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Vatican blocking Kennedy Appt for Ambassador

From the linked article:

"It's imperative, it's essential that the person who represents us to the Holy See be a person who has pro-life values. I hope the President doesn't make that mistake," he told the Boston Herald. "She said she was pro-choice. I don't assume she's going to change that, which is problematic."

 Just as with the Notre Dame controversy, I can easily understand why the Vatican, or a Catholic university, can have problems with a pro-choice stance.  It's to be expected, IMO.  Maybe we need to remember that separation of church and state works both ways, and we shouldn't expect religious organizations to meekly accept things that go against their faith.

Well said. I never thought of it from that persepecive.

 Oh, how wise is our little "Decider"!!!!!!!!

Suzi, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

I find it hard to believe that this was a well-thought-out appointment.

They should "reward" her with a more appropriate post.

Has this been a qualification for the Vatican ambassadorial post before?

Aren't the Kennedy's nominally Catholic, anyway? While I know that doesn't stop anyone from being pro-choice in their own personal or political views, it still usually leans against it.

Just curious. 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

The Kennedys are Catholic, which is probably played into Obama's reasoning for thinking of Caroline for the ambassadorship.  But Teddy, and Caroline have both said publicly that they are pro-choice.  I have no problem with the Vatican being against having someone who supports that position.

As for previous ambassadors, I have no idea.

I'm looking to see if any in the past have been, so far I found this. Althought it's not a pro-choice ambassador, it is interesting. I'll keep looking.


Since the United States established formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1984, the ambassadorial position has been held by political supporters and pro-life Catholics under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

From this article:


The change in Papacy may have something to do with the difference. Pope Benedict XVI may not be as forgiving of a pro-choice ambassador as Pope John Paul II was.

It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

According to the article, there has not been a pro-choice ambassador, under either Pope, which is understandable to me.

This could be a good opportunity for Obama's to reach out to someone who is on the other side of this issue.

Thanks, Hope. That's interesting. 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

I agree that it is no surprise that the Pope would not support a pro-choice candidate. My only issue is that it would be nice for the vatican to weigh all positions of the Catholic church equally when considering a candidate and not give abortion 90% focus. For example, I assume Caroline is:

* anti-death penalty

* pro-poverty programs/assistance

* was against the Iraq War (not a pro-War type person)

* pro-environment

If everything were equal she would have a 80% grade. It appears nobody in this position was pro-choice, but I wonder if they would have negative marks for any of the above list. If they really looked at such things equally, she may have a stronger overall grade than some of the past candidates.  I am a Catholic and Pro-Choice, but I see hypocricy in how the abortion issue is treated vs. death penalty, war, etc. and it bothers me a little. I was always under the impression we should hold the consistent ethic of life view in many areas. Also, I'm sure many Kennedy's have given generously to the Catholic Church. Perhaps the Pope should put our a statement that donations from pro-choice Catholics are not wanted.

I was hoping C. Kennedy would have a role in the Obama Administration. I wasn't a cheerleader for her as NY Senator but I do think she could be a valuable asset and seems to be a good person. If this is too controversial, perhaps there will be another position out there..

Kelly, there is no hypocrisy in the Church's teaching in regards to abortion vs. war or the death penalty.

The Church sees abortion is a "grave evil."  This puts it in a different category than the death penalty or the Iraq War.

The Vatican has acknowledged that support of the war in Iraq  is not a grave evil or a mortal sin.  

The Church also does not believe that the death penalty is an evil and even says the state has the right to enact capital punishment in certain cases.  The Church does believe that the convicted should be shown mercy instead of death.

The Vatican will not accept a pro choice pick as ambassador under any circumstances. 

Well, then my Catholic education was been teaching me incorrectly all these years. Please cite a source. I used to teach a Catholic education program for teens about 10 years back when I used to support the death penalty. The conistent ethic of life was explained to me in clear terms by clergy and other teachers-referencing abortion, death penalty, and mercy killing- and they really had to help me work through some things in my faith. Were they lying to me? Making stuff up? But I am now at the point where I understand we can not play God when it comes to the death penalty since innocent lives have been lost and only God can judge human beings. If you are telling me my Pope does not value life equally, I am confused and upset by that. I seem to recall the Pope clearly being against the Iraq War. I will look for a source but you sound so confident in your claims, so I assume you have a good source of info.

