Rightly or wrongly these rejections have outraged secularists and liberals across the pond and even in our own back yard as Sullivan bemoans the fact that the Pope won't simply consider his professional qualifications irregardless of his personal proclivities.
The status of divorced or homosexual candidates has emerged as an insurmountable obstacle for Benedict XVI to give them approval.
It is one thing to agree with the "positive secularism" as promoted by Nicolas Sarkozy, but quite another to give his [Benedict's] arm a twist on issues that the German Pope, who during a quarter century he served as guardian of orthodoxy as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, considers essential.
I wonder if either candidate had been Protestant would they have been rejected outright like these guys? Benedict and his predecessor JPII both have commented, specifically, on the American Ambassadorship in terms of desiring some one more representative of the people - i.e. Protestant. The mores of Protestants, after all, are as diverse as their stylistic theologies. I suppose in those situations the Vatican would have to be very diplomatic. (ducks)