By William Wan
The Senate has confirmed President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to the Vatican, making Miguel Diaz the first Hispanic to hold the post.
The position is a crucial one for Obama’s administration, which has drawn fire at times from U.S. Catholic bishops on issues like abortion. The position of Diaz, a Catholic theology professor, on such hot-button issues has been vague. Some have interpreted his testimony in confirmation hearings as indications that he supports Obama’s pragmatic approach of trying to find common ground and working to reduce abortions rather than continuing the ongoing culture war between the abortion rights and anti-abortion sides. One blogger from his confirmation hearings noted that Diaz understandably stuck to neutral boilerplate replies on the controversial.
It doesn’t sound like there will be answers, for a little while at least. Diaz was confirmed yesterday ,and today he issued a statement today through College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, where he teaches, and had this to say:
“I know there is a lot of interest among the public and the press as I prepare to take on my new duties as Ambassador to the Holy See. I welcome the opportunity to meet with members of the media once I have arrived in Rome and have presented my credentials.”