Pres. Bush to appointment Mary Ann Glendon as Ambassador to the Holy See

This is actually pretty good news:

Bush to Nominate Harvard Law Professor to Be Vatican Ambassador
Andrew Miga
The Associated Press

President Bush plans to nominate Harvard University law professor Mary Ann Glendon to be his new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

Glendon, 69, is an anti-abortion scholar and an opponent of gay marriage who also has written on the effects of divorce and increased litigation on society. Her 1987 book "Abortion and Divorce in Western Law" was critical of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a legal right to abortion.

The White House announced Monday that Bush will nominate Glendon to the post, which requires Senate confirmation.

Glendon was appointed by Pope John Paul II in 1994 to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, a panel that advises the Roman Catholic church on social policy.

Glendon has served as an adviser to the Vatican in several capacities. In 1995, she was the first woman to lead a delegation of the Holy See at the United Nations Women’s Conference in Beijing. She has also served on the Pontifical Council for the Laity and as a consultant to the Pontifical Council on the Family.

A native of Dalton, Mass., Glendon taught at Boston College and became a visiting professor of law at Harvard in 1974. She became a full professor there in 1986.


I have Glendon speaks several times.  As a matter of fact one of the very first posts on this blog dealt with a conference hosted by the Becket Fund and Prof. Glendon was one of the speakers. 

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  1. gregg says:

    Would have liked to have seen her on the Supreme Court.

  2. TJM says:

    How dare President Bush appoint a faithful Catholic to be ambassador to the Holy See. The nerve of that man. I guess John Kerry
    wasn’t available. Congratulations, Mr. President! Mary Ann is one classy lady. Tom

  3. Does that mean she’ll have to resign her Vatican posts? I can’t imagine the protocol allows the U.S. Ambassador to also report to the person they’re supposed to be representing U.S. interests to. (Which also raises the question of whether a Catholic can do the job at all, but in which I think the possibilities for conflict are more remote.)

  4. pattif says:

    Samuel J. Howard has asked the question that sprang to my mind when I heard the news of Prof. Glendon’s appointment. If it’s an either/or situation, I would personally much rather she carried on heading up the Pontifical Council for Social Sciences, where someone with an orthodox understanding of Church teaching on these issues is absolutely crucial.

    That said, this is a really imaginative appointment by George W. It isn’t often he gets praised these days, so it’s nice to be able to give credit where it’s due.

  5. Anthony says:

    I’ve read that the Vatican has sometimes voiced frustration with the faithful Catholics that the US always appoints as ambassador to the Holy See, since they often act as the Vatican’s ambassador to the US and not vice versa. The Vatican sometimes would prefer a non-Catholic who could give them the straight story of what the US wants and is thinking. But I don’t mind having US ambassadors to the Vatican acting as the pope’s representative in the executive branch of government

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