I'm not saying the Church isn't opposed to war or the death penalty, just that abortion is in a separate category of evil. 

You are correct that the Pope came out strongly against starting the Iraq War. He said it was a "defeat for humanity."  The media did not adequately report just how opposed Pope John Paul II was to Bush's Iraq War.

However, on April 1, 2004 the AP reported how the Vatican was downplaying their opposition to the Iraq War: 

    As for the difference between abortion and the death penalty, please see: 

In June of 2004, the current Pope then a cardinal said in the Italian newsmagazine L'espresso. 

Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia. 

This is called "hypocrisy."


Charp,  where is the hypocrisy?  Surely you can see the difference between a person convicted of a capital crime by a jury of his peers to death and a life that is never even given a chance to be born.

As Bishop D'Arcy of the diocese that covers South Bend said so eloquently the other day:  “Nobody is allowed to say who can sit at the table of life, and more important, who’s not going to sit at the table of life.  God didn’t give us that privilege – he gave us many other privileges, but that belongs to him alone.  This is so central."  


To claim there is moral "wiggle room" in capital punishment but not in abortion or euthanasia.

That's the hypocrisy.

I have no intention of changing your position; please recognize that mine is pretty stable, too.

I see their position as blantant hypocrisy.

Somehow you can rationalize or equalize it.

I cannot. To claim moral wiggle room on taking a life in 2 instances, but not in the 3rd or 4th, that's hypocrisy.

And, in my opinion, your own quote from Biship D'Arcy seems to support my position, as well. I mean, I don't see the qualifier, "except in cases where he's judged by a jury of his peers."

 Just sayin'

Do you believe that those who are anti death penalty but pro choice are also hypocritical?

It depends. Some who hold that position may be; some who hold it, not so much. 

Show me the position of everyone who holds that belief -- and why -- and we can see.

There are many reasons to be anti-death penalty that do  not involve an unequivicable stance on the taking of a life or that aren't tied to a religious stance or dogma. 

In addition, the people who may be anti-death penalty and pro-choice may not have the same religious or spiritual beliefs regarding a fetus as people who believe that the an unborn human being is equivalent to one who is already here.

In other words, we haven't heard their dialog so how can we say it's hypocritical?

They are not saying "All 'life' is sacred," but then giving moral wiggle room to some cases and not others; at least not that I'm aware.

Keep in mind that I am also not saying that everyone who is anti-choice and pro-death penalty is a hypocrite, either.

I'm just saying that the passages above, as related, are.  Again, it is my opinion, based on my understanding of hypocrisy. 



From (from the Chruch doctrine)

Capital Punishment

2266 The State's effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.[67]

2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.
"If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
"Today, in fact, given the means at the State's disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent.' [68]

GWBush-and perhaps people who were given the position we now debate about for Kennedy-supported the death penalty (and we know TX has one of the highest death penalty rates.) Are we to believe he had no other "means of approp. punishment at his disposal?" This seems to match up with how the death penalty was explained to me. In other words, if you can protect lives by locking someone up for life rather than killing them, you will be following Catholic doctrine. If you have the death penalty even though other options are available, you are going against church teachings. I don't agree with this "degree of evil" stuff but if it exists, fine. However, IMO, I doubt Jesus would be supportive of that.

I am totally and completely 100% with you on this one Kelly.  The Bible spells it out quite clearly for us in the Ten Commandments that were given to Moses directly from God.

"Thou shall not kill."

It does not say that it is ok to kill but only if you kill this person this way... however,  you may not kill another person another that way.

"Thou shall not kill."  Period. 

**I don't mean to offend anyone here as we are all entitled to our own belief system.  This is just MY belief.**

"I SO voted for Barack Obama!  10/25/08"

I've wondered this though: Doesn't the bible say "an eye for an eye"? Wouldn't that be an argument for capitol punishment?
That is exactly MY argument in favor of capital punishment.


