PRESIDENT NIXON has
decided against appointing an envoy to the Vatican, but will send officials on periodic visits to the Pope, it was disclosed last week at Key Biscayne, Florida, by Mr. Ron Zeigler, the White House Press secretary.
He said Mr. Nixon wanted to maintain "close communications" with the Vatican, and believed that this could be done effectively by sending high-level officials to the Vatican from time to time.
Announcing in March at a white House news conference that he was considering the appointment of a permanent special envoy to the Vatican, Mr. Nixon said: "What is important is that the United States should have close consultation with the Vatican on foreign policy matters in which the Vatican has a very great interest and a very great influence."
EMBASSY LINK He said that the conversation he had with Pope Paul during his European trip earlier this year had been "very helpful," and that he would decide whether the "very closest-consultation and discussion with the Vatican" could best be promoted by sending a special ambassador or by other means.
The American Embassy in Rome has been used for maintaining contact with the Vatican since President Truman's proposed establishment of formal relations was vigorously opposed by Protestant groups in America. Mr. Ziegler said this method would be continued in addition to the occasional dispatch of officials.