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Ties That Bind: U.S. Relationship With The Vatican Is A Church-State Sin

President Barack Obama recently announced his selection for U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. It is Ken Hackett, former head of Catholic Relief Services.

Hackett seems well regarded by a lot of people in Catholic circles, but I’m still troubled by the choice. Once again, the president has felt obligated to name not only a Catholic, but one who meets the approval of conservative factions within the Roman Catholic Church.   Read more

A Bridge Too Far: Vatican Ambassador Nominee Builds Wrong Edifice

President Barack Obama has named his new ambassador to the Holy See, and nominee Miguel H. Diaz has already announced his understanding of the job.

"If confirmed by the U.S. Senate," said Diaz in a statement. "I will continue the work of my predecessors and build upon 25 years of formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See. I wish to be a bridge between our nation and the Holy See."

A bridge between our nation and the Holy See. Read more

The First 100 Days: President Obama's Scorecard On Church And State

I guess it's a little impertinent for me to issue a report card for President Barack Obama on his performance during his first 100 days in office. I'm not his teacher, and he's not my student.

But what the heck? It's a free country and everyone else is doing it. So here goes.

I'm focusing on issues with church-state implications. Somebody else can tackle the other topics. Read more

Diplomatic Demands: Vatican Vetoes U.S. Ambassador Candidates Who Fail Religious Test

One of my heroes in the church-state world is a feisty Southern Baptist minister named James Dunn.

James ran the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty here in Washington for many years. He is firmly grounded in the historic Baptist view that separation of church and state is good for both institutions. Woe to anyone who suggested that James was operating out of hostility toward religion. A man of deep faith, James would quickly set you straight on that. Read more