 Here is why I am against capital punishment:  "56 wrongfully convicted people have won release because of DNA testing, 10 of them from death row"  Quote from

A couple more reasons: 

Earl Washington Jr.

Christopher Ochoa


Christopher Ochoa hadn't actually received the death penalty, but he had confessed to a crime that he didn't commit, because he was threatened with the death penalty.  The police even got Christopher Ochoa to wrongfully accuse Richard Danziger in the rape and murder that neither one of them committed.  They each spent 12 years in jail before being released.  Unfortunately for Danziger, while he was in prison, he was the victim of an assault where he received terrible brain injuries that have left him mentally disabled.  Danziger will never, ever, ever be able to start his life over because of this.

I would not be against the death penalty except for the reasons you mention above.

Though we have the goal of equal justice for all in the US we are a far means from providing it, and really probably never can. 



I had heard that a more accurate transcription was

You shall not murder.

From the site'Under the Mosaic Law, the offenses that made one liable to the punishment of death were: (1) striking or reviling a parent (Ex 21:15,17); (2) blasphemy (Lev 24:14,16,23; 1 Ki 21:10; Mt 26:65,66); (3) Sabbath-breaking (Ex 31:14; 35:2; Nu 15:32-36); (4) witchcraft and false pretension to prophecy (Ex 22:18; Lev 20:27; Dt 13:5; 18:20; 1 Sam 28:9); (5) adultery (Lev 20:10; Dt 22:22); (6) unchastity: (a) before marriage, but detected afterward (Dt 22:21), (b) in case of a woman with someone other than her betrothed (Dt 22:23), (c) in a priest's daughter (Lev 21:9); (7) rape (Dt 22:25); (8) incestuous and unnatural connections (Ex 22:19; Lev 20:11,14,16); (9) man-stealing (Ex 21:16); (10) idolatry, actual or virtual, in any form (Lev 20:2; Dt 13:6; 17:2-7); (11) false witness in capital cases (Dt 19:16,19).

So, based on this, it would seem that the bible is all for the death penalty.  

On the other hand you can also find justification for slavery in the old testament.



16 : thank you for a real expose of information.  It points out how this dispensation is meant to be an age of conscience and reason, and not a slavish observance of the law.  After all, I would say except for federal cases, I would support the death penalty for the following : first degree pre-meditated murder, murder during the commission of a felony, and murder of a civil servant on duty particularly police, fire and medical emergency personnel.  Not exactly the list above.  However if someone wants to murder a mailman or dmv clerk while they're doing their thing, that's the way the cookie crumbles.  LOL - Very very dark black Addams Family style humor.

I support capital punishment in cases of mass murder; deliberate murder or molestation of a child (that can never be condoned for ANY reason); and I believe the death penalty should be expanded to include dope pushers (not USERS, and not people selling marijuana; but those deliberately pushing hard drugs); these people are really mass murderers.

I do not think that persons who kill someone in the commission of a robbery should necessarily receive the death penalty; it would depend on the circumstances.


We know beyond any doubt that Jesus would not be pro choice as there are numerous scriptures saying that God knew us in our mother's womb.

The Church is very clear concerning its stance on abortion and those politicians who are Catholic but yet continue to support pro abortion policies such as Biden or Pelosi should probably leave the Church.

At the very least, they should not present themselves for Communion. 



Well, at least 50% of Catholics would be leaving too since about that number are Pro-Choice. BTW-that doesn't mean they are Pro-Abortion! Most just don't feel we should overturn Roe v Wade. The Catholic Church reminds me of the GOP. They need to become more inclusive and tolerant of differences if they want to grow/expand. I'm not saying they need to change their principals but not alienate those who don't follow every guideline. They certainly need to be better role models, too. Cover-ups for child abuse from priests over long periods of time-and still being reported-is just one example. If they can't claim perfection, how can they expect that from members?

Yes, Jesus would be pro-choice but given the fact that he reached out to prostitutes and criminals in forgiveness, I gather he would be anti-death penalty, too. I think he'd forgive and embrace those who had abortions and asked for grace.

