republican. Just those who do the dirty work and those who don't.

    by chicago jeff on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:16:53 AM PDT

  •  Since when does the host country (0+ / 0-)

    get to determine the politics and spiritual foundation of an ambassador?  Is an agreeable position on women's rights (or lack thereof) more important to the Vatican than the Golden Rule and manifold other basic qualifications of human decency?
    If the Vatican is a foreign power and all priests take orders from the Pope, does that make them foreign agents, perhaps engaged in subversive and terrorist agendas?
    If the US takes this as a provocation, perhaps it could declare war and confiscate all Catholic properties.  Bye bye deficit.

    Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart. ~ H. Williams

    by Andhakari on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:41:44 AM PDT

  •  RECALL the AMBASSADOR! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The ambassador to the Vatican, first appointed by Reagan, was and still is a stupid dumbassed idea. No other religion has an ambassador. This is a clear violation of the seperation of church & state. We got along fine without this ambassador for two hundred years. It's high time we ended this wasteful farce . . .NOW!!!

    •  I Was With You At the Time, and Now As Well (0+ / 0-)

      Not that there's a prayer it would happen.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:39:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, no, it isn't (0+ / 0-)

      The Vatican, under the concordat it signed with the Italian states back in the 1860's, is a separate, sovereign state, with all the secular rights, privileges and immunities thereto.

      So any ambassador there is not an ambassador to Catholicism, but an ambassador to a sovereign state. It may be only a square mile in size, and dedicated to Catholicism, but it is a country.

      True, many countries use their ambassador to Italy to deal with the Vatican, and Reagan changed that in a pander to the American Catholic vote. But it is not a violation of church and state.

      It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

      by DanK Is Back on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 08:41:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  come on!! (0+ / 0-)

        The Vatican is a crime syndicate masquerading as a religion masquerading as a country: it's high time we stopped the foolishness. The idiot in the pointy hat deserves no special priviledges.

        •  Maybe so, but (0+ / 0-)

          that describes a lot of countries, including at times the United States. Or take Saudi Arabia: It's not only run by a single family for its own benefit, it boasts about it - it is the only country in the world named for its ruling family. Or, if you prefer, a crime syndicate masquerading as a family masquerading as a country.

          Our disagreement with a country, even a dispute over the reason for its existence, is not justification for ignoring its existence.

          It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

          by DanK Is Back on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:07:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well how about this then. . . (0+ / 0-)

            How about the MILLIONS tortured and murdered by the Vatican? Is that reason enough to ignore the Vatican? Then, isn't the very obvious issue of seperation of church & state reason enough to ignore them? Should we allow the right wingnuts to water down this vital principle or should we shore it up with more concrete?

            And, would we send an ambassador to Nazi Germany? And, if so, should we? Should we raise to the level of acceptability an organization that promotes large families, is anti gay, and that promotes practices in Africa that push death and disease?

            No other "church" has this priviledge: this mountain of evil should not either. It's very cut & dry.

            •  Separation of Church and State not pertinent (0+ / 0-)

              In sending an ambassador to the Vatican, the United States is passing any law which favors or disaavors a religion, nor establishing a religion or a religious viewpoint.

              The Vatican is universally recognized as a sovereign state, like Monaco, Lichtenstein, Andorra, etc. The 1860 (i may be off a few years) concordat which unified the Italian states left the Vatican as a separate country. Nor are they the only country to organize around a single religion: Again, Saudi Arabia does not permit any non-Muslims in its territory (officially, that is), and the king of Saudi Arabia is the official custodian of the holy cities, which is a purely religious office.

              So the issue of sending an ambassador has nothing to do with American separation of church and state. You may suggest other reasons for not doing so, but that one just won't wash.

              As for those other reasons: We have an embassy in China, which has murdered millions and continues to have a cavalier attitude toward the life of its citizens. We have embassies with many countries ruled by dictators and oligarchs. We had an ambassador to Nazi Germany. So those comparisons won't help your case, either.

              If we had never sent an ambassador there, your argument against sending one there now would carry more weight. But the precedent has been established. Besides, as Obama says about Iran (another country ruled by a religion), it is always better to engage in dialogue if possible.

