Pres. Obama chooses Vatican Ambassador

After Ambassador Glendon comes … this AP story from a Minneapolis TV channel:

My emphases and comments.

Hispanic theologian from MN college chosen for Vatican ambassador

A Hispanic Roman Catholic theologian who was an adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign will be nominated to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, the White House announced Wednesday.  [If Pres. Obama was unsure about the Latino vote, he soon won’t be.]

Miguel H. Diaz, 45, an associate professor of theology at St. John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict [Not in recent years known for their strong adherence to the Magisterium, though we all hope this fellow is sound.] in Minnesota, would be the first Hispanic to serve as ambassador to the Vatican since the United States and the Holy See established full diplomatic ties in 1984. Diaz was born in Havana.   

The announcement comes in the same week Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools, to the Supreme Court. She would be the high court’s first Hispanic justice.

The selection of a Vatican ambassador rarely attracts scrutiny. But Diaz’s nomination comes as tensions run high in the U.S. church over Catholics’ voice in the public square [NB: Voice in the public square!  We will be seeing this phrase more and more.  I have been hammering at this for a long time.  We have to get the discussion going.] and the politics of abortion.

Obama’s recent commencement speech and acceptance of an honorary degree at the University of Notre Dame — Diaz’s alma mater [So… he went to Notre Dame….] and the nation’s flagship Catholic university — provoked controversy and criticism from dozens of Catholic bishops because Obama’s abortion stance clashes with a core church teaching.

The previous ambassador to the Vatican was Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard University professor and conservative Catholic scholar with longtime Vatican ties. Glendon turned down Notre Dame’s top honor, the Laetere Medal, because of the school’s decision to honor Obama.

In an interview with Catholic News Service at Obama’s inauguration, Diaz said he was looking forward [get this…] "to moving beyond the politics of fear to the politics of hope." [Oh brother.] He said Obama was "committed to working" with people who defend "life in the womb" and deeply respects people who hold positions he does not agree with[So this fellow has essentially consumed the kool-aid.]

"Wherever we can, we should advance life at all stages," Diaz said.

Reached at his home Wednesday, Diaz read a brief statement [Sooo… he is being very careful about releasing words to the public for scrutiny.] expressing gratitude for the opportunity and saying, "I wish to be a diplomatic bridge between our nation and the Holy See, and if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, I will continue the work of my predecessors and build on 25 years of excellent relations with the Holy See."

He declined to answer questions about his positions on issues, saying it would be inappropriate before his confirmation hearing.

One potential point of conflict is Diaz’s support for the nomination of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic whose abortion rights record angered conservative Catholics. [Let’s put this in another way: she is pro-abortion but she says she is Catholic.] Diaz was among 26 Catholic leaders and scholars who signed a statement hailing Sebelius as "a woman of deep faith" [I will put the list of signers at the bottom of this entry.] and citing her a record on immigration, education, health care and reducing abortion rates in Kansas.

The son of a waiter and a data-entry operator, Diaz was the first person in his family to attend college. He taught religious studies and theology at Barry University, the University of Dayton and Notre Dame. From 2001 to 2003, he was academic dean at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla.

Diaz is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian. He is past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States, and a father of four.

According to public records, Diaz donated $1,000 to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint committee of Obama and the Democratic National Committee. He served on the Obama campaign’s Catholic advisory board.

Diaz was far from the most visible — or controversial — Catholic to campaign for Obama. Douglas Kmiec, [Note how the press associates Diaz with Kmiec.] a Catholic law professor and former Reagan administration lawyer, was targeted by conservative Catholics and denied Communion by one priest for his support for Obama. [I think this over simplifies the issue: As a very public Catholic Kmiec supported an aggressively pro-abortion candidate.]

Kmiec, who was mentioned as a possible Vatican envoy, applauded the choice of Diaz on Wednesday, calling him "a gifted theologian and a natural teacher. And his love for the faith is unquestioned."

Cathleen Kaveny, a Notre Dame law and theology professor who also served on the Obama campaign’s Catholic advisory committee, said it was significant Obama chose a theologian and a representative of one of the fastest growing demographics in the U.S. church, Hispanics.

"He is not a big donor, he’s not a big professor," she said. "He’s someone very knowledgeable about the Catholic tradition and Catholic theology. What you see is President Obama taking seriously not just Catholicism as a political force but as an intellectual force."  [Is that what we see Pres. Obama is doing?  That is what he is doing?]

