Confirmed: Mary Ann Glendon as US amb. to Holy See

Here is a story from CNS saying that Mary Ann Glendon has been confirmed as the USA’s Ambassador to the Holy See.

Senate confirms Mary Ann Glendon as U.S. ambassador to Vatican

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Senate confirmed Mary Ann Glendon, a U.S. law professor and president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, as the new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican Dec. 19.

President George W. Bush had announced plans to nominate Glendon Nov. 5. In the flurry of end-of-the-year activity, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the nomination on the morning of Dec. 19 and the full Senate approved dozens of nominations and military promotions in its next-to-last action before adjourning that evening.

Glendon, a Catholic, will succeed Francis Rooney, a Catholic businessman who has held the post since October 2005. A date for Rooney’s departure has not been announced.

Glendon is a law professor at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., and has been a member of the social sciences academy since its founding in 1994.

In March 2004 Pope John Paul II named her president of the academy, marking the first time a woman has been named president of one of the major pontifical academies.

The social sciences academy focuses on issues related to the social sciences, economics, politics and law. Although autonomous, the academy works in consultation with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Glendon, 69, also serves as a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Policy and chaired its task force on Iraq.

She was the first woman named to head a Vatican delegation to a major U.N. conference; in 1995, Pope John Paul named her head of the Vatican delegation to the U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing.

Glendon’s research has focused on bioethics, human rights, the theory of law and comparative constitutional law.

Since 2001, she also has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics, which advises the U.S. president.

In addition to teaching at Harvard, where she is the Learned Hand professor of law, she has been a visiting professor at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University and the Legionaries of Christ’s Regina Apostolorum Athenaeum, both in Rome.

Before going to Harvard, she was a law professor at Jesuit-run Boston College’s law school. Earlier in her career, she was an associate at the law firm of Mayer, Brown and Platt.

She earned her bachelor’s degree, law degree and master’s degree in comparative law at the University of Chicago.

In 2003 she received the Canterbury Medal from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and in 2005 received the National Humanities Medal. She is the author of "A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

In May of this year, as academy president, Glendon participated in a panel on "Religion in Contemporary Society" at U.N. headquarters in New York.

She said the challenge religious and cultural leaders are facing is "motivating their followers to meet others on the plane of reason and mutual respect, while remaining true to themselves and their own beliefs."

Glendon is known as a strong defender of Catholic teaching while also working to expand the inclusion of women in the church.

Last December at a Rome conference on "Feminism and the Catholic Church," she said church teaching that women and men are equal, but not identical is a healthy corrective to the feminism of the late 20th century, which she said promoted a "unisex society."

But she also said the church "will continue to have difficulty explaining the exclusion of women from the priesthood" unless it demonstrates the seriousness of its belief that women and men are equal, but not identical, by providing examples of lay women and men and priests working together in real partnerships.

A native of Berkshire County, Mass., she lives with her husband, Edward R. Lev, in Chestnut Hill, Mass. They have three daughters.

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15 Responses to Confirmed: Mary Ann Glendon as US amb. to Holy See

  1. Little Gal says:

    Perhaps this will prompt the Vatican to follow-up on the comments of the Holy Father in March of 2006 so that Ms. Glendon will liaise with other women in positions of Church governance:

    [The church owes a great debt of thanks to women,” the pope said.

    Women not only have exercised a charismatic function in the church, being prompted by the Holy Spirit to found religious orders, expand charitable projects and develop new forms of piety, he said; they have had “a real and profound participation in the governance of the church.”

    “How could one imagine the governance of the church without this contribution, which sometimes has been quite visible, like when St. Hildegard criticized the bishops or when St. Brigid and St. Catherine of Siena admonished and obtained the return of the popes to Rome” from Avignon, France, the pope said.

    ‘The contribution of women, he said, “always has been a determining factor without which the church could not live.”

    Pope Benedict said priestly ministry is reserved to men, but “it is right to ask” if it would not be possible “to offer more space, more positions of responsibility to women.”]

