GRANGER, Ind. — President Biden is set to nominate former Indiana senator Joe Donnelly to be the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican this week.
Donnelly served as Indiana’s senator from 2013 to 2019.
Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins calling Donnelly the “ideal choice” to represent the U.S. government at the Holy See in Rome. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) offered his congratulations to Donnelly on Twitter.
“Congratulations to my former colleague and fellow Hoosier Joe Donnelly on his nomination to serve as ambassador to the Vatican,” Young wrote. “Joe is a devout Catholic and longtime public servant, and I know he will serve our nation well and represent the best of our Hoosier values.”
Donnelly has been teaching at Notre Dame since he left the Senate and is also a partner at a D.C. law firm.
Not everyone is excited about the president’s choice to nominate Donnelly. Rev. Mark Powell, a Lutheran pastor who intends to run for Senate on the Democratic ticket next year voiced his opposition over the weekend.
Powell’s grievance is more about the existence of the U.S. embassy at the Holy See rather than with Donnelly himself.
“The embassy was started in 1984 by the Reagan Administration to have more immediate communication to then Polish native Pope John Paul II when Poland was amid a crisis with the Communist Polish government controlled by the Soviet politburo in Moscow,” Powell said.
“With the Soviet Communist threat in Europe over and with Pope Francis’ cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party … it would be logical and prudent to send a message to the Bishop of Rome that the United States will not play favorites with Christian denominations.”
Donnelly will have to be confirmed by the Senate once the nomination is formally made by the White House.