The advocacy groups Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good issued statements Wednesday night praising the choice of Diaz.  [Not a good sign.]

Obama is scheduled to travel to Italy in July, and the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican would likely play a role in arranging a possible meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. Other shared interests between the U.S. and the Vatican include Middle East peace and relations with the Muslim world.

I found on the site of the Cardinal Newman Society that…

Half of the 26 Catholic activists, scholars and theologians who signed a statement publicly supporting President Barack Obama’s selection of pro-abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services are professors employed by Catholic universities, The Cardinal Newman Society revealed today.

Lisa Sowle Cahill – Boston College
Nicholas Cafardi – Duquesne University
William D’Antonio – The Catholic University of America
Miguel H. Diaz – College of St. Benedict / St. John’s University (Minnesota)
Julia Dowd – University of San Francisco
Joseph Fahey – Manhattan College
Fr. David Hollenbach – Boston College
Delores Leckey – Georgetown University (Woodstock Theological Center fellow)
Fr. Thomas Massaro – Boston College
Vincent Miller – Georgetown University
David O’Brien – College of the Holy Cross
Fr. Thomas Reese – Georgetown University (Woodstock Theological Center fellow)
Stephen Schneck – The Catholic University of America


Are you wondering, as I am, how L’Osservatore Romano – with their Westpolitik – will report this?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    Should’ve known…one from the Kmiec, Sibelius, Reese, Richard O’Brien crowd. And a “scholar of Rahner”. I guess his theological expertise is the same as the socialist politics he’s supporting- 30 years too late! We can be quite sure he won’t be seen at Santissima Trinita dei Pellgrini. Kyrie, eleison!

  2. cavaliere says:

    How long before Frodo and Sam reach Mt. Doom?

  3. LCB says:

    His CV is here, for those interested:

  4. PS says:

    Anyone else think having a far left Catholic as ambassador might be a good thing? If the Church in America really is suffering in part due to some misconceptions of liberal Catholicism in America or ignorance of how far some Catholics have strayed when it comes to the movers and the shakers in the Vatican, then having this guy there might be a bit of a wake-up call.

  5. Rancher says:

    More divide and conquer from the Marxist camp. What BO is doing, very intentionally I think, is solidifying the CINO’s who voted for him making their return to true Catholicism very unlikely. The consequence of that will continue to be 54% vs. 46% in favor of the “American catholic Church”. New age peace and love, it’s all about social justice crap. By the time the Vatican really figures out idiot Obama’s gameplan it will be too late to correct the problem. We will see the majority of US catholics (CINO’s) rebel against the Pope if he takes action.

    The Church heirarchy (some) may be good spiritual leaders. They are terrible leaders in most other areas. They have little understanding of discipline, loyality and obedience. They are as much a product of new age education as their lay counterparts.

    What is happening is not a pretty picture. We can only pray that our Lord and his Blessed Mother step in dramatically before the battle is lost.

  6. Sandra in Severn says:

    Is this not one of those times that we Catholics need to be “on our knees” in prayer? I know that there is more we can do, but would it not be prudent to ask for Our Lady’s intercession and for Divine grace and fortitude during the days yet to come?

  7. Gloria says:

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe,Empress of the Americas, pray for us. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

  8. consumed the kool-aid…I just fell out of my chair….

  9. Rancher brings up a good point.
    What if the O is trying to grab and organize the type of Catholic that supports his agenda? The purpose may not be preventing this type of Catholic’s return to real Faith but to swing a gigantic slice of the US and control it.
    Brings to mind the methods of Communists and how they put hierarchy in place to act as the visible church while persecuting the true believers.

    Another thought, what good Catholic would want to represent the Obama administration to the Vatican? What a martyrdom that could be!

    If the Vatican has thrown up its hands at all the candidates and now given up at such a questionable individual as this [I hope my suspicion of Diaz is unfounded], perhaps the Vatican recognizes that it is dealing with a socialist country now?

  10. EJ says:

    I find it extremely problematic and confrontational of the Administration to name a “theologian” as ambassador… I squirm at the thought of sitting through one of this man’s theology lectures. Could the Vatican refuse this nomination?

  11. Nick says:

    cavaliere’s comment above is very prophetic and very funny…good work!