              It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

              by DanK Is Back on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:47:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  silly (0+ / 0-)

                What does "dialog" with the Vatican get us? NOTHING.

                This is a silly & very, very wasteful expenditure. The notion that this is a country reminds me of the riddle that Lincoln used to ask his children.

                "If a horses tail was called a leg, how many legs would the horse have"?

                "Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg".

  •  I fear the end result (0+ / 0-)

    will be the final marginalization of the Catholic Church. That's tragic. The idea that a foreign nation can tell us our policy is anathema to Americans. They cringe at France's interference every time Sarkozy lifts an eyebrow. And this reaction is most strong among Republicans.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:50:31 AM PDT

  •  withdraw recognition (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, chigh

    The solution to this is simple - no ambassador or diplomatic recognition at all.  The Vatican meets almost no logical definition of a country - no one is born there, only a small number of people actually live within its borders (the block I live on in Chicago probably has more residents) and it is absurdly tiny.  The only reason that it exists as a "country" at all is because of a PR deal made by Mussolini which assisted him in consolidating power.

    The Vatican is nothing more or less than the administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic church - we don't have ambassadors to Salt Lake City (for the Mormons), to the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodists, Sunni Muslims or any other religion's headquarters - it is absurd to have one appointed to the Vatican.

    Furthermore, if there had been no diplomatic recognition to the Vatican we would not have had to be witness to certain bishops claiming diplomatic immunity and slinking off to Rome after presiding over and covering up years of priestly child molestation.

    We've only recognized the Vatican as a state since the Reagan years - we're cleaning up a lot of other messes that began in that era - let's clean this one up too.

  •  Well Played (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DanK Is Back

    Your diary is smoothly diplomatic: non-dogmatic, charitable to the foreign appearance of agreement with your position, emphasizing the momentum of the history of reasonable facts that underwrite your position, and firmly clear in explaining that position's inevitable mutual acceptance.

    How'd you like to be our ambassador to the Vatican City?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:42:38 AM PDT

  •  Moral views of US Ambassadors to the Vatican (0+ / 0-)

    have never been a consideration, otherwise a certain ambassador to the Vatican during the Clinton administration would have been declared persona non-grata over his well known penchant for trolling for boys around Campo di Fiori at night.  The Kennedy appointment is a dust up sponsored by the right wing of US Catholics, the majority of whom are progressive, pro-union, democrats.  Bill Donohue and his ilk have highjacked the Catholic agenda for too long.  Go to any Catholic Church on Sunday and you will find a wide range of cultural and political views.  That is why it is "Catholic".  This squabbler is part of a much larger debate within the Catholic Church around the reforms proposed in Vatican Council 2 which have been systematically rolled back by conservatives during the papacy of John Paul 2 and, now, Benedict XVI.  But the ebb and flows of church positions need to be viewed in terms of centuries, not decades.  The progressive voices that ushered in Vatican 2 reforms are still at work on the ground, in communities around the world, and will emerge stronger and more determined at some point.  

    •  Moral acts are a consideration (0+ / 0-)

      when the Vatican chooses to make them so. I wasn't aware of the "trolling" penchant of a prior ambassador, but obviously the Vatican either was not aware or else chose not to make an issue of it.

      My point was that is the only reason given in the past for rejecting an ambassador.

      It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

      by DanK Is Back on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 08:44:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, if Carolyn Kennedy is proposed (0+ / 0-)

    and the Vatican rejects the daughter of the first Catholic President who was slain while in office, they are going to lose even more churches in the U.S.

    Their hypocrisy over the sex abuse scandals: their backward stance on the position of women, and their lack of political savvy in having an ex-Nazi, steeped from childhood in fascist politics, as their titular head, make their "right to life" stance ridiculous: they supported torture and pre-emptive war and the enslavement of women.

    When will we start using terms like "state enforced pregnancy" and "procreative rights for pedophiles and rapists" to fight their enslavement of women?  I recall a generation where women were sinners if they left relationships where they were battered nearly to death.  "God's will" my aunt Fanny.

    Until there are women in positions of high authority in the Vatican, they have NO moral standing.

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