Advice to politicians from former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican

“What we have to hope for are states-persons and other decision-makers who have practical wisdom, but also well grounded in theory, and then it doesn’t hurt to get down on your benders and say a few prayers.”

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Debate dogs Obama’s ambassador to Vatican

diazTo the extent that anybody outside the church had ever heard of Diaz, the 46-year-old professor from Collegeville, Minn., is identified with a left-of-center theology that emphasizes human rights and social justice.

That’s disconcerting for conservative Catholics, who see opposition to abortion as a central moral tenet of the church. When Diaz presented his credentials as the new U.S. ambassador last month, Pope Benedict asserted the “need for a clear discernment with regard to issues touching the protection of human dignity and respect for the inalienable right to life from the moment of conception to natural death. … The Church insists on the unbreakable link between an ethics of life and every other aspect of social ethics.”

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