Clinton Names Ambassador

President Clinton’s decision to appoint Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn to be the next ambassador to the Vatican drew sharp criticism from evangelical and church/state separation groups that had urged an end to official diplomatic relations with the Holy See.

“Such a decision by any President is bad, but coming from a Baptist President, it is even worse,” said Richard Land, executive director of the Southern Baptist Convention Christian Life Commission, citing the “cherished Baptist heritage” of the separation of church and state. In February, the CLC, the National Association of Evangelicals, Church of the Brethren, Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Presbyterian Church (USA) joined in a letter calling on Clinton to break diplomatic ties to the Vatican. The National Council of Churches also opposed the appointment.

Also condemning Clinton’s decision was Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who said the continued “official relationship between the United States government and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church” violates the First Amendment. Noting that Flynn, like his three predecessors, is a Catholic, Lynn raised concerns that the United States is establishing “a de facto religious test for this office.”

Flynn, a prolife Democrat, says he hopes to be a bridge between the White House and Pope John Paul II on the concerns they share on “social and economic justice.”

Minister Charged with Sedition

A Kenya minister affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa has been charged with sedition after publishing a magazine article critical of the government of President Daniel Arap Moi.

Jamlick Miano, editor of The Watchman, was arrested February ...

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