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May 28, 2009

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Catholic Democrats Praises President Obama's Appointment of Dr. Miguel Diaz as
Vatican Ambassador

Boston, MA
- Catholic Democrats praises 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 Holy See since formal diplomatic relations were established in 1984.

"This appointment serves to emphasize the importance President Obama places on our nation's relationship with the Vatican," said Dr. Patrick Whelan, president of Catholic Democrats.  "Dr. 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 the multi-cultural and ecumenical aspects of faith in public life and in the life of the Church," 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' to address the challenges we face as a 'human family.'  President Obama has appointed someone who can help build bridges of understanding in these turbulent times, including among Catholics, particularly when such bridges are so sorely needed."

Born in Havana Cuba and the first person in his family to attend college, Dr. Diaz would be breaking new ground as the first Latino as well as the first theologian to serve as ambassador to the Vatican.  His appointment follows that of 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 has made addresses at events sponsored by the institutional Church and served as the Academic Dean at the St Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Florida.  He 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.

About Catholic Democrats
Catholic Democrats is an association of state based groups representing a Catholic voice within the Democratic Party, and advancing a public understanding of the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching and its potential to help solve the broad range of problems confronting all Americans. For more information about Catholic Democrats please go to