  12. MargaretMN says:

    Heh, my pastor just used the same “drink the koolaid” allusion to Jonestown this weekend in his homily, as in “don’t drink it.” This guy has certainly drunk deep. I particularly love this quote from the colleague:

    “He is not a big donor, he’s not a big professor,” she said. “He’s someone very knowledgeable about the Catholic tradition and Catholic theology. What you see is President Obama taking seriously not just Catholicism as a political force but as an intellectual force.”

    Leftwing Catholicism is what he takes seriously, a la Fr. Pfleger, back in Chicago. I am sure he saw him as another power broker like his own minister Rev. Wright. Liberation theology and how it can be used to gain and keep political power. Diaz is on the same page if he signed that letter. Nice payback for his signature. The other 25 probably weren’t the right ethnic/minority group.

  13. Supertradmom says:

    We need to stop seeing the Hispanic community as monolithic and “Catholic”. I have been working in and with Hispanics in two dioceses and the communities are not only splitting apart religiously, but becoming more secular, especially with regard to co-habitation, contraception and abortion. Sadly, many have left the Catholic Church for charismatic Protestant or evangelical “churches”. If the president is courting the Hispanic vote, it is not necessarily the real Catholics he is after, but the nominal, “cultural” Catholics in the Hispanic communities. The idea that the Hispanics represent some sort of Catholic vote is a myth.

    I am under the impression that the Vatican can refuse any appointment.

  14. Mike says:

    If anyone thought that Obama would choose or even consider choosing a Catholic who actually believes in what The Church teaches is drinking the kool aid! Perhaps we are being punished for not truely speakig out against “liberal” teachers and their teachings. We should have protested in front of the Notre Dame’s and chancery offices and withheld our hard earned money long ago. Most people really don’t care because they have been indoctrinated into this mumbo jumbo liberation theology and the ones that do are too afraid tosay a peep for fear they may lose their status in their parish or they are too occupied with the fighting amoungst themeselves. There are very few Catholic heros out there willing to risk being called a nut or divisive. I saw several heros at Notre Dame and ones in the diocese I live in.

  15. Mike says:

    I have a question for anyone out there. Have you read 1025 Anti-apostle? by Tan publishers it is about a man who claimed to be communist party member who became a Roman Catholic priest to try to change the teachings from with inside the Church. I read it several years ago. Call me a conspiracy nut or whatever I don’t really care. I actually believe there is some truth to it , the communist party sending men into the semeniaries longago. What is your take on it if you had read the book?

  16. Divide and conquer is exactly what’s going on. Bring on the persecution, Am Church needs a good kicking.

  17. Don says:

    Unfortunately to me this seems like a fait accompli for the following reasons:
    1. I suspect this has only become public because the Vatican as tacitly agreed to this nomination. I think the politicians go through back doors to check out candidates before they are nominated
    2. Anyone truly Catholic would probably never be nominated by Obama.
    3. Anyone nominated by Obama will be Catholic with distorted views of their faith.

    So the best we can hope for is the “least of evils”, and maybe that the Holy Spirit working through the Vatican can effect some growth in faith for all through this. God can always bring good from evil, he has his work cut out for him but I have faith!

  18. Londiniensis says:

    However much we may hate his stance on abortion, Obama is one superb politician. Move over, Josh Lyman.

    We must pray the seventy bishops stand firm and inspire their fellows.

  19. Katie says:

    Father: your wedge theory is proved right!
    All those Commonweasels who advised Obama on this appointment know darn well that Rahner (Diaz’ is said to be and couldn’t be anything other than a ‘Rahnerian’) and Ratzinger did not get on after the Council, and for eminently theological reasons. Sending a theologian of this sort is an (attempted) poke in the eye for the Pope from the sophisticates at ND. Bring on the theological and liturgical fight!

  20. EDG says:

    I think this must be a done deal or they wouldn’t be publicizing it. Either that or it’s a preemptive strike; the Obama camp is very good at announcing or implying things as done (remember the faux Presidential Seal?) that then become self-fulfilling prophecies because everybody begins to think they’re already a fait accompli.

    In addition to everything else, does anybody notice what a lightweight this guy is? But then, so is Kmiec, who was virtually an unknown prior to hopping onto the Obama juggernaut.

  21. TNCath says:

    Semper idem. Obviously Obama cleared this with his “bishop,” Doug Kmiec. No doubt Father Jenkins approves of this nomination as well. We are in for a rough eight years.

