Thursday, March 24, 2005

Vatican didn't aim to sway U.S. election, CNS Rome bureau chief says

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (CNS) -- Not everyone at the Vatican was displeased when the Catholic vote did not go to the Catholic candidate in the 2004 U.S. presidential election, according to John Thavis. But if the Vatican affected the outcome of the election, it was not because of a concerted effort for or against any candidate, said Thavis, a 1973 graduate of St. John's University in Collegeville who heads the Rome bureau of Catholic News Service. In a March 14 talk at St. John's in Collegeville on 'Vatican II to the Blogosphere: Church and Politics Today,' Thavis shared his understanding of the Vatican's actions during the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign. Thavis said that certain developments -- including the release of two Vatican documents during the months prior to the election -- have led some to infer the Vatican was working for the defeat of the Catholic candidate, Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. Such was not the case, said Thavis, who described the Vatican as having 'no interdepartmental communication' and no capability of launching and maintaining such an effort."

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