The editor of a Malta newspaper has commented on President Barack Obama’s choice of Prof. Doug Kmiec as ambassador to Malta, describing the appointment as “somewhat of a poisoned chalice” and noting the controversies concerning Kmiec and his campaign to elect Obama to the American presidency.
Noel Grima, editor of the Malta Independent Online, said that though Kmiec was a Catholic and a pro-life person he has “fallen foul” of some Catholic leaders for his public stances on abortion and other pro-life issues.
Noting Kmiec’s past as a law school dean, a law professor, and a member of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidential administrations, Grima then discussed Kmiec’s transformation into a supporter of President Barack Obama, an open proponent of abortion rights.
Kmiec had said he was convinced that then-Senator Obama wanted to alleviate social conditions that correlate with abortion. Though describing himself as a Republican and a Catholic who believes in traditional marriage and the beginning of life at conception, he said he believed that president Obama would respect and accommodate opposing points of view.
Grima noted that a priest denied communion to Kmiec at a Mass for a California chapter of Legatus, a Catholic businessman’s group. The priest was forced to apologize to Kmiec by Archbishop of Los Angeles Roger Cardinal Mahony.
“The amount of hatemail and hate comments about him is simply unbelievable,” Grima wrote.
However, Kmiec has also become an ardent defender of the Obama administration.
Listing Kmiec’s defense of Obama’s embryonic stem cell policy, the president’s pro-abortion appointees, and his recent proposal to end state recognition of marriage, Grima also noted that the nominated ambassador has engaged in controversies with several Catholic prelates.
According to Grima, Kmiec has criticized Archbishops Raymond Burke and Charles Chaput and Bishop Joseph Naumann for saying Catholics who support abortion should be denied Communion. Kmiec has called this denial a form of “intimidation.”
Kmiec also labeled as “intrusive” Pope Benedict XVI’s comments to pro-abortion rights Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic and Speaker of the U.S. House. His defense of President Obama’s embryonic stem cell research policy also brought criticism from Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.