  22. Matt Q says:

    This is all a bunch of nonsense. Hopefully Rome will refuse this one also. Why would the president choose this man? If he actually wanted good relations with the Church, then reappoint Glendon. Instead he chooses some “theologian” as ambassador possibly to distort and deceive in order to promote the presidential agenda–kind of like what our own bishops and clergy do already.

  23. Vianney33 says:

    I guarantee you that Mr. Diaz is the lefty and heterodox person you would expect from Obama. I am an alumni of St. John’s/St. Ben’s and two of my children graduated from there in the last two years. It is a beautiful campus and school with a well known football program which conceals not only bad theology, but also some horrible perversions of the sexual nature. The Church’s teaching on homosexuality is openly rejected. The chairman of the theology department from a couple years ago, spoke to the “sexual minority” club refuting what the Bible clearly teaches on this. The campus chaplain resigned in protest over the Vatican’s statement on homosexuals in the seminary. He also “came out” at that time even though everyone already knew his and the leanings of many other priests and monks there. The univerisy also has a “Catholic” high school on the same campus which was racked with sexual abuse over the last 30 years as was the university itself. However, none of the perpetrators has been brought to justice. And then there are the cases of young men who have disappeared, the most recent in 2002. For a taste of what has happened there go to
    My point is that it is nearly impossible that a professor from this badly infected school can be anything but bad news. Please pray for my alma mater.

  24. yipster says:

    A master stroke on the part of BO. Now that the Vatican has apparently selected someone whose credentials are pro-life, but who is also a rabid BO supporter, the case can now be made by the left that the two need not be mutually exclusive, even from the Vatican’s perspective. Very smart.

  25. yipster says:

    I should have said, “Now that the Vatican has apparently APPROVED someone…”

  26. RBrown says:

    I find it extremely problematic and confrontational of the Administration to name a “theologian” as ambassador… I squirm at the thought of sitting through one of this man’s theology lectures. Could the Vatican refuse this nomination?
    Comment by EJ

    It’s a shrewd move. If the Vatican disapproved the nomination because of lacunae in Diaz’ doctrinal positions, the question would be: Why is this man OK to teach theology but not to be ambassador to the Vatican?

  27. Christina says:

    Every single time since Pope BXVI’s election, including the day of the election, when he was shown on TV saying “oh no” when Ratzinger’s name was read, that there is opposition to him in any way, I see the name of Thomas Reese.

  28. Paladin says:

    How long before Frodo and Sam reach Mt. Doom?

    (LOL!) That’s the most concise summary of the situation on the ground, yet!

    RBrown wrote:

    If the Vatican disapproved the nomination because of lacunae in Diaz’ doctrinal positions, the question would be: Why is this man OK to teach theology but not to be ambassador to the Vatican?

    That might not be a bad thing, actually; it could cut both ways. If the orthodox Catholics (and orthodox bishops) were finally to stand up and start separating the academic wheat from the chaff, an argument of, “not good enough for the Vatican, so not good enough for teaching theology, either” could be quite fitting. Papa Benedict’s vision of a “smaller, purer Church” could gain some reality…

  29. Ohio Annie says:

    To liberals, “gifted theologian” usually means “attempts to reconcile heretical views with the Magisterium by using obfuscation.”

  30. Gail F says:

    Tina in Ashburn said: \”What if the O is trying to grab and organize the type of Catholic that supports his agenda? The purpose may not be preventing this type of Catholic’s return to real Faith but to swing a gigantic slice of the US and control it.\”

    He is obviously trying to do just that. I doubt that his purpose is keeping people from being faithful Catholics — it\’s probably just solidifying his base and claiming \”Catholic\” support — but keeping people from being faithful Catholics is going to be one consequence.

    I find the entire Obama phenomenon eerie. He has never appealed to me, and even though I a former liberal (and so ought to be able to at least understand it) I can\’t see his appeal to others. He says one thing and does another, he promises to be a uniter and does nothing but divide, he has never accomplished anything except to be elected, he has no record, no bipartisanship, no professional accomplishments, and no experience… Where is the appeal? People talk about him being a great speaker but I don\’t see it. He just seems to do whatever he wants to do and to sail through things. Something about him makes me very nervous.

  31. As an SJU grad myself (class of ’87), I think I can say that it is a reasonably safe bet that this nominee is every bit as bad as we fear he may be.

