ITALIAN MEDIA sources last weekend reported that the Holy See has rejected the possible appointment of Caroline Kennedy as US Ambassador to the Vatican. Milan-based daily Il Giornale, owned by the family of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, said that the Vatican has rejected three possible choices by the Obama government for the post of US ambassador, including that of Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F Kennedy.
Il Giornale claims that the appointment of a new US ambassador to succeed Mary Ann Glendon has proved difficult because of the â€œstrainedâ€ relations between the White House and the Holy See, which has been less than enamoured of Barack Obamaâ€™s public support for both abortion and stem cell research.
US media reports suggested that Ms Kennedy had originally been proposed to Mr Obama for the job by Democratic senator John Kerry by way of reward for her support for the president during last yearâ€™s election campaign.
However, one former US ambassador to the Vatican, Ray Flynn, speaking to the Boston Herald last week, argued that Ms Kennedyâ€™s support for abortion made her an unsuitable choice.
â€œItâ€™s imperative, itâ€™s essential that the person who represents us to the Holy See be a person who has pro-life values,â€ he said.
â€œShe said she was pro-choice. I donâ€™t assume sheâ€™s going to change that, which is problematic.â€
The White House has refused to comment, while senior Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi yesterday denied that the Holy See had blocked any potential appointments, saying that no proposals for the job had yet been made to the Vatican.