Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Vatican Ambassador

President Obama seems to have made a pretty interesting choice for the next Ambassador to the Vatican, theology professor Migues Diaz. He teaches up the road here in Minnesota at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. Apparently one of his specialties is the Trinity!

He is a lay theologian, married with four children. Born in Cuba, he was raised in Spain and then trained in Minnesota at the University of St. Thomas and in Indiana at Notre Dame (master's and doctor's degrees). He was an Obama adviser during the campaign (I wear a wry smile at the thought of a theological adviser to a presidential candidate -- talk about a court theologian!), and has apparently been rewarded for his advice.

By the accounts at the schools, he is a fine man, a good teacher, a faithful Catholic -- so he should do a good job (despite a lack of diplomatic experience -- assuming that we don't count walking through the minefields of modern academic Catholic theology an experience in diplomacy!). He stands in start contrast to the outgoing ambassador, law professor Mary Ann Glendon, who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to identify Roman Catholic teachings with the Republican Party (witness her recent lamentable display of poor judgment and poor theology in her refusal of an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame -- because President Obama was speaking to the graduates).

This issue cuts about as closely to the raison d'etre for this blog as any -- viz., the intersection of faith and public life. I'm sorry to say that I don't know Prof. Dr. Diaz, but I think we should all wish him well and offer prayers for his service to the United States in the Vatican city-state.

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