Vatican ambassadors back Romney

Forbes reports that 5 former ambassadors to the Holy See signed a statement backing the Mormon candidate for president, Mitt Romney, passing over Catholic candiates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. From the article:

Mitt Romney’s Mormon background doesn’t concern five former Catholic ambassadors to the Vatican who endorsed him for President on Saturday.

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“We the undersigned former U.S. Ambassadors to the Holy See —Thomas Melady, Ray Flynn, James Nicholson, Francis Rooney and Mary Ann Glendon — are united in our wholehearted support for the candidacy of Mitt Romney for the Presidency of the United States because of his commitment to and support of the values that we feel are critical in a national leader,” they wrote in an endorsement posted on Romney’s campaign website.

“Although our political affiliations are diverse, we recognize the importance of family and traditional values in American life. We also share the conviction that Governor Romney has the experience, vision and commitment to the common good that our country needs at this crucial moment in history.”

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5 years 11 months ago
Ah, yes, and O'Hara is a Republican even though didn't I see him in church just last Sunday? Back when all the Catholics (except the bishops) were Democrats, the Democrats had a wing that donned its white sheets on Saturday nights and went riding. Not a few Catholics fell for it, but the majority ignored their benighted brethren to the south and stood with their party on the social justice principles taught by the "right reverend New Dealer John A. Ryan" and their labor priests.  The concept of political litmus tests had not been invented, or at any rate had not taken hold, and we were all the better for it.

On a pure abortion question, today's Democrats are a mess, although I can't see much beyond lip service that prolife Catholics get from Republicans. But, in case it hasn't been noticed, the current Democratic administration is offensive to the auld faith on a number of other issues, including the non-necessity for due process if the president chooses to kill someone with a Hellfire missile and an unbecoming beholdeness to Wall Street.
JOHN SULLIVAN
5 years 11 months ago
Very surprised and disappointed to see Ray Flynn's name among the sigatories.What possible values could he share with Romney? Raymond A. Schroth's current piece " In All Things" is all the more poignant.
5 years 11 months ago
I probably share all of the luminaries' disdain, disgust and disapproval for the rest of the field. I may vote for Mr. Romney myself if his party can get over his Mormonism and even nominate him. But, ladies and gentlemen. -"wholehearted"? That's something you save for someone better than best in a mediocre lot.

A lot of people who loved Barack Obama just three years ago are nursing hangovers in the stale morning air and wondering if just a tad more realism on their part in the beginning might have left them a little less heartbroken in the end. The ambassadorial luminaries are going to be embarrassed some day when their grandchildren come upon that "wholehearted."
Craig McKee
5 years 11 months ago
I never realized so many Republicans read AMERICA.
Tom Maher
5 years 11 months ago
Ray Flynn, former Democratic Mayor of Boston and U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican decison to endorse Mitt Romney makes perfect sense.  Most Catholics have long ago come around to recognize that the Democratic party is not he Democratic party of their great grandparents back in the 1920s where being a Catholic meant you must be a Democrat.  The certainty that all Catholics are Democrats disappeared at least a half century nd it is morel ikely today that most Catholics are not Democrats.  And a  large plurailty of Catholics are indeed Republicans where their religious values are nuch better accomadated especially when compared to the growing hostility and intolerance toward the church by the Democratic party. As Ronald Reagan was fond of saying "I did not leave the Democratic party the Democratic party left me." 

Just the the other night in the debates Governor Romney deplored Massachusetts failure to accomodate the moral beliefs of the Catholic church in adminstering adoptions.  Catholic Chariities in Massachussets and other Democratic strongholds around the country are force to close their doors after over a 100 years of public service due to the religious intolerance of the Democratic party. 

This is political payback one would expect.  If party does not support Catholics don't expect Catholics to support the party.  It makes perfect sense.  And Ray Flynn is performing a welcomed public service to Catholics in Amreica as one use to expect from of all Democrats long ago. 
Mary Sweeney
5 years 11 months ago
I am aghast that these individuals feel that they have some kind of leverage in terms of Catholic public opinion. I guess that's what comes of becoming wedded to a hierarchical system - delusions of grandeur.
Vince Killoran
5 years 11 months ago
Tom claims that "it is morel ikely today that most Catholics are not Democrats" but, actually, it is not.  I'm not certain why bloggers assert this-perhaps writing it enough times will make it true?

