Obama’s ambassador to the Vatican rankles pro-lifers



The following comes from an Oct. 29 story in LifeSiteNews.

Only four days after formally beginning his post as the new US ambassador to the Vatican, Ken Hackett, the former head of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) took a swipe at pro-life Americans who criticized CRS for funding groups promoting abortion and contraception.  Hackett was interviewed days after presenting his credentials to Pope Francis.

In interviews he called for diplomacy in dealings between the Obama Administration and the Catholic Church, yet his comments about Catholic pro-lifers were less than diplomatic.

When questioned about the rocky relations between the U.S. Bishops and the Obama Administration and how that might play out in his role at the Vatican, Hackett told the National Catholic Reporter that he felt no negative effects at all. “I believe there are far more issues where our government agrees with the Holy See as opposed to the relatively few areas of disagreement, and that’s where I’ll put my emphasis,” he said.

When reporter John Allen followed up asking if he was concerned about giving cover to an Administration considered by some as hostile, Hackett added, “I also believe that when there are disagreements, we have to dialogue rather than throwing bricks at one another.”

Allen also questioned Hackett about sharp criticisms CRS has received from American Life League and other organizations for their funding of pro-abortion groups.  After praising CRS and claiming to have heard only praise and gratitude for CRS from Rome, Hackett threw a barb at critics of CRS.

“In general, I wouldn’t put much stock in detractors who don’t have mud under their toes because they haven’t been working in the tough places,” he said.

American Life League’s Michael Hichborn responded to Hackett’s remark in an interview with LifeSiteNews.  “Given that Ken Hackett raked in over $300,000 per year in the last two years he worked for an organization that ostensibly fights poverty, I have to wonder just how much mud he got under his toes,” said Hichborn.

Tax filings from Catholic Relief Services indicate that Hackett received $322,394 in reportable compensation in 2011 and $325,000 in 2010.

Hichborn also noted that campaign records indicate that Hackett was a donor to the Obama campaign in 2012, well after “Obama made clear that he is waging a war against babies and the Catholic Church.”

Read John Allen’s full interview with Ken Hackett.

To read the entire LifeSiteNews story, click here.


  1. Steve Phoenix says:

    I knew that Hackett would invoke the great watch word of Vat II, “dialogue” (meaning a continued progressive slouching toward Gomorrah). The disaster rolls on.

  2. We might keep in mind that no representative of the U.S. is accredited to the Vatican without the prior approval of the Vatican. I’m sure they vetted the Ambassador pretty well before accepting him. That, of course, doesn’t mean he isn’t going to say things with which others will disagree.

  3. Father Karl says:

    Believing that someone whom Obama appoints to head, or represent us would be a good moral soul, is naive. Just as birds of a feather flock together, the pals of this man are not to be trusted. The Vatican should raise a stink about this appointment, much as the Jewish people would do if a pro Nazi were to be made ambassador to Israel. Because Catholics are too silent on most issues, many abuses and injustices occur.

    • Good point Father. This man is obviously not suited for the position he holds, and, in appointing him, the Obama administration was obviously acting maliciously towards Catholics, as they are in so many other things they do.

    • Larry from R.I. says:

      Not very Christian Father.
      For your penance:
      ! decade of Obamacare,
      3 Hail Barrys,and
      5 Kumbayahs
      Now,go in peace,my son.

  4. CRS, being paid over half a million dollars in two years, Obama supporter, and a CINO, it appears. Shows how much Obama cares about the Vatican and how much Hackett cares about the Faith, of which abortion seems not to be on the same level, he says.

  5. “I only fear bad Catholics.” St Bernadette

    “The fort is betrayed even of them that should have defended it”
    – Bishop John Fisher –

  6. Fredi D'Alessio says:

    God bless the American Life League folks and Steven Mosher (one of my three prolife heroes) of the Population Research Institute.

  7. I wonder how much Catholic Relief Services contributes to Acorn/Alinsky/Soros organizations. At least I do not contribute to them or the Archbishops request. We do contribute substantially to our two parishes.

  8. Keep in mind that Hackett was awarded Notre Dame’s 2012 Laetare Medal—the same medal which Mary Ann Glendon refused to accept because Notre Dame had invited abortion champion Obama to speak at the commencement.

    Keep in mind that Hackett is but one of many corporate, albeit, “non-profit” corporate profiteers within Leftist political circles.

    Too bad that Pope Francis does not have a solid Catholic on board to help him sort the wheat from the chaff.

