Prof. Doug Kmiec, who recently published in Commonweal a rambling 3000+ word apologia pro se cvm jeremiad against right-wing vemon spewing bloggers, is running for office… the appointed office of Ambassador to the Holy See.
You might recall that in his Commonweal piece Kmiec, a very smart person who is very worried he will not be invited to speak to Catholic groups in the future, swerved back and forth between vituperation about his treatment in the Catholic blogosphere and raising on high vague goals such as "concern for the poor" and tending to the "environment", the accomplishment of which reasonable of people of good will can disagree about.
Kmiec in his article suggested that bloggers were trying to ruin relations between the Obama Administration and the Holy See, as if the Holy See was just champing at the bit to support the Obama Administration in the pursuit of those vaguely defined goals.
People can disagree about the extent of and solutions for hunger, poverty, climate-change, debt-relief. But the Holy See is not going to make statements about how to approach these vague goals. What the Church has said, however, is that abortion is wrong. It is just wrong, period, end of discussion.
That is precisely what Prof. Kmiec is clouding within a fog of other "life-issues".
The Holy See is not going to rush to embrace the Obama Administration on any of those nice but vaguely expressed life-issues. But the Church is surgically precise about one life-issue.
So what exactly are the bloggers going to ruin, as Kmiec frets about, by insisting that the one position of the Holy See which is expressed with perfect clarity is being obfuscated by Kmiec’s arguments and actions?
Prof. Kmiec was also oh so demure in that Commonweal offering about his being on the list for a Vatican ambassadorship.
<dirt kick> "Who? Me? Shucks, I dunno!" </ dirt kick>
This is in from CNA.
Kmiec considers himself a candidate for Vatican ambassadorship
Malibu, Jan 26, 2009 / 07:23 pm (CNA).- Pepperdine University law professor Doug Kmiec, a pro-life [let us not forget, however, that he is willing to occlude the issue of abortion in consideration of all sorts of other grand issues, such as the environment, third-world debt, concern for the poor, etc.] advocate of President Barack Obama’s election, has stated that he thinks he will be considered as a choice for U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.
Kmiec and his wife attended a private worship service with President Obama the morning of the presidential inauguration and also attended the Illinois inaugural ball that evening, Pepperdine’s student newspaper The Graphic reports.
"The President is nowhere close to determining such things because of the order of events … everyone’s first order of business is economic recovery," Kmiec said, according to The Graphic. "At the appropriate time, when diplomatic relations through the State Department need to be addressed, I think my name would be part of the discussion." [Sec. Hilary Clinton's State Department, right? And Mrs. Clinton has such great respect for the Holy See. The Clintons always had such cordial regard for the Catholic Church.]
Kmiec, who served as legal counsel for the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, has recently been criticized for his contention that a pro-life Catholic could vote for Obama in good conscience.
The U.S. Ambassador under George W. Bush, Mary Ann Glendon submitted her resignation to the White House prior to President Obama’s Inauguration, as is customary for all ambassadors when a new President is elected, reports Inside the Vatican.
In a Catholic News Service Story updated on January 26, after the first Vatican negative reaction to the Obama administration, John Thavis wrote: "the Vatican is closely watching for Obama’s choice of a new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. An early appointment would be viewed at the Vatican as a sign of the president’s interest and attention to the Holy See." [But, above, Prof. Kmiec was carrying the water bucket already by saying "Well... we have to focus on the economy after all! This might take a while. First things first."]
The choice of ambassador is, of course, up to the president. One informed Vatican official dismissed an earlier report that the Vatican, in a nod toward conservative Catholics, might veto the appointment of a high-profile Catholic supporter of Obama. Rejecting an ambassador for those kinds of political motives is not in the tradition of Vatican diplomacy and would, in fact, be very dangerous, the official said."
President Obama’s reversal of the Mexico City Policy, which had prohibited federal funding of international groups that promote or perform abortions, prompted Vatican officials’ first critical response of his presidency.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, [whose stock greatly went up in my book] President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has criticized "Among the many good things that he could have done, Barack Obama instead has chosen the worst," he said. [Remember: You can hate the war in Iraq, or worry about thrid-world debt, the environment, the poor, etc. But people can disagree about how to tackle those issues. The Holy See isn't going to get involved with the Obama Administration in sorting out the nuts and bolts for these problems. But the Holy See is absolutely clear about abortion. Don't forget this. What is the Holy See just dying to support? The Kyoto accord? This is the key. Meanwhile...]
"I do not believe that those who voted for him (Obama) took into consideration ethical themes, which were astutely left aside during the election debate. The majority of the American population does not take the same position as the president and his team." [Oh? No matter. Even if that is true, it must be said again and again in as many ways as we can craft that abortion is wrong.]
In November, a Vatican official with the Secretary of State denied that Prof. Kmiec has a chance of becoming a U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, telling CNA under condition of anonymity "This will never happen."
CNA recently consulted the same official, who said:
"Obviously the Holy See will not openly veto Kmiec’s appointment. But the process is not that simple. There are always back channel consultations with the (Vatican) Secretary of State, and there is no chance that he (Kmiec) will pass that test.
"There are many ways to tell the Obama administration way in advance that such an appointment would not be a good idea. There are many other candidates, Catholic or not, that would not spark the kind of antagonism and division that Professor Kmiec has sparked, as he himself has recently admitted," the official told CNA.
Good luck, Prof. Kmiec.