Apparently, the Vatican objects to Caroline Kennedy being appointed ambassador to the Holy See. The deal killer, we’re told, is that she supports abortion rights, the one unpardonable sin in the Vatican’s eyes — as opposed, say, to the comparatively trivial misdemeanor of openly embracing torture. And it isn’t just Kennedy: the Vatican is reportedly “vetoing” other pro-choice Catholics for the job (a Vatican spokesman has denied the reports).
So, if the Vatican can veto an ambassadorial candidate because it disagrees with her views on abortion, does that also mean that China can insist that only someone sympathetic to dictatorships be named as the US ambassador there? Or that anyone who doesn’t believe that women should be forced to wear veils is out as a potential ambassador to Saudi Arabia?
Assuming the story’s true, Barack Obama should tell the Vatican to take a flying leap — appoint Kennedy anyway. It isn’t like the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church has done him (or Democrats in general) any favors. Then let the Vatican go public if it wants to with its objections to the heir to Camelot. Then we’ll see how most Americans, including most American Catholics, respond.
It might just prove to be a learning experience all around.