To be sure, it's not like the 1940s but, in the 2008 elections, Catholics voted 52 to 45 percent for BO.  Lest someone argue that Catholics are moving away from the Dems. the election results indicate that Hispanic Catholics-the fastest growing segment of the Church-voted 67 percent for Obama (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/08/us/politics/08beliefs.html).
JOHN SULLIVAN
5 years 11 months ago
Tom, this is not about family or traditional values. You're being used by the likes of Romney and , as some have asserted on this blog, the preening, pompous hierarchy who have always gravatated to the power brokers. Mr. Flynn was appointed to the ambassadorship to the Holy See in 1993 by pro-choice Preident Bill Clinton. I suppose he's now had an epihany.

The late Cardinal Bernadine of Chicago had a profound understanding of what it means to be pro-life; it's disingenuous to use  abortion and gay marriage as a smoke screen. Too many Irish-Americans think they now belong because of their material success and in the process lose their "soul".In fact, if it weren't for the Democratic party, many would still be in South Boston living in triple deckers. It's really sad to realize that places like Boston College are now filled with young people who have a distorted sense of entitlement. Oh for the days when Tip O'Niell took the green line to campus. I suppose we call this progress. You can keep your progress, work to ensure many others who, albeit different, have a chance. Remember where you came from, and it's ok to have a chip on your shoulder.
Crystal Watson
5 years 11 months ago
Well, there's at least one Catholic democrat left - me  :)    Overall, the deomcratic party does seem to embrace gospel values more than the republican party.
Crystal Watson
5 years 11 months ago
David P,

Yes, I guess both sides would say that.  I looked at a page that listed where all the republican candidates stand on the issues .....  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/06/gop-candidates-rick-santorum-mitt-romney-ron-paul_n_1190048.html  ....  pretty scary.
J Cosgrove
5 years 11 months ago
''The truth is probably very unflattering to both parties and their supporters.''


Maybe America should pursue the truth.  I think that would be an interesting exercise for all.  No ad hominems aimed at anyone by either the authors or the commenters and only the reasons why you support or object to a policy.
Crystal Watson
5 years 11 months ago
OK, specific policies that I object to (referencing this page - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/06/gop-candidates-rick-santorum-mitt-romney-ron-paul_n_1190048.html) .....

Most or all of the republican candidates apparently want to ...

 - eviscerate the EPA and protections for the environment .  Most don't even believe in global warming.
 -  undo Obama's health plan.
 -  cut taxes, and give big business a break.
-  shrink or even do away with the department of education.
- make immigration laws tougher.
- ban gay civil marriage.
- reverse Roe vs Wade.
 - torture terrorist suspects.
 - lower benefits and raise the age for social security




david power
5 years 11 months ago
Josh,

I am the only one who mentioned Mary Ann Glendon and I have no agenda against Republicans.What on earth lead her to do this and to phrase it as    "former ambassadors to the Holy See"?.
This I think is a misuse of her former office and degrading to the faith that we all share.People should not exploit their faith in this way.Kmiec did the same and I felt he was wrong too.
I am not so sure that the Gospel is inspiring anybody on either side of American politics and think that those who believe so treat it too lightly.
As Simon Cowell said "let us not ask if God is on our side but if we are on God's side".

Peace. 
Gabriel Marcella
5 years 11 months ago
Fellow Commentators:
Mary Ann Glendon has published 8 books, hundreds of articles, has taught countless students at Harvard Law School (Learned Hand Professor of Law), supervised many theses, served on numerous commissions, and has been a champion of human rights and of the rights of women. Her most recent pub is The Forum and the Tower: How Scholars and Politicians Have Imagined the World, from Plato to Eleanor Roosevelt.

She has made the world a better place and earned the right to express her political choice, in any way she wants, wholehearted or luke warm, or as former ambassador to the Vatican.
Tom Maher
5 years 11 months ago
Crystal Watson (#26) 

So you support an individual's freedom of speech but do not support  freedom of association to speak as a group?  Just what is politcal free speech/expression to you? Only hearing from people and ideas you like?  What are you talking about? 

