Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Well, SOMEone knows....

The president has nominated an ambassador to the Vatican:
A Hispanic Roman Catholic theologian who was an adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign will be nominated to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, the White House announced Wednesday.

Miguel H. Diaz, 45, an associate professor of theology at St. John's University and the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, would be the first Hispanic to serve as ambassador to the Vatican since the United States and the Holy See established full diplomatic ties in 1984. Diaz was born in Havana.

The announcement comes in the same week Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools, to the Supreme Court. She would be the high court's first Hispanic justice.

The selection of a Vatican ambassador rarely attracts scrutiny. But Diaz's nomination comes as tensions run high in the U.S. church over Catholics' voice in the public square and the politics of abortion.

Obama's recent commencement speech and acceptance of an honorary degree at the University of Notre Dame — Diaz's alma mater and the nation's flagship Catholic university — provoked controversy and criticism from dozens of Catholic bishops because Obama's abortion stance clashes with a core church teaching.

The previous ambassador to the Vatican was Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard University professor and conservative Catholic scholar with longtime Vatican ties. Glendon turned down Notre Dame's top honor, the Laetere Medal, because of the school's decision to honor Obama.

In an interview with Catholic News Service at Obama's inauguration, Diaz said he was looking forward "to moving beyond the politics of fear to the politics of hope." He said Obama was "committed to working" with people who defend "life in the womb" and deeply respects people who hold positions he does not agree with.

"Wherever we can, we should advance life at all stages," Diaz said..... [Where we CAN? are there places where we can't "advance life"?]

He declined to answer questions about his positions on issues, saying it would be inappropriate before his confirmation hearing.

Time will tell. I am encouraged by the fact that the president's campaign promises are turning out to be as unprincipled as most politicians'.

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