Finding Obama’s ambassador to the Vatican

After all the rumors and misdirection about who Obama will or can’t or won’t pick, Eric Gorksi of the AP has a very good and realisitc look at the process and possible candidates here. The lede:

Since the United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic ties in 1984, little attention has been paid to the process and politics of selecting a U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. That’s changing under a new president whose positions have been criticized by several American bishops and conservative Catholics.


The Obama administration’s search to fill the vacant position is anticipated to bring a level of scrutiny unmatched since the very prospect of diplomacy with the Vatican stirred American fears of papal loyalists swearing allegiance to church over country.

While Middle East peace, U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and relations with the Muslim world loom as shared interests for the military superpower and the religious superpower, the politics of abortion hangs over the process.


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Little Bear

posted April 17, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Well neither the Pope nor President Obama are going to ask for my opinion on an ambassador–but I’m going to give it here. No matter whom President Obama picks, there is going to be a squawk from some chickens in the coop somewhere. Therefore, I would send nobody. We did not have an ambassador at the Vatican before 1984—-and we did just fine. We can do it again.
I do believe Obama will be elected for another term. But I don’t believe Pope Benedict will last another 8 years (could be wrong—but I don’t think so). Just wait for a new pope—and then, maybe….

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Guy Selvester

posted April 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm

We didn’t have a representative at the Holy See with the rank of ambassador before 1984 but that doesn’t mean we had no relations with the Holy See before then. We did. We have ALWAYS had a diplomat whose job it was to keep communication open between the US government and the Holy See. Until 1984 he was appointed as a “personal envoy” of the president. It is in our mutual best interests for the USA and the Holy See to have diplomatic relations. So the idea that we did just fine with nothing up until 1984 is incorrect and oversimplifies the situation a little too much. Clearly, the USA had always wanted an ambassador to the Holy See which is why we kept trying until we succeeded in 1984.
If President Obama were simply to appoint no one it would appear that he is snubbing the Holy See, the Church and all Catholics. If that happens then a second term for him will be a moot point.

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posted April 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Since President Obama has a differing opinion on abortion than the RCC, Benny and crew aren’t going to be happy with anyone. So just send someone….and let the Vatican deal with it. Certainly there MUST be other topics to discuss other than abortion. (the effectiveness of condoms and HIV prevention perhaps? :o) )

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posted April 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Doug Kmiec is the one.. pro-life, bi-partisan, gov. experience and ‘pay back’ to the 33 bishops who dissed Obama’s invitation to Notre Dame..
politics is about ‘pay-back’when effective..

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posted April 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Did you grow another chin, Pagansis? For heaven’s sake, stay away from those ding-dongs 😉

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Jim McCrea

posted April 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Let the Vatican designate an ambassador and give the US a chance to “just say no.” That won’t be hard to do. Almost anyone they choose will represent a point of view that can, more times than not, be contrary to the beliefs and wishes of the US.
Do Catholics REALLY think that the world of the US would stop if the RCC hasn’t been granted recognition of anyone they think could have anything good to say to the US? Pshaw.
This is like the Chihuahua complaining because the elephant takes no notice of its yipping and snapping.

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Steve IN MD

posted April 28, 2009 at 12:56 am

Regardless of any treaties with the vatican, the vatican certainly doesn’t meet the definition of a traditional state.
Just as it talks about “traditional marriage” re gays, while running the queerest marriages of them all – the priests being married to the church. I’ll take gay marriage any day.
And that relationship is like the old relationships still found in Saudi marriages, where the woman has not rights, does exactly like husband says, or he can “excommunicate” her (divorce) by saying three times – “I divorce you”. And out she goes into a society totally hostile to womens freedom.
And the priests are the church’s women. Speak out against the party line, and out you go, your career of which you thought was helping people, destroyed.

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Steve IN MD

posted April 28, 2009 at 1:02 am

clear up last post a little…
“regardless of any treaties between Italy and the vatican…”
“And that relationship between the priests and the church is like the relationships still found in Saudi marriages, where the woman has no rights, does exactly like husband says, or he can “excommunicate” her (divorce) by saying three times – “I divorce you”. And out she goes into a society totally hostile to womens freedom…..”
And all of us – lets stop letting the church use what it thinks is it’s trump card of power – abortion, to impose its dogmatic control on our society. It is time to talk about what the church has done to societies over the ages with its dogmatism.
Sri for the multiple posts on this one

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