BOSTON -- Raymond L. Flynn said today he is resigning his position as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican and will return to Massachusetts to weigh a possible bid for governor next year. The White House has already said it would nominate former pro-life Rep. Lindy Boggs as his replacement.
"It has been a great honor to serve the people of the United States and a privilege to come to know, respect and deeply admire the Holy Father, John Paul II. I tried to the best of my ability to serve the president while being loyal to my country, faithful to my God and true to myself," Flynn told The Associated Press in a telephone call from Rome.
Flynn, who served as mayor of Boston for a decade before being named a diplomat by President Clinton in 1993, planned to submit his letter of resignation on Tuesday. It will be effective Saturday, the same day he returns to Boston.
His announcement had been expected. In an interview two weeks ago, Flynn all but declared that he plans to seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1998.
Boggs, a pro-life Democrat who like Flynn is a Roman Catholic, retired from the House in 1990 after nine terms. She had won the seat of her husband, Majority Leader Hale Boggs, in a special 1973 election after he died in a plane crash in Alaska. The White House announced her nomination to the ambassador post on Friday.
During her tenure in office, Boggs compiled a near-perfect voting record on right to life issues voting pro-life 63 of 65 times.
As an ambassador Flynn sometimes generated controversy. He was twice reprimanded by the State Department for speaking out on issues like abortion, in violation of the usual tight control over communications.