  32. Mum26 says:

    Of course, the One wants to control the Catholic Church. He is purposely obscuring the issue, trying to increase his voter block, working hard at making us look like baffoons (we are the new terrorists, remember?)
    His marxist agenda is to control and enslave…. congratulations, he is almost there.
    None of this, however, bothers me (after all what do you expect from someone who has been to a black liberation theology church for 20 years). What bothers me beyond words is how gullible and cowardly, how slow to understand, act and rally to arms our Catholic leadership has become. The only ones who call to arms are a handful of bishops and Fr. Z. For crying out loud what is so hard about all this?
    My only hope is that the Vatican will see beyond the nice words and look at the truth behind this bloke.

  33. Dr. Eric says:

    The US and the Vatican didn’t establish diplomatic relations until 1984? THAT doesn’t sit well with me.

  34. Patronus says:

    “[So… he went to Notre Dame….]”

    Is it really necessary to cast aspersions or even implications of negativity every time it is mentioned that someone is associated with Notre Dame? I was graduated at Notre Dame – does this mean I am suspect?

  35. Heavenly Father, please bring good from this dire situation.

    Jesus Christ, our Lord and King, please keep all Catholics faithful to You and your Church above all else.

    Holy Spirit, please give our Holy Father and all who encounter this ambassador and our government wisdom and fortitude in all their dealings.

    Holy Mary, Immaculate Conception, please pray for our country.

  36. Kimberly says:

    This is bad. I joined St. John’s last year to finish up my Master’s in Theology, Hoo boy, needless to say I ended up leaving one semester before graduation. It was horrible. One of my teachers claimed that there is no epiclesis in the New Mass. God help us, because it will only make them more bold.

  37. problem says:

    Dear Fr. Z.,

    Cardinal Kasper came to St. John’s on March 23 2009 in order to give the Diekmann lecture and receive the Pax Christi award. At the end of Kasper’s lecture Diaz got up and gave question (speech) to the Cardinal. The question went on and on and was quite rude that the Cardinal had come to give the speech as part of the award ceremony.

    You can access the speech at I do not know if they posted the questions but perhaps you can call St. John’s and obtain it and post it. It was “enlightening”. [Or perhaps you can do that.]

    Also perhaps your readers can start looking through his published works and come up with some of his published opinions.

  38. EDG says:

    For more information on this “theologian:”

    “[Diaz’] works include “On Being Human: U.S. Hispanic and Rahnerian Perspectives” (Orbis Books, 2001); Co-Editor of “From the Heart of Our People: Explorations in Catholic Systematic Theology” (Orbis Books, 1999;) and author of numerous articles and book chapters inspired in the Latino and Black liberation theology, such as the forthcoming “The Life-Giving Reality of God from Black, Latin-American, and U.S. Hispanic Theological Perspectives,” “Otherness in Black Catholic and Latino/a Catholic Theologies and the Otherness of God,” and “Outside the Survival of Community there is no Salvation,” in Building Bridges, Doing Justice: Constructing a Latino/a Ecumenical Theology (Orbis Press, 2009.)” [CNA]

    In other words, Obama has found somebody like Fr Pfleger, but for “Latinos,” to go and preach Liberation Theology at the Vatican. Unfortunately, I bet he’s going to be the pick, and I would suspect there are a lot of people in the Vatican who will view him as a leader – in the attack on BXVI.

  39. I am not Spartacus says:

    FR. Z. Because your insightful (and very useful) commentary on the actual meaning of the words of politicians I have come to think of WDTPRS as having two meanings:

    What Does The Prayer Really Say ?


    What Did The Politician Really Say ?

    Outside of that, this appointment is about what I expected from the enemy. He is not going to give an inch of his “Common Ground” yet, apparently, the Hierarchy can’t catch a clue about how to act against this aggressive radical who wages total war against Catholicism, The Natural Law, and American tradition with a charismatic smile and who faithfully and dutifully sticks, word for word, to the scripts written for him by David Axelrod and others.

    The Catholic Church in America is being scourged by this extremist radical and the response to his aggression has been weak, timorous, and tardy.

    It will take, literally, an American Saint to defeat Obama’s assault against Catholicism. I know we are making Saints in the EF Comunities but I wonder if there exists a Saint amongst The Bishops who will be revealed to all of us during this time of trial.

    Speaking just for myself, I’d just as soon seen Bishop Fellay fully reconciled and then sent forth to do battle with this enemy. He can present a very charming public presence while at the same time smite with a smile.

