The Vatican has reportedly rejected at least three of President Obama’s candidates for the position of U.S. ambassador to the Holy See because they support abortion. It appears that the representatives of the United States must agree with the policies of Pope Benedict XVI.
I am not aware of this particular requirement for other nations like China, Russia, or countries with which we have major disputes. However, it creates a particularly difficult position for the White House since ambassadors are supposed to reflect the views of the President, who happens to be extremely pro-choice.
This could be particularly awkward when Mr. Obama attends a summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in Italy in July if there is no ambassador. However, does this mean that other nations like Saudi Arabia could bar an ambassador who opposes Sharia law? Conversely, does our ambassador to Israel have to support the position of that country on Jerusalem or Gaza? The general assumption is that our ambassadors are meant to represent the views of the American (and not the host) nation.
The story leaked by an Italian journalist will now put Obama in a position of (1) leaving the post ope, (2) conspicuously selecting someone without a stated position on the subject, or (3) using a pro-life litmus test for the selection of our next ambassador.
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