Too Catholic to be Ambassador?

Douglas Kmiec Resigns

U.S. Ambassador to Malta, Douglas Kmiec, is resigning his post as of August 15th. The State Department’s inspector general accused Kmiec of spending too much time writing and speaking about his Catholic beliefs to the detriment of his diplomatic duties.

The State Department’s inspector general issued an audit asserting that Kmiec spent too much time expressing his religious views and not enough doing his job representing the U.S. The report stated that he had “devoted considerable time to writing articles for publication in the U.S. as well as in Malta,” and that these “outside activities…detracted from his attention to core mission goals.”

“I doubt very much whether one could ever spend too much time on this subject,” Kmiec wrote in his letter to the president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “With my reputation impugned by the recent… report, I can no longer be certain that I am in a position with my government to have your needs and perspectives heard in the best possible light.”

It’s a strange turn of events given that the major criticism leveled at Kmiec early on was that he wasn’t Catholic enough. Kmiec was heavily criticized by some Catholics for his support of Barack Obama.

Kmiec, who had worked for both President Reagan and President Bush, in addition to being a legal scholar at both Notre Dame and Pepperdine, helped to lead the effort to gain Catholic support for Obama, suggesting that as president, Barack Obama would seek to make abortion rare. It can definitely be argued that that hasn’t been the case.

So, who are we to believe? It would be fascinating, as Paul Harvey would say, to know the rest of the story.