  40. Jo Ann says:

    Mike: The book “AA 1025” by Marie Carre, was apparently based on fact. She testified before the House Un-American Activities committee,along with Mrs. Bella Dodd, that over 1000 Communist “agents” were placed in Catholic Seminaries, to work their way up to higher places, to destroy the Church from within. It sure makes a lot of sense, observing the current state of the Church. The book is still available.

  41. mpm says:

    Comment by Gail F — 28 May 2009 @ 7:53 am

    I agree with you and Tina from Ashburn. The “peace and justice wing”, as they self-identify, of the Catholic Church IS political, i.e., for them what the Church has always called “apostolate” is equated with “politcs”, which is the only kind of religion Obama has ever known. That’s why he has tapped into them for his Catholic advisory board, they think just like he does.

    In other words, these “theologians” brought home the political bacon, using what they term “theology”. The first thing a “theologian” of this ilk does is make the case that “you are opressed”, “the man” is keeping you down. That done, you “sell” them on political salvation, with a few quotes from Scripture, and a few quotes from the social doctrine of the Church, and voila.

    Obama doesn’t care whether they are “really” Catholic or not, what he sees is that they are effective. So he’s happy to encourage them.

    One of the reasons I detest ethnic parish arrangements in the “Catholic” Church. If Hispanic immigrants were able to blend in more with those already here, they wouldn’t need this theologian cum ward-healer leaders.

  42. Mark McGrath says:

    So the devil has once again brought Christ to the top of the city and told him that all of this could be his, if only he would bow down and worhip the devil.

  43. The Holy Father will have much to suffer.

    Holzhauser says this:

    “These are evil times, a century full of dangers and calamities. Heresy is everywhere, and the followers of heresy are in power almost everywhere. Bishops, prelates, and priests say that they are doing their duty, that they are vigilant, and that they live as befits their state of life. I like manner, therefore, they all shall seek excuses. But God will permit a great evil against his Church: Heretics and tyrants will come suddenly and unexpectedly; they will break into the Church while bishops, prelates, and priests are asleep. They will enter Italy and lay Rome waste; they will burn down the churches and destroy everything.”

    “The sixth period of the Church will begin with the powerful Monarch and the Holy Pontiff, as mentioned previously, and it will last until the revelation of Antichrist. In this period, God will console His Holy Church for the affliction and great tribulation which she has endured during the fifth period. All nations will become Catholic. Vocations will be adundant as never before, and all men will seek only the Kingdom of God and His justice. Men will live in peace, and this will be granted because people will make their peace with God. They will live under the protection of the Great Monarch and his successors.”

    Sister Aiello,

    “Clouds with lightning rays of fire and a tempest of fire will pass over the whole world and the punishment will be the most terrible punishment will be the most terrible ever known in the history of mankind. It will last 70 hrs. The wicked will be crushed and eliminated. Many will be lost because they will have stubbornly remained in their sins. Then they will feel the force of light over darkness. The hours of darkness are near.” (Publica and Private prophecies about the Last Times, p. 42).

  44. Kimberly says:

    “The most evident mark of God’s anger, and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world, is manifest when He permits His people to fall into the hands of a clergy who are more in name then in deed, preists who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather then the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. They abandon the things of God to devote themsoeves to the things of the world and, in their saintly calling of holiness, they spend their time in profane and worldly pursuits. When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is throughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful wrath upon them.” – St. John Eudes

    God is angry!!!

  45. Fr. J says:

    He was one of my professors at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, FL. I had him for “Fundamental Theology”. Trust me, the class was neither! I am doing my best to hold my tongue and be charitable. The least visceral thing I can say at the moment is that the man was “wishy-washy” and had little grasp of the Tradition beyond what it took to proof-text for goofy “ethnic identity” theological reflection. Grrr…

  46. ED says:

    This Obama character is a tool of SATAN, he belonged to a church which denied almost every teaching of JESUS now he continues his appointment of dissident “catholics” with this Diaz rascal. This man is nothing but a frontman for International Freemasonry.

  47. Jose says:

    I feel a bit insulted by your comment that President Obama will acquire the Latino vote just because he is nominating Latinos to different positions. As a conservative, traditional, catholic latino, I like to think that we are more intelligent than that, and that we will vote based on the right to life and the primacy of Christ the King.