    From:

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0601285.htm

  2. Nick says:

    Let’s get something straight about how the Church really functions:

    The men — pastor through the Pope — have the responsibility and the authority for the good order of the Church (whether or not they wisely use it). And this is the way it must be because the women religious have all the power:

    When I was growing up (in the 1950s) it was the sisters who owned the hospitals (within walking distance of where I grew up), ran all the grade schools, three high schools, music schools, trained the altar boys, owned and ran the retirement centers (for priests, bishops, and faithful). Quite literally in 1948 when I was born the chance was very high that the first person to touch you would be a nursing nun, and the last person to tuck you in for the long trip home at the end of your life would be another nursing nun whether you were a bus driver or bishop…

    In those days if Mother Superior wished to see the Bishop about something, you could bet your sweet Pectoral that “Of course his Excellency will be happy to see you….”

    The sisters also represented the best educated of the Church. For instance my two sisters were nuns — one with a doctor of music, the other trained in violin at Oberlin — their job was to bring music to grade school children in the poorer areas of the West Coast — I know of no priest who had the time for that much schooling. Except for the few in teaching orders.

    It is very sad for me today to see women become just another yelping pressure group — but that is in fact what they have become since abandoning their habits, their rules. and their orders. The reality is that the Church will not rebound until the good sisters return.

  3. Little Gal says:

    Nick:

    Women may have run things the way you describe in earlier years, but I doubt they ever held the power of the purse or substantial positions of responsibility in a diocese, much less in the Vatican.

    I don’t think the Holy Father is necessarily referring only to women from religious orders in his Church governance statement. (BTW, I suspect that the idea of Ms Glendon filling the ambassadorship was probably floated to the Vatican muckity mucks prior to nominating her.) He said Church governance and I believe this could include a lay woman. I did a google on women at the Vatican and found only one example of a woman holding a high level position:

    On April 24, John Paul II named Salesian Sr. Enrica Rosanna, a 65-year-old Italian, as undersecretary of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life.

  4. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Yeah, I mean, what I want to see is someone who is capable of providing a workable distinction between governance and responsibility, while at the same time having intelligent praise of, say, cloistered nuns. Ditto to Nick’s comments above.

    The examples of “real and profound participation in the governance of the church” mentioned by the Holy Father refer to responsibility in action, which is really and profoundly different from governance in itself.

    These are decades of confusion, where people think that governance is a must have power trip, when, instead, it is simply part of the charity of what it means to be a FATHER. The responsibility of a mother is a participation in that governance of the father, even if a particular father happens to be absent.

    Yet, it is thought that the prize is always the priesthood, and, therefore, the Mass and all the sacraments following from the redemption, the very reason for the priesthood.

    Mary Ann Glendon…

    also said the church "will continue to have difficulty explaining the exclusion of women from the priesthood" unless it demonstrates the seriousness of its belief that women and men are equal, but not identical, by providing examples of lay women and men and priests working together in real partnerships.

    We have to see the Mass anymore for what it is: Christ’s marriage with the Church. Priests are married to the Church through the Holy Sacrifice, repeating Christ’s wedding vows at the Consecration. It is when they don’t know this that they become inverted and utter catastrophe follows. The answer isn’t for women, or those who have been hurt in any way, to do a power-grab by pretending to get themselves ordained. Priests are not mere adminstrators. They are fathers, whether they know it or not.

    We have to ask why the Mass is such a huge part of this Pontiff’s Marshall Plan, as it is called by Fr Z.

    All the best women I know — strong women who participate in the ways mentioned by Pope Benedict — not only encourage but demand that priests be FATHERS, and govern the Church with fatherliness, not failing, for instance, to discipline in love, not failing, for instance, to promote a respect for women such as Jesus had for His own Mother.

  5. Little Gal says:

    “Governance makes decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists either of a separate process or of a specific part of management or leadership processes.”

    The article quotes the Holy Father as saying:

    “How could one imagine the governance of the church without this contribution, which sometimes has been quite visible, like when St. Hildegard criticized the bishops or when St. Brigid and St. Catherine of Siena admonished and obtained the return of the popes to Rome” from Avignon, France, the pope said.”

    John Allen wrote about the appointment of Sr. Rosanna in 2004:

    “Yet Rosanna’s April 24 appointment as under-secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life nevertheless marks two potential revolutions in the rarified world of the Holy See.

