Let’s rehash the chronology a bit.
2007: pro-choice “Catholic” Rudolph Giuliani and formerly pro-choice (until he decided to run for president) Mormon Mitt Romney are considered, along with ultra-liberal John McCain (Pat Buchanan: “Everything Bush did wrong, he supported; everything Bush did right, he opposed”; Rush Limbaugh: “McCain’s entire campaign was a concession speech!”) are somehow pre-ordained as the front-runner Republican candidates. Pro-life “leaders” scramble to pick which of these guys to endorse (though a few stand by Brownback) while several authentic pro-life candidates (Brownback, Paul and Huckabee in particular) are completely ignored.
Suddenly, we see pro-life Republican Catholics using the same arguments that Catholic Democrats have used for the past 30-some years: “there are more issues than just abortion”; “better to reduce than ban”; “social programs”; “faith shouldn’t dictate politics”.
So, McCain wins the nomination. Catholic legal scholar, Republican and former Reagan employee Douglas Kmiec, who’d previously endorsed Mitt Romney, writes an article endorsing Barack Obama as the Catholic more truly in keeping with “Catholic” values, including the audacious claim that Obama is “pro-life.”
Meanwhile, Obama already has a “Catholic Outreach” team staffed by the usual suspects: Kennedys, Joe Biden, etc. Bill Donohue issues an open letter saying that these people on Obama’s Catholic committee do not authentically represent the Catholic Church. The members, acting as a group but not “officially” for the campaign, respond with an open letter calling Donohue judgemental and hypocritical, and saying that , among other things, they support Obama because he wants to prevent abortion by encouraging artificial birth control(!)
So, in the midst of this battle, a staunch Republican writes a glowing endorsement of Obama, and the media eat it up.
Shortly thereafter, Kmiec publishes *another* article, saying he attended a Mass where the priest preached against Obama and then denied him Communion for his endorsement of Obama.
Worse, a prominent, normally conservative, Canon Lawyer and Blogger, Ed Peters, wrote an article supporting Kmiec in this matter: not supporting his position on Obama, but saying that individual voters should not be denied Communion for their political choices (politicans being another story). I wrote directly to Peters myself, arguing that Kmiec’s public endorsement and article constitute actively campaigning for Obama, and that to actively campaign for someone who has vowed to pass the Freedom of Choice Act as his top priority is to campaign for the FOCA, whatever Kmiec’s motivations may be. Peters called me an illiterate hothead.
Kmiec went on to become Obama’s top apologist among Catholics. Deal Hudson later admitted that he was at the Mass in question and that it was a mass for Legatus. He tried to stay out of the fray at first, due to his friendship with Kmiec, but he and Kmiec eventually exchanged an increasinly heated open letter/column-based argument.
Other reports indicated that it was a permanent deacon, not a priest, that the Mass took place in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and that the cleric (whichever kind he was) was disciplined by Cardinal Mahony(!)
As Kmiec increasingly became involved in the Obama campaign and talked pleasantly about his “fruitful conversations” with the candidate, many suggested that Kmiec was vying for a Vatican ambassadorship or perhaps even a federal court nomination. Admittedly, if Kmiec has not truly gone too far to the Devil, it might be interesting if he were actually appointed to the Courts by Obama, but he has a snowball’s chance in Hell of that actually happening.
So, a report comes from Lifesitenewes that the Vatican is rejecting any notion of Kmiec being made Ambassador to the Vatican. While the Vatican certainly cannot tell any nation whom to appoint as Ambassador, it *can* revoke its concordat with that nation, as it did with France when France tried to send an openly homosexual ambassador.
An unnamed Vatican State Department official said that the Vatican values its relationship with the US, but that such relationships are handled through many channels, just one of them diplomatic. American clergy at the Vatican, like Cardinal Stafford and Archbishop Burke, along with laity like Carl Anderson, are the people through whom the Vatican channels its most important relations with America, and, says the article, these people view Kmiec as a “traitor.” It is far more important that any potential ambassador be acceptable to the likes Stafford, Burke and Anderson than that the Vatican have an official diplomatic relationship with Barack Obama.
All of this was said in response to an article in _America_ suggesting the ambassadorship. That article characterized those of us who criticize Kmmiec as part of the “right wing fringe.” :
The official also explained, “Those who the article refers so disrespectfully as ‘extremists on the right,’ or ‘the far right political fringe,’ are the serious, loyal Catholics [the Vatican] precisely takes into account, because they are the ones who are there when the Church needs them.”
So there, Ed Peters!