I agree with you that Jesus forgives all sin including abortion, but how in the world can you say "Jesus would be pro-choice?"

You really, really think he would be in favor of a woman being able to end the life of his creation before it is born???? 

It's fatigue. I meant to say Jesus would be Pro-Life. My bad! I need to go to bed!
I thought for sure that was a typo, but just wanted to be 100% sure.

Jesus would certainly not be pro-abortion, but he very well could be pro-choice (given the Supreme Being's stance of free will). Pro-choice and pro-abortion are NOT the same thing.

On a slightly different subject, the Pope's stance that abortion and deaths in unjustified wars are not equivalent, I believe, is not justifiable. That goes to Papal infallibility, which concept, as a practicing Catholic, I disagree with. The Pope is human, just like the rest of us, and can make mistakes.


Well said, wcolin.

Pro-choice and pro-abortion are not the same thing.

I also find it mind boggling that anyone could state with such certainty was Jesus' position on choice and abortion would be.

For one thing, Jesus was Jewish and even the rabbis do not give a clear position on it.

In fact, until the fetus has drawn breath, even though it was known "in the womb," it's rights in Jewish law did not take precedence over the rights (priorities) of those already born. 

The Church is very clear concerning its stance on abortion and those politicians who are Catholic but yet continue to support pro abortion policies such as Biden or Pelosi should probably leave the Church.

At the very least, they should not present themselves for Communion. 

Seriously??????  Brandon, I don't mean to be difficult and maybe these are in fact reasons that I did leave the Catholic church...but

The Bible says in Luke 22: 17-20 ...........

 17After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

 19And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."

 20In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

My personal view on that is that God welcomes ALL of us to share in Jesus' body and blood...not just "well behaved, rule abiding Catholics."  My belief is that it is our salvation that He wants, and those of us (including me!) who are wayyyyyyy less than perfect are the very ones who need His body and blood most.

And, with all due respect Brandon, I don't think any of us should sit in judgement of who should and should not leave any church. 

I am really sorry if I have crossed any lines, or stepped on anyones toes, or came across as "too preachy"...that is never my intention.  I am just extremely passionate about this particular topic.  Just ask Suzi!  :-)

 "I SO voted for Barack Obama!  10/25/08"

If it makes any of you feel better, Vice  President Biden went to church today with the Obama's and it was at an EPISCOPAL Church, and I know the Obamas took communion during the easter service.

Lesley, I think the Catholic Church is very clear about who should not participate in this Holy Sacrament. 

In the code of Canon Law, Canon 915 states "Those who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is also clear: abortion "is gravely contrary to the moral law" and an "abominable crime."

I do have a bit of a problem with Bishops arbitrarily denying certain politicians communion.  I would hope pro choice politicians who are also Catholic would voluntarily refrain.

But politicians who try to act like they are super Catholic at election time, but continue to vagrantly disregard the Church's moral teachings on an issue in which it is clear and there can be no debate are the ones who make me mad.

Biden would be exhibit 1 in this category. 

Let me state for the record that I'm not nor have I ever been a practicing Roman Catholic, so I feel a little strange being the chief apologist for the Catholic faith at RFO the last few days.

I've long been interested in the Catholic Church and admire it and read about it quite often.  I also read several Catholic blogs everyday and try to attend Mass a few times a year especially at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

The Catholic Catechism does not allow me as a Baptist to receive Holy Communion as it states:  "members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion."

I respect this position and will follow the Church's wishes although at one time, I did not know this was the Church's position and did participate a few times. 


As a former Catholic, I totally understand that the Catholic faith has their own rules about who should or should not receive communion.  I'm sure that Canon Law, Canon 915 is a man-made law, and that is what I have a problem with.  It just seems to me that anyone who wants to receive "the body and blood of Christ" should be welcomed. 

Again, these are issues that I wrestled with for a long time and ultimately decided to leave the Catholic church.  It wasn't a decision that I took lightly.  Don't get me wrong, I still have great respect for the Catholic church but my beliefs and the Catholic church's beliefs were just too far apart on several issues. 