Please note that by definition U.S.  Ambassadors are political appointees of a U.S. President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate and are therefore officials of the U.S. government not the countries they are assigned to represent U.S. interests in such as the Vatican.  The Vatican has a U.S. Ambassador becasue it is a sovreign state.  U.S. Ambassadors to the Vatican are not Vatican officials.  It makes no logical sense to say the pope or the Vatican may somehow be endorsing Romney via former U.S. Ambassadors to the Vatican. 

These people have a free speech right to endorse whomever they like. 
Crystal Watson
5 years 11 months ago
I think the point they wanted to make by giving their recommendation as a group of Vatican ambassadors  was to say without saying that this is the "official" Catholic stance on the candidates.  I'm not against anyone speaking freely, but it's my understanding that the church routinely does not make political endorsements ..... this seems to me to be a way to get around this.
Gabriel Marcella
5 years 11 months ago
Tom,
Good points. We should add that the American ambassador is the personal representative of the president to the host government, in this case the Vatican. The president gives the ambassador a letter of instruction which details the responsibilities of the ambassador and the policies he/she should pursue to promote the national interests of the United States. The Vatican Embassy is one of smallest that the US has, called at times the "ambasciatina." It's also worth noting that all American ambassadors to the Vatican have been Catholics, a fact that speaks to the unique nature of the place and duties of the diplomatic mission. The current one, Amb. Diaz, is quite a distinguished theologian. Promoting human rights and inter-religious dialogue are important matters in the relationship between the United States and the Vatican. 

David,
I can'?t speak for ?sainthood?? ?f???????o?r ??M?a?r?y? ??A?n?n? ???????????G?l?e?n?d?o?n??,? ?b?u?t? ??????????????????it would be Santa Subito for her.??
Gabriel Marcella
5 years 11 months ago
Correction:

David,
I can't speak for sainthood for Mary Ann Glendon, but it would be Santa Subito.

david power
5 years 11 months ago
Gabriel,

Right you are.
Good to correct ourselves in the midst of correcting others :).
Sainthood??Radiating holiness as they would say.

I wonder if she still thinks that Maciel is a Saint???
I wonder if she will be so wholehearted about Mitt Romney in the years ahead?

Powerful men have a strange effect on some women(And men). 

 
David Pasinski
5 years 11 months ago
It is particularly disappointing to see this "screen" endorsement by the hierarchy and/or the Vatican at this point. Obama's comprehensive health care plan and the support of lifting DADT allowt these faux- spokespeople for "Catholic' values to come to the fore  to support "family values" while at the same time decrying an attack on religious freedom... I wonder what they said individually or collectively about Vatican document on economy and justice..
david power
5 years 11 months ago
I too am dissapointed in Ray Flynn.The rest of them I can understand as they all harbour a hatred of anything that is not Weigelesque.
I never understood how a catholic could come out like Doug Kmiec and back Obama with a clean conscience.Vote for him by all means but don't start using the little catholic capital you have  to start giving them a  nihil obstat.
This is just as bad.
Romney previously said that he was pro-choice because of a family situation that made him see it that way.He was running in Massa choose its and now these cafeteria catholics come along and brand him the family values man.
Mary Ann Glendon is probably still sulking over the whole Notre Dame thing(Obama should not have been invited I think too) and along with Rooney who quite naturally represents big money .
I think Romney would be a very good President but after reading this something deep inside  tells me the good angels are roooting for Obama.   
Bill Mazzella
5 years 11 months ago
Just the idea that they led with "former ambassadors to the Holy See" is a travesty. Truly shameful in every way. Almost vulgar really. 
david power
5 years 11 months ago
Crystal ,

You do realize that all Republicans or catholic Republicans would say the same.
The truth is probably very inflattering to both parties and their supporters.
@Bill, you pretty much nailed it.They are professional catholics in that they are milking their "faith". I am sure that President Romney will be grateful for their efforts and the spit will be readied on the white house lawn.
david power
5 years 11 months ago
I am a neologue but inflattering should have been unflattering.
Joshua DeCuir
5 years 11 months ago
It's simply amazing, but I think some on here would have more respect for a convicted terrorist than do for their fellow Catholics who happen to be Republicans.  I mean statements that impugn the integrity and goodwill of people, including their commitment to the Gospel, such as Mary Ann Glendon who is a highly-respected legal scholar at Harvard and a champion of the dignity of women, are simply wrongheaded and ignorant.  Yes, I know that you can google a lot of nasty comments from conservative Catholics about President Obama or Democrats, but two wrongs don't make a right.  It's poiltics and politicians, friends, and as such should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism, not "baptized, confirmed, and ordained" for some narrow agenda.  I wish we could find a way to dialogue over disagreements about policy in a way that respects the commitments and perspectives of others, not assumes the worst.
5 years 11 months ago
That makes two, at least, prayers for dialogue. But the statement of the luminaries doesn't give us much matter to dialogue about. They say they like Romney for his "family and traditional values," whatever that may mean. I may be presuming but I'd bet abortion is the family value of interest to them. They are aganst it, and they think he is. Some of his Republican opponents are not so sure he is.