    The first is sociological. An under-secretary ranks among the top three officials, or “superiors,” in most Vatican offices. A woman has not held a post of such prestige since 1976, when Australian lay woman Rosemary Goldie was eased out as under-secretary after the experimental Consilium on Laity was upgraded to the status of a Pontifical Council.

    Rosanna’s appointment is even more important because it’s in one of the all —powerful congregations.

    In the Vatican pecking order, the so-called “new curia,” meaning the councils and academies that sprung up after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), are sometimes seen as lacking ecclesiastical clout.This view holds that it’s in the Secretariat of State and in the congregations that real governance happens – binding decisions are made that draw upon the pope’s own authority.

    That a woman is a superior in one of these citadels of ecclesiastical power is, therefore, remarkable. Add the fact that a staff of 30, including 15 priests, now finds itself with a female boss, and the implications become truly interesting.

  6. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Actually, only the final decisions of the Apostolic Signatura cannot be appealed, for such decisions are made by the Holy Father himself.

    As far as the widest of wide open phrases about drawing upon the authority of the Pontiff, or the one about priests having a female boss in such a situation, it is irrelevant when it comes down to what re-definers of fatherly governance want.

    The crux of the matter is positing a valid administrative act that affects Holy Orders as such.

    A banal example is someone who is not ordained running a personnel board for a diocese. If an appointment to a parish of a priest who receives his faculties by the very appointment is not made by one holding the proper office and who is also ordained (all technical phrases), the appointment is invalid in and of itself.

    This is a heavily studied area of Canon Law. The Holy Father came down on the wrong side of one of the aspects of this question decades ago (whether a layman could be elected Pope without immediately permitting himself to be ordained through to the episcopacy), but accepted the correction that he was given. You can read about it some blue volumes which describe the same (a series on the sources of ecclesiastical law and interpretation which I don’t have in front of me at the moment).

    Perhaps a JCD can provide the nitty gritty here.

  7. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Also, I think Nick’s comments are worth a re-read.

    Women threw away running, for instance, enormous hospitals, because, first of all, they rid themselves of daily Mass, either “saying Mass” themselves, or simply not doing anything which had any even external reference to Christian prayer. “If only we could have the power!” they thought as they looked in the mirror with little plastic collars on their necks. Now their congregations are closing or are closed. It’s all very sad. They had the “power” of service. Now they have nothing. How long, O Lord?

    Mother Teresa of Calcutta, with her million-times-repeated emphasis on “Mother” (always, always), wanted nothing to do with herself becoming a priest, or having the “power” (fatherly governance) that entails. She knew the “power” of the service which is loving the Lord, and serving Him in those around us. We must not lose sight of the Living Truth of Charity that God is.

  8. Little Gal says:

    Mr.Allen also addressed this issue in his article:

    “Beyond sociology, there’s a potential revolution in canon law.

    Prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the general understanding among canonists was that bishops receive their power to consecrate priests and other bishops through the sacrament of holy orders, but their power to govern from the pope. Vatican II, on the other hand, taught that bishops receive all their powers, including the power of governance (also called “jurisdiction”), from holy orders. This triggered debate over the extent to which those powers can be delegated to non-ordained persons. Two schools of thought emerged: one holding that laity could “participate” in the exercise of delegated powers, another that lay people may only “cooperate” and hence cannot exercise jurisdiction themselves. That view prevailed in the 1983 revision of the Code of Canon Law, and is expressed in canon 129.

    The logic, according to canonists who uphold this view, is that lay people are called to sanctify the world, while jurisdiction in the church is the province of the clergy. Hence laity are generally barred from such positions as judicial vicar or a voting member of a Roman congregation.

    If Rosanna were to exercise jurisdiction, it would thus amount to a belated victory for the “participation” school. Vatican sources told NCR April 26 that Rosanna’s predecessor as under-secretary, Claretian Fr. Jesús Torres, was the primary signatory on official documents such as indults, releasing religious from solemn vows, a seemingly clear exercise of the power of governance.

    In theory, if a lay woman can exercise jurisdiction at the under-secretary’s level, there’s no reason she couldn’t do so as secretary or even as prefect. Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium has recently proposed exactly this. “Two of my vicars are women,” Danneels said in September 2003. “I do not see, therefore, why a woman could not direct a congregation of the Roman Curia.”

