Boston, MA -- Catholic Democrats has praise for the appointment of Dr. Miguel Diaz, Professor of Theology at St. John's University and the College of Saint Benedict near St. Cloud MN, as our nation's next Vatican ambassador. If confirmed, Dr. Diaz would be the ninth ambassador to the Vatican since formal diplomatic relations were established in 1984.
"This appointment serves to emphasize how seriously President Obama takes our relationship with the Vatican," said Dr. Patrick Whelan, president of Catholic Democrats. "Professor Diaz has distinguished himself as a scholar of modern Catholicism, deeply familiar with the documents of Vatican II and their implications for the work of the Church in the world today. By choosing someone who has devoted his life to the Church and to the Catholic Social Tradition, President Obama has sent yet another signal that he plans to engage fully with the Vatican in addressing the whole range of human needs about which both the Church and the Administration share such deep concern."
"Dr. Diaz is passionately engaged in inter-cultural and ecumenical aspects of faith in public life," said Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats. "His work reflects the spirit of President Obama's call at Notre Dame to embrace 'open minds, open hearts and fair minded words.' President Obama has appointed someone who can help build mutual understanding among Catholics in this turbulent time, particularly when such bridges are so sorely needed."
Born in Havana Cuba and the first in his family to attend college, Dr Diaz would be the first theologian to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. He shares the legacy of growing up in a Spanish-speaking family with President Obama's newly-announced nominee to the US Supreme Court, Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Both have spoken publicly about the impact of Latino culture on their respective world views.
Professor Diaz is a nationally-recognized scholar who has earned the respect of the breadth of the Catholic community. He served as the Academic Dean at the St Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Florida, is a former president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States, and currently serves on the Board of the Catholic Theological Society of America.