Other Republican family and traditional values would include American exceptionalism, the right to take your handgun to church and preferential tax treatment for people who do very well for themselves. You wouldn't have to be an ambassador to the Vatican to have a reservation or two about those.

Democratic family and traditional values would include a woman's right to killl her unborn child, with government support if she can't afford it out of her own pocket. You wouldn't have to be an ambassador to the Vatican to have a reservation about that.

None of those "values" is a narrow agenda; they alll have permutations we could dialogue over, although I would not care to defend either "side" of such a dialogue. Maybe that is why I recoiled at the luminaries' whole-heartedness.
david power
5 years 11 months ago
Santo Subito.
Gabriel,

Writing and publishing books is her job.It is how she makes hay.It does not follow that her every utterance can go unchallenged.
Freedom of speech is not something we earn by building up brownie points as you seem to put it and then have a weekend at a lobbyists version of Las Vegas"hell I bin fightin the good fight for many a year and done thunk id double down on black 23 /Mitt Romney".  
Each of us is entitled to our opinon and not just Mary Ann Glendon but if she starts whipping out the old Vatican card she should expect a response  from that.
If she is such a genius of Law she would understand that phrasing it that way will imply to many that those in the Via della Concilazione are of a similar bent and that is an infringement on the separation  of  Church and State.
This is a political gesture on her part and she is drawing the Vatican into it.Poor taste to say the least. 

"Just the idea that they led with "former ambassadors to the Holy See" is a travesty. Truly shameful in every way. Almost vulgar really."
What Bill wrote is true.She should speak for herself and not be giving the impression of a nihil obstat from Rome to her candidate. 
 
david power
5 years 11 months ago
By the way,

The last person she was this convinced about was Fr Marciel Macial.


"The other leading American intellectuals who endorsed Maciel on the Legion's own website were George Weigel, Mary Ann Glendon, William J. Bennett and William Donohue. "

Now she is on another website testifying to the soundness of  somebody else.

Harvard???? 
david power
5 years 11 months ago
 May Mary Ann Glendon writes, “The recent revival of long discredited allegations against Father Maciel would come as a surprise were it not for the fact that the U.S. is currently experiencing a resurgence of anti-Catholicism. One would have thought that Father Neuhaus's meticulous analysis of the evidence in First Things had put the matter to rest once and for all. As one who sat near Father Maciel for several weeks during the Synod for America, I simply cannot reconcile those old stories with the man's radiant holiness.”

Character witness anybody??
Tom Maher
5 years 11 months ago
Some of these comments demonstrate the rigid behavior of Catholic forums where five distinguished politcal figures are suspect of some kind of sinsiter breach of protocol for expressing publicly their considered political opinion on presidential political issues as if that is unusual and not to be expected.   Free speech that everyone else expects offends many Catholics.  Ian't that odd?  Where does this rgidity come from?  

How horrible that these individuals' opinions are being expressed.  This is just so intolerable.  Who gave them permission to speak?   Call in the thought police.  Ideas are being expressed that may offend.  Ideas are dangerous.   Imagine having an independent political opinion and then expressing it publicly to make the point many Catholics are not too happy with the Obama staus quo.

Crystal Watson
5 years 11 months ago
Maybe the problem with their endorsement is that they didn't endorse Romney as individuals but as a block of former Vatican ambassadors  ... it appears to be a way for the Vatican/pope to endorse a candidate for president without actually being responsible for doing so.

About Mary Ann Glendon, she may be a woman but she's not someone I'd choose as a representative for women's rights - she's an apologist for the church's "new feminism"  ....  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_feminism
david power
5 years 11 months ago
One word  to that Maria. 

Amen. 

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