    I have seen, over the years, how the conservatives are becoming more and more radical in their descriptions of minorities and I feel alienated by that. They do not realize how many of the comments can be construed as racist. I have heard awful things said about people just because of their ethnicity coming from traditional catholics.

    This is what is keeping more latinos from becoming more traditional catholics, because we feel unwanted by that community.

    People say that your race or ethnicity shouldn’t dictate the way you think, but the reality is that in the United States, your race and ethnicity dictate how you are treated by people and how much discrimination you feel, and that changes your perspective.

    I love your blog, and read it every day.



  48. Matt says:

    Um…did anyone expect anything different? Obama has to pick someone who will represent the views of his administration. Maybe this is the place where real dialogue between the US administration and the Holy See will take place.

    We can all be irritated all we want. But look, he had to pick someone and that someone wasn’t going to be “one of us.” It might as well be someone who is obviously “one of them.”

  49. Charles says:

    I am still not going to blame politicians for being politicians.

    The bishops never denied communion to Cuomo and Kennedy in the 70’s and 80’s for as they lead the abandonment of pro-life principles. Instead it was more likely a bishop would protest the execution of a serial child killer.

    The bishops never stripped a “Catholic” university of that designation long after they began hosting pro-abortion speakers and homosexual organizations.

    The bishops are responsible for causing ambiguity in the minds of American Catholics. If the bishops don’t become more like Shepherds (an unlikely prospect) the concept of Catholicism influencing the public square will continue to disappear if it hasn’t already.


  50. student says:

    Calm down a bit people. This is still the United States, there are congressional elections in less than two years. If Obama is as radical as is suspected, the Republican will take at least one house of congress, which will be enough to put sand in his ointment. Even if not, many of the democrats in congress come from districts more conservative than that of Pelosi and won’t follow their directions if it threatens to cost them a seat. Remember there was a time when Bush seemed to get whatever he wanted from a Republican Congress… but that changed too.

    Beyond that, do you really think that your town sherrif, chief of police or national guardsman is looking to run a detention center/death camp for orthodox Catholics? Is your cousin in the army willing to open fire on his own countrymen? Obama is bad, in the way Clinton was bad, not the way Dioceltian was bad.

  51. TJ says:

    How sad, you all don’t even know this man and you pass judgement on him. I actually know him and he’s not very “leftist” at all. He’s pretty balanced. I also went to St. John’s and didn’t have any “crazy” classes or lectures, etc. It was pretty sound theology. We read the church documents, rites, etc. and well wrote papers, nothing too controversial. We certainly weren’t promoting women’s ordination (as some claim), abortion, or the likes. I guess the only controversial thing that took place was intellectual and stimulating conversation between students and faculty of different backgrounds (religions, cultures, etc). We brought all of our issues, concerns, fears, loves, etc into conversation. If that’s controversial than I surely was mislead by many good priests, bishops, family, etc. in my own formation.

    Dr. Diaz is a kind man, who is devoted to the Church and her mission. Instead of judging him why don’t we pray for him in this new ministry and ask that he be filled with the Holy Spirit so that the truth of God’s love reigns.

  52. Patricia says:

    Obviously the Vatican will accept this person as ambassador, or else it would not have been announced. This person is not pro-life, and I do not understand why the Vatican would accept him.

    Honestly, I do not understand how we ordinary Catholics are expected to stand up and defend the Faith, when our own Shepherds can\’t be bothered.

  53. EDG says:

    Jose, I agree. I am appalled at the things that people say about “Latinos” or “Hispanics,” and I don’t think they would dream of talking about any other group this way. Among some supposedly grass-roots conservative types, it’s because they’re Evangelical Protestants who are very anti-Catholic and this colors the way they feel about people from a Catholic culture.

    But among Catholic conservatives, I don’t know what causes it. I think it’s partially because the “Hispanic ministries” that one finds in parishes tend to be the most left-wing thing in the parish, but that’s certainly not the fault of the Hispanic parishioners. The responsibility for the left-wing slant generally lies with a usually Anglo priest or sister. And then there is the fact that the left boasts about “owning” the vote of people who come from a Spanish-speaking background, and while this may not be true (I live in Florida, where we have many conservatives from Spanish-speaking families), a lot of conservatives are probably believing the words of the left on this subject.

