Ambassador To Vatican Erred, Critics Say

SUNDAY, APRIL 21, 1996

Former Boston Mayor Raymond L. Flynn, now U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, has caused ripples at the State Department, but will not likely lose his job after siding with the Vatican over President Clinton on late-term abortions, State Department and White House sources said Saturday.

Flynn last week said he had urged Clinton “in the strongest possible terms” to back a bill making so-called partial-birth abortions illegal. Clinton vetoed the bill, an action Flynn said “is predictably causing a great deal of anxiety and concern” among Catholics.

“Sure, it’s causing a ripple,” a State Department source said Saturday of Flynn’s comments. “What he’s clearly done is essentially violated the cardinal rule of being a U.S. ambassador, which is speak no ill of your country, and he has spoken ill of his country.”

Said a White House source: “I don’t know if the president will take offense or not, but I doubt that the guy is going to lose his job.”

Tags: government

Click here to comment on this story »