Just when Caroline Kennedy was recovering from the political mess over her bid for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, she now has hit some more political roadblocks. And these are coming from a holier land: the Vatican.

The Massachusetts Catholic Action League and sources within the Vatican itself are protesting the idea President Obama may appoint JFK’s daugher as an ambassador to the Vatican. Why are they so angry? Because Ms. Kennedy, a Catholic, supports abortion rights.

Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, reportedly was pushing Obama to pick Kennedy, 53, for the job, but C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Massachusetts league, said her nomination is “a calculated insult to the Holy See.”

“It’s inappropriate to appoint someone who pretends to be a Catholic but rejects the fundamental teachings of the Church,” Doyle said. U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Raymond L. Flynn told The Boston Herald Kennedy’s nomination would be a “mistake.”

Vatican sources told the Italian newspaper Il Giornale that they disapprove of several of Obama’s ambassador picks, including Kennedy, because of their stances on abortion or stem cells. But the Vatican is denying reports that they’ve opposed any of Obama’s picks over their split on abortion.

“No proposals about the new ambassador of the United States to the Holy See have reached the Vatican, and therefore it is not true that they have been rejected. The rumors circulating about this topic are not reliable,” the spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told Catholic News Service. “It’s possible names have been circulated inside the U.S. administration, and perhaps rejected for some reason or other, but not because of any Vatican veto.”

So far, no official word from the Obama camp on what’s what. But needless to say, the split on such a controversial topic will likely make for a slightly awkward meeting between Obama and Pope Benedict XVI in Italy in July.


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