 I am against abortion but I just don't think denying someone "the body and blood of Christ" is EVER the right thing to do.  Receiving communion is not specific to just the Catholic religion so why does it seem that the Catholic church attaches man made rules to it? 

I respect you and your views, but respectfully disagree.

Hope you had a wonderful, blessed Easter!

"I SO voted for Barack Obama!  10/25/08"

Oops!!  Double post!  Sorry :-)

Sidestepping the Catholic issue, I just get frustrated when I know "people of faith" who campaigned or voted for Bush (I am one who voted for him based on his abortion stance I hate to say) and I look at the facts that he waged an unnecessary war (over 4000 soldiers killed), supports the death peanalty (how many prisoners-perhaps some innocent- dead in Texas under his watch?) allowed torture (most Church's think that's wrong, don't they?) and did nothing to end or decrease abortion-which was the main reason many supported him! It doesn't make sense!

Although Pres. Obama is Pro-Choice, I find him to value human life to a much greater extent!

I will certainly not defend Bush and the Iraq War as I was 100% opposed.  I do support the death penalty under certain conditions.

But to say that Bush "did nothing to end or decrease abortion" is unfair.  

He was the most pro life president we've ever elected.  For his pro life record, please see: 

Is this a joke? The site you sent me to has the slogan: "The Right News. Right Now."

Bush’s declaration was the culmination of eight years of pro-life policies that included sustained opposition to embryonic stem cell research; the appointment of two pro-life Supreme Court Justices; an executive order barring federal funds to be used for abortion- related projects abroad; and a rule protecting federally funded health employees from taking part in abortion-related activities or other practices that conflicted with their religious views.

I thought the site might interview young girls who changed their minds on abortion thanks to Bush's amazing policies. I don't even see stat's on the site showing a decrease in abortion (maybe there is no clear data-I'm not sure.)  Everything listed is a Pro-Life person's/lobbyist's dream but missing the most important piece: fewer abortions. He had the power to overturn Roe V Wade. He had the judges. Why didn't he if he is so Pro-Life? Personally, I think it's because Republicans love to have that as a wedge issue.

When Pres. Obama addresses education, poverty, and adoption expansion, it might actually have a greater effect on decreasing abortion than preventing Stem Cell research (which may save lives BTW.)

In what way, shape, or form did GW Bush have the power to overturn Roe V. Wade? 

Despite the fondest fantasies of Rove and Cheney, he wasn't a king or an emperor. 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

In fact, in his first term, abortions went up.

Abortions are tied much more to economic realities than people are willing to admit.

If we want to reduce abortions, we need to reduce the circumstances where women (and young girls) feel the need for them.


My source might be from the right, but what they say about Bush's record on pro life issues is factual.

There are not enough pro life justices on the Supreme Court right now to overturn Roe V Wade.  We needed one more which McCain promised to appoint. 

I don't know why people are surprised that Emperor Palpatine Pope Benedict XVI would want a Pro-Life Ambassador.  This is the official position of The Catholic Church and her leadership.  Now, the fact that a significant number of their membership in Europe and North America are Pro-Choice is much more interesting topic.

Also, interesting for those familiar with the Prophecy of the Popes is that Pope Benedict is the last Pope before the fall of the Catholic Church and the coming Judgment Seat.  Yep, I used to study End Times stuff for fun.  


War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders."

- President George W. Bush - March 17th, 2003 

The fact that a significant number of Catholics are pro choice is not surprising.  The Bible teaches in Matthew 7:13 and 14--

"Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." 

When Jesus appeared on earth, the people wanted him to be a king so as to solve their political problems.  The modern version of this, is the invention of the conservative political religion that defines Christians based on their support for conservative political positions.

Earlier on, I said I thought Brandon was more of a devil's advocate than a troll :

  1. One who argues against a cause or position, not as a committed opponent but simply for the sake of argument or to determine the validity of the cause or position.
  2. Roman Catholic Church. An official appointed to present arguments against a proposed canonization or beatification.


But now that he is advocating a inquisitional style political correctness, I think he's the other meaning of the devil's advocate.

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