    Finally, I think the English-speaking Catholic world is simply ignorant. Some of the Church’s finest theologians have been from Spain or Spanish speaking cultures; even leaving aside such biggies as St Dominic, St Ignatius Loyola, etc., there are numerous others, such as Suarez, for example, who had a major impact on Catholic thought. In addition, we have the great missionaries to the Americas; one wonders how different things would have been if their communities had survived. When Fr. Junipero Serra and the other priests were preparing to go to the New World, they copied out music and scholarly books to take with them. One of the 18th century California missions boasted a native choir that could sing 8-part polyphony.

    I’m sorry for going off topic, but I can understand why you’re upset and I just wanted to say something.

    BTW, look at the awful books Diaz has written or to which he has contributed – I posted a list above. I think he’s bad news.

  54. Jose says:

    Thanks EDG.

    I’m sorry Father, for going off topic.

  55. Rancher says:

    It is precisely the position you take that has allowed an Obama to be elected in the first place. I don’t hear a lot of people on this blog or elsewhere predicting incarceration of orthodox Catholics based upon their beliefs. However, persecution of true believers and an emasculation of the true Catholic Church in this country can happen without physical attacks on believers. That is precisely Obama’s gameplan. As for trusting that “if Obama is as radical as believed” the mid-term elections will solve the problem I seriously doubt it. Obama is clearly taking steps (with the support of the media, leftist catholics, and others) to insure that no matter what he does the party currently in power will prevail not just in 2010 but 2012 and beyond.

    It is a lack of action (which you seem to be suggesting) that allows evil to prevail over good. It is lack of action by our Bishops that ultimately resulted in 54% of voting catholics supporting a pro-death president. It is lack of action (aka complacency) which will lead to an even further errosion of morality in this nation.

    Obama and his minions need to be challenged loudly and consistently each and every time they take any action that even indirectly contributes to increased abortions, homosexual marriage, embryonic stem cell research, etc. Obama is counting on exactly what you seem to support–that good people will do nothing to oppose him and if he is opposed he is prepared to do anything necessary to squelch opposition.

    Bishops need to lead the charge against the immoral direction this president is leading the nation. If our Bishops do not have the intestinal fortitude to do it we lay people must.

  56. student says:

    Rancher: I am not proposing a lack of action, just calm. One can take action in a panic and fit, or with calm and deliberation.

    Some comments here and elsewhere reminds me of being a young man listening to Jello Biafra gas on about Bush the elder, Reagan and the right wing conspiracy to overthrow american democracy and institute a fundamentalist protestant fascist theocracy by the end of the 80\’s. Needless to say, Jello\’s predictions were way wrong. I feel like I am listening to a Catholic version of Jello\’s conspiracy theory politics where Obama is going to overthrow american democracy and replace it with a left wing atheistic socialist dictatorship.

    But other than that I agree/ The bishops did drop the ball and lay people should pick it up. But we can do so without panicing. We will be more effective that way.

  57. Michael J says:


    Yes, you should feel insulted, but not by Fr. Z who is simply pointing out a distressing reality. The fact is that this was a calculated move by President Obama to curry favor with the “latino community” and it will largely succeed.

    I am not singling out latinos, by the way, or any other particular group. From what I have seen, this is near universal behavior shared by all people, and not limited along ethic boundaries. Most people seem to value membership in a recognizable group more that principles or convictions. How many people do you know, for example, who will gloss over the most eggregious behavior of a professional athelete because he is on “their” team.

    So yes, you are a minority but not by virtue of your ethnic background. You are a minority because you will not compromise or ignore the compelling need for the primacy of Christ the King in order to feel more comfortable within a category of people.

  58. Rancher says:


    Not to belabor the point but I agree with you that we should not panic. However, and I am not by nature a conspiracy theorist, I disagree with you regarding Obama’s agenda. I think he very much wants to alter the form of U S government and change it into a left wing, socialist, atheistic system. Not a dictatorship but a nation which effectively will have only one party capable of holding power. Look at what he has done already and I think you must conclude that his approach is socialistic. He, and his selected Supreme Court Justice both view the Constitution of the United States as an obstacle to their agenda and, as such, it must either be changed or destroyed. No panic here, but for both political and moral/religious reasons, I will make every effort to oppose BO in all ways that are legal.

  59. I am not Spartacus says:

    I feel like I am listening to a Catholic version of Jello’s conspiracy theory politics where Obama is going to overthrow american democracy and replace it with a left wing atheistic socialist dictatorship.

    He forced banks to take TARP money even though some did not want to. He has not revealