BECAUSE of organised opposition, President
Truman's proposal to appoint General Mark Clark — commander of the Allied forces which liberated Rome — to be the United States' first Ambassador to the Vatican City is in danger of being dropped.
The President's message announcing his intention reached Congress a few hours before the members adjourned until
a recess appointment—a
jManaurkarYCla8ric . be temporary appointment to
He was at that time said to considering giving General
the Vatican—which would later be ratified or not by the Senate. Then the storm broke.
Non-Catholic leaders expressed opposition ranging from pained regret to violent denunciation, which has tended to become still more bitter.
plea was made that the appointment would violate the Constitution, which provides for the separation of Church and State in the U.S.A.
This was enacted by the Founding Fathers, who were well acquainted with the results of interference by the State in religious affairs in European countries.
On Wednesday, Washington reports said that the President had now decided not to exercise his powers to give General Mark Clark a recess appointment and that he would await Senate action in January.
chance' Senators were openly expressing the view that the nomination would stand little chance of approval and even doubted if it will ever be brought to a vote.
A legalistic loophole is likely to be found on the ground that General Mark Clark could not take up the appointment and still retain his Army status, which it is known he desires to do.
And on the same day Vatican City reports expressed disappointment at the way in which the nomination has been handled.
The Vatican. said officials, thoroughly appreciate the pressure being exerted by Protestant groups. They said that they fear the President may now be backing down on the nomination.
Mr. Truman's action on 'Saturday took the nation by surprise, but by Sunday the campaign against it was in full swing among Episcopalian, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran and other non-Catholic religious leaders.
The President called the attention of the Senate to the Holy See's vigorous struggle against CommunAn and said: "Direct diplomatic relations will assist in co-ordinating the effort to combat the Communist menace."
"It is in the national interest to maintain diplomatic relations at the Vatican." he declared, and pointed out that 37 other nations already have envoys accredited to the Holy See.
There are no grounds as yet to suppose that the Apostolic Delegate in Washington, Archbishop Cicognani will become a Papal Nuncio with diplomatic status.
In nominating ,General Clark for the post, President Truman, a Baptist, has chosen an Episcopalian, just as the British Government nowadays always chooses an Anglican to be H.M. Minister to the Holy See.
General Clark, aged 55, is already well known to the Holy Father and to the Papal Secretariat. After Rome had been liberated by the troops under his command, he often visited the Vatican. usually for private calls on His Holiness and on prelates with whom he had quickly established a friendship. His appointment as Ambassador would re-establish diplomatic relations between the United States and