The Vatican Says 'No' to Obama's Ambassadors

Eileen McDevitt and Larrey Anderson
According to James Morrison at The Washington Times, the Vatican has rejected three candidates to serve as US ambassador to the Vatican because of the nominees' support for abortion:

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."

So far neither the Vatican nor the White House has confirmed or denied the stories.

Hat tip: John McMahon

According to James Morrison at The Washington Times, the Vatican has rejected three candidates to serve as US ambassador to the Vatican because of the nominees' support for abortion:

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."

So far neither the Vatican nor the White House has confirmed or denied the stories.

Hat tip: John McMahon