Vatican Official Says Kmiec Will Not Become New Vatican Ambassador
(Hat tip: Christopher Blosser at Catholics in the Public Square)
From Catholic News Agency:
Vatican City, Nov 25, 2008 / 03:22 pm (CNA).- An official from the Vatican's Secretary of State department has reacted to the recent suggestion that Pepperdine professor Douglas Kmiec should become the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican by saying, "it will never happen."(emphasis added)
On November 23, America Magazine published a blog entry from Michael Sean Winters describing Professor Douglas Kmiec, the former Republican pro-lifer who became Obama’s top Catholic apologist during the presidential campaign, as "the perfect candidate" to become U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.
CNA presented Winters' arguments to an official of the Secretary of State, who offered his reaction on a strict condition of anonymity. His answer at Kmiec’s chances of becoming an Ambassador: "It will never happen."
The official noted that prominent American Catholics at the Vatican - such as Cardinal James Francis Stafford or Archbishop Raymond Burke - look at Kmiec as a "traitor," and "their opinion will certainly count heavily."
But most importantly, the official said, is that the Holy See will not risk alienating vital U.S. Catholic organizations like the Knights of Columbus or the American branch of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, "whose role in the life of the universal Church is decisive, and who have already expressed publicly their disappointment with Kmiec's role in the recent elections."
"If the office [the Vatican's Secretary of State] withholds the 'placet' –the official acceptance—from the appointees from Argentina and France, it could easily do the same [to Kmiec]" because "[we] would not risk alienating many U.S. Catholic organizations."
The Secretary of State official was referring to the recent Vatican decisions to deny the ‘placet’ to a French Ambassador to the Vatican because he was openly homosexual and to an Argentinean because he was divorced and remarried.
"Of course Mr. Kmiec is in neither of those situations, but for the Secretary of State it is far more important to maintain a good relationship with, say, Mr. Anderson (the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus,) who is an active member of several Vatican dicasteries, than to please Mr. Kmiec and his friends in the new administration."
"Those who the article refers so disrespectfully as 'extremists on the right,' or 'the far right political fringe,' are the serious, loyal Catholics [the Vatican] precisely takes into account, because they are the ones who are there when the Church needs them," the official also explained.
Finally, regarding Winters’ claim that "Kmiec could do for the Democratic administration what (Mary Ann) Glendon has done for its predecessor," the official told CNA: "to be charitable, I will just say that I seriously doubt it."
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Kmiec's Payoff? [UPDATED]