    ——————————————————-

    “If only we could have the power.”

    Fr. I suspect that this is something that priests who aspire to become a bishop or cardinal are equally guilty of.

  9. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    I mean, Little Gal, bishops can and are regularly stripped of offices by the Holy Father. Again, look up Cardinal Ratzinger’s difficulties, and conversion, and the result in the 1983 code. Really.

    Some Canon Law is positive, disciplinary law, but some is based on natural law and unchangeable doctrine (which cannot be reduced to mere sociology). Hearing otherwise from Theology 101 taught by unnamed “vatican sources” and listened to by, um, the NCR (not exactly the Apostolic Signatura), is simply not the way to go. Such information assumes no change in job description and bases its reasoning on stong words such as “seemingly”.

    May I suggest that you begin your studies with Scripture, the Ecumenical Councils and other Magisterial interventions? Then, may I suggest, a subscription to The Wanderer?

    The final bit about you yourself being suspect says it all, does it not? I mean, that statement is a rationalization for power-grabbing by the non-ordained. Instead, it’s horrific if anyone ever aspired to anything at all for reasons of power-grabbing. Yet, you are also wrong in this, for a would-be bishop or cardinal doing this would be guilty of something much more grave indeed. Was it not Saint John Chrysostom who spoke of the skulls of bishops paving the streets of hell?

    Pray for priests, Little Gal. We’re lost without your prayers. Really.

  10. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Having said all that, I remember that Mary Ann Glendon did battle for life against UN rubbish. I pray that she’ll be a superb Ambassador.

  11. Little Gal says:

    Fr: Firstly, I pray for priests very frequently just because I realize how human they are. They are capable of ambition and if the opinion of the laity is any indication have been failing in the mission of their vocation. Bloggers appear to dislike most bishops and I find myself in the role of defending them often. To follow-up on your comment, if bishops have been stripped of their office as frequently as you say, I would appreciate hearing their names as I can’t recall any bishop in the U.S.being removed from office or disciplined publically in any way. I would have thought with the sexual abuse crisis that many would have been removed from office!

    I sited Mr. Allen’s article on Sr.Rosanna and I would ask you to point out the flaws in his information. He does not write for canon lawyers, but for the laity and he is well respected. I do not subscribe to NCR for the same reason that I wouldn’t subscribe to the Wanderer. Having said this, John Allen stands apart from what one expects from NCR; he is respected as being objective.

    I am a product of the Catholic school system and owe a debt of gratitude to the religious sisters who taught me in high school in particular. At that time, we still had 50-75% nuns and lay instructors were just starting to come in. These religious sisters had advanced degrees and molded young girls into well educated young women. We became physicians, lawyers, teachers etc. This is the irony of the success of the Catholic education system in the U.S., particularly regarding women, why educate us if all we are to do is have children and be the helpmate of our spouse? The Holy Father in teaching about the early Church also mentioned the role of women. These women were not staying within their place and keeping the hearth fires warm, they were helping to bring about the message of Christianity. This is not about the ordination of women, but about having a role in Church governance.

    Peace to you and Merry Christmas,

  12. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Thanks for the prayers, Little Gal.

    I would hope that bloggers are not in the business of disparaging bishops just for the sake of doing so. Certainly that is the absolute last thing that Fr Z does here at WDTPRS. I’m sure John Allen can tell you that many bishops bit the dust in these years. I guess you weren’t defending them, so you don’t know.

    With your prayers, you should really be in anguish if you really believe that ALL priests are failing in their mission because ALL the laity said so. Wow, and wow again. And how despressing. How dark. I’m sorry you cannot see the answers to your questions in what was already written.

    Please know that there are really very many good and holy and kind priests who really are fathers for their parish families. It may be that they don’t disparage mothers as you do with your extreme “all we are to do is have children” comment.

    It’s Christmas Eve! Can we not notice that the greatest woman of all didn’t think that she was insulted by God when she was asked to be a Mother? Mary is Queen of angels and men, heaven and earth. Yes! But let’s also remember that her Son is God. It is He who makes any merriment at Christmas worthy of the Holiness of the Feast we celebrate in honor of Him, the Prince of Peace, because He is the Priest of priests, the King of kings, always the Living Truth of Charity among us.

