From NEWSWEEK - Issue of October 13,
Book Review: "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings"
Oh, how Richard Nixon would have loved to have gotten his hands on
Joseph Kennedy's letters before the 1960 election. The letters, quietly
released by the JFK library in November 2000 and explored in this
week's "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings", (Basic Books), detail
the Kennedys' hidden and intimate ties with the Vatican.
In an election where JFK repeatedly
campaigned on a strict separation
of church and state, the letters from the former president's
father—specifically his correspondence with the Vatican's top
administrator, Count Enrico Galeazzi—are startling.
In one, Joseph
offers to act as a liaison between the Vatican and the
CIA if John is elected. "I think that if there is anything you want me
to do," he writes in a 1958 letter to Galeazzi, "you could let me know
and I will contact [then CIA Director Allen Dulles]."
Author Thomas Maier notes that while JFK was well aware of the
relationship with Galeazzi, it is uncertain whether he knew of this
promise. But, Maier notes, the Vatican connection was not far removed
from the future president—"Joe was the motor in the car of JFK's
campaign." And what is certain, he says, is that had the letters been
leaked, John would not have won the election. —Elise Soukup
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