  9. Fredi D'Alessio says:

    “American Life League’s Michael Hichborn points out that Hackett’s review of Jeffrey Sach’s book The End of Poverty praises the controversial work as ‘a positive force for the cause of development and a must-read for anyone interested in the subject.’”
    Regarding Sachs:
    The Millennium Project (MP), which was commissioned by the United Nations Secretary-General and is headed by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, stresses that expanding access to sexual and reproductive health information and services is a “quick win,” a cost-effective action that can put countries on the road towards achieving the MDGs. The MP recommends that universal access to reproductive health services be added as one of the targets of the MDGs under Goal 5, so-called “To improve maternal health”.
    In his February 2006 forward to Public Choices, Private Decisions: Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Millennium Development Goals, Jeffery Sachs says the document takes these arguments further and presents the evidence of the relationship between sexual and reproductive health and each of the Millennium Goals. And that “it underscores the urgent need to increase investments in improving the access to SRH information and services, particularly for the poor. Otherwise, the MDGs cannot be met.” Mr. Sachs closes with: “I am grateful for their important work and recommend this report to all who are interested in improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes that will make it possible to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”

  10. Bwangi Kilonzo says:

    CRS is a compromised leftist organization. Right up there with Moveon.org.

    Bishops are sleeping on the Job.

  11. From Sandro Magister column, dated 1 Nov.: http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350635?eng=y

    “…Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio has said loud and clear, in the interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica,’that he does not see as a priority the battles over anthropological issues like the questions “connected to abortion, homosexual marriage, and the use of contraceptive methods.’”
    Hopefully, this isn’t true, but if it is….

  12. Anton L Seidl says:

    Ambassador Hackett and his ilk is why I stopped contributing to the CRS. Hackett is the kind of “Catholic” Obama would find quite appropriate to represent the US at the Vatican. His liberal credentials are exemplary, I’m sure.

  13. Here is how Catholic Relief Services spend their money:
    Emergency $232,830 31.78%
    Agriculture $146,175 19.96%
    HIV and AIDS $106,953 14.60%
    Health $88,038 12.02%
    Education $48,026 6.56%
    Welfare $28,581 3.90%
    Peace and Justice $25,407 3.47%
    Small Enterprise $7,361 1.01%
    Total Program Services $683,371 93.30%
    Fundraising $21,747 2.97%
    Management and General $20,449 2.79%
    Public Awareness $6,851 0.94%
    Total Supporting Services $49,047 6.70%
    TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSES $732,418 100.00%
    This is not a bad organization. But, not all agree. Look at their web site and you can see all you need to know about the organization. Their mission is clear!

    • Catherine says:

      Bob One writes … “Their mission is clear!”

      It certainly IS and that is precisely why informed Catholics are no longer contributing.

      I will keep you in my prayers Bob One because your mission on this website is quite clear too.

      • Luke 10:25-37 And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting him, and saying, Master, what must I do to possess eternal life?
        [26] But he said to him: What is written in the law? how readest thou? [27] He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself. [28] And he said to him: Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. [29] But he willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: And who is my neighbour? [30] And Jesus answering, said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who also stripped him, and having wounded him went away, leaving him half dead.
        [31] And it chanced, that a certain priest went down the same way: and seeing him, passed by. [32] In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. [33] But a certain Samaritan being on his journey, came near him; and seeing him, was moved with compassion. [34] And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine: and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. [35] And the next day he took out two pence, and gave to the host, and said: Take care of him; and whatsoever thou shalt spend over and above, I, at my return, will repay thee.
        [36] Which of these three, in thy opinion, was neighbour to him that fell among the robbers? [37] But he said: He that shewed mercy to him. And Jesus said to him: Go, and do thou in like manner.

      • Catherine, I don’t understand your comment or view, so help me out. The CRS does what it can all over the world to relieve the pain of poverty wherever it can help. Why would it be wrong to work for the elimination of Aids? Why would it be wrong to work for the elimination on poverty? Why would it be wrong to work for peace and justice in the world. Those are efforts that cry out from the writings of the new testament. Those are the cries of Christ who told us to work for justice, to love our neighbors, etc. What is wrong with trying to follow Christ? By the way, I have no mission on this site. I do, however, believe strongly that the mission of the Catholic person is to work to eliminate injustice, foster peace wherever we go and to improve the lot of all of God’s people. I try to do that as much as I can.

    • Where, I wonder, did the former CRS director’s (Hackett, now Ambassador to the Vatican) $1/3 million salary come from?

      • When someone manages an $800 mm organization all over the world, the salary is in line with other not-profits.

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