The Vatican has rejected at least three possible candidates proposed by Barack Obama to serve as US ambassador to the Holy See, say reliable sources in Rome.
None of the three candidates informally proposed by the Obama administration so far is acceptable to the Pope because of their support for abortion rights.
One of the potential nominees vetoed by the Vatican is Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the former US president.
The conservative [magazine] Il Giornale described the vetoes as part of a “trial of strength between Barack Obama and the US church that involves the Holy See”, amid uproar among the church’s hierarchy after America’s principal Catholic university, Notre Dame, invited the president to give an address and receive an honorary degree next month.
The Vatican also rejected another potential nominee, Douglas Kmiec, a professor of constitutional law at Pepperdine University and former head of the office of legal counsel for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. Kmiec, a Republican who endorsed Obama during the last election campaign, has said that Catholics who support the right to abortion need not follow the church’s admonition to vote for an anti-abortion presidential candidate.
The Vatican is maintaining the official line that there have been no formal rejections of Obama’s ambassadorial nominees because none has been officially put forward.