President Obama is having a hard time finding an ambassador to the Vatican.

According to Massimo Franco, author of “Parallel
Empires,” a recently published book on U.S.-Vatican relations, the
Obama administration has put forward three candidates for consideration
but each of them have been deemed insufficiently pro-life by the
Vatican.

One of the few conditions the Vatican places on diplomats accredited
to the Holy See is that they hold pro-life views in line with Church
teaching.

That’s a minimal requirement. Is that so hard to find?!

Yes.

Franco says the administration is now looking for a
professional diplomat rather than a political appointee because finding
an authentically pro-life candidate within the Democratic Party is
proving impossible. The task is further hampered by the
administration’s desire to reward individuals who gave donations to
Obama’s campaign.

Maybe this is an opportunity to cross party lines. Or…..religious ones?

However, in view of the absence of qualified Catholic
candidates, insiders say another option could be for the administration
to choose a non-Catholic pro-life candidate rather than a Catholic
whose record on pro-life issues is at odds with Church teaching.

…which seems unlikely right now.

The post of U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See has been
vacant since Jan. 19, when Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon left
the position. Commentators say that unless an appointment is made by
mid-April, the Obama administration could face the embarrassing
possibility of having no ambassador in place when the president visits
Italy in July for the G8 summit. That would make any encounter between
Pope Benedict XVI and President Obama not impossible but unlikely.

That would be a shame, all the way around. Especially given all the
controversial decisions Obama has already made since taking office, on
life issues and the threat to conscience protections of health care
workers.

To help clear up some of these disagreements, a meeting
between the Pope and the President is seen by some as a matter of
urgency, particularly in view of Obama’s campaign pledge to build
consensus between both sides of the pro-life debate. Failure to do so
will confirm what some Vatican officials already suspect of Obama: that
his talk of reaching out to all sides was empty talk, designed to
deceive.

Send Mary Ann Glendon back, maybe?

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....