  13. Matt Q says:

    Little Gal wrote:

    “Women may have run things the way you describe in earlier years, but I doubt they ever held the power of the purse or substantial positions of responsibility in a diocese, much less in the Vatican.

    I don’t think the Holy Father is necessarily referring only to women from religious orders in his Church governance statement. (BTW, I suspect that the idea of Ms Glendon filling the ambassadorship was probably floated to the Vatican muckity mucks prior to nominating her.) He said Church governance and I believe this could include a lay woman. I did a google on women at the Vatican and found only one example of a woman holding a high level position:

    On April 24, John Paul II named Salesian Sr. Enrica Rosanna, a 65-year-old Italian, as undersecretary of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life.”

    It’s great Sister Enrica got that position. So, now what?

    It strikes me as odd there are “those” women who want power trips and believe to be unfulfilled if she does not have what a man has simply because he has it, or do something because he can do it. That smacks of pride through jealousy and coveting. Unless a woman is somehow “governing” from an office somewhere in the Vatican or able to say Mass, her fulfillment as a woman at a complete dead-end?

    In the dignity of the human individual–male and female–there is no difference. In regards to being male and female, there is a great difference, and the secular humanists want to mash everything together and make it all the same. The Marxist/Leninist mentality strove to accomplish that–with deadly results.

    There is in reality a matter of ROLES, not rights. The role of the priesthood is male. Christ is the groom, the Church His bride. The priest is In Persona Christi. I really do believe people do not fully understand this sacred mystery. A female priest is an abomination as she then presents a lesbian construct of Christ’s relation to His Church. HIS Church. The Pascal Victim is in fact the priest himself at Mass. This cannot be accomplished by any woman, and any sacerdotal ordination of a woman would be already be an abominating act, and no subsequent act of the woman would be licit, valid or holy. The case is closed on male-only priesthood. For a woman to continue yammering on about this betrays the intelligence God really did give her.

    Fr Renzo di Lorenzo wrote:

    “Yeah, I mean, what I want to see is someone who is capable of providing a workable distinction betweengovernance and responsibility, while at the same time having intelligent praise of, say, cloistered nuns. Ditto to Nick’s comments above.”

    We agree, Father.

    Further reading reading of Mary Ann Glendon’s comment that the Church “will continue to have difficulty explaining the exclusion of women from the priesthood” unless it demonstrates the seriousness of its belief that women and men are equal, but not identical, by providing examples of lay women and men and priests working together in real partnerships.”

    The two issues are separate and, again, we have one who misses the point. Glendon may be learned in wordly things, but spiritually and theologically she is still dumb. Being in charge of the Pontifical Council for Social Sciences is one thing, but now that she’s ambassador, doesn’t one find that to be a conflict of interest? Representing the political interests of the United States while chairing an office which promotes the intersts of the Church seems to put her in a rather dubious position.

    The Blessed Virgin Mary of anyone whom ever existed would have been the most qualified and capable of being a priest had it been the will of God women were to be admitted to such a state. Since it isn’t, the Blessed Mother did not take such a role. As the Mother of God, she has been elevated above all of creation save that of Chirst The Lord Himself. Those of pride, though look at this and go “Pfeh!”

    Yes, Father Renzo, as you said, there are many good priests and bishops beyond just the lousy ones we come across from time to time. Yes, we continue to pray always. Prayer is always the first act of charity.

  14. Little Gal says:

    Merry Christmas, I’m heading off to the Christmas Vigil and leave you with best wishes and this quote from Proverbs re: women

    “She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her
    tongue.”

  15. TAAD says:

    The real problem is not the role of women, but of men in general. We have given up
    fatherhood for the sake of women’s issues We don’t want to be accused of being
    a sexist, so we have turned everything over to women. All authority in the families,
    at work, at church, is being given to women to avoid any conflict. We’ll just go
    golf and watch sports on TV. It’s much easier to be quiet and not stick your neck
    out. Look at most parishes in the US, most men are gone. Women make up the
    vast majority of roles being handled. Men are disappearing from the church and yet
    we continue to push women to the forefront. It will not change until men take up
    their rightful position. ” I will return the hearts of children to their FATHERS.” This is
    the sign of a restored nation is the eyes of God.