The new “controversy”:
One of the clever things about the Catholic church has been it’s ablity to maintain its status as a political force and a tiny state, and have some effect as a kind of diplomatic go-between and agenda setter.Think of the Vatican as the internationl equivalent of D.C. “Congresswoman” Eleanor Holmes Norton, say. The U.S. has an ambassador there, always a Roman Catholic, which as an aside seems to present a conflict of interests, and now people are musing about who Obama will appoint to the position.
Doug Kmiec, the Catholic conservative who supported Obama and made various pro-life arguments in favor of him during the campaign, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the role. I imagine Kmiec would be a fine Ambassador, though we have no idea if he’d be picked for the slot or if he is really interested in moving to Italy — excuse me, the Vatican State — for a few years. But conservative Catholics believe this would be an insult to the Pope, since though Kmiec is pro-life, he supports pro-choice Obama because he believes the president-elect will reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and thus abortions through progressive social policies.
Why exactly do we have an ambassador to the Vatican and what does he/she do? And I don’t mean that snidely, as if to assert they do nothing, because I simply do not know what sort of things the Vatican and the US government take part in, as for all I know they could work on a number of issues, such as global hunger, etc. And honestly, doesn’t the Catholic Church have more to lose by rejecting an openly pro-life Roman Catholic ambassador than Kmiec and Obama do? Didn’t Catholics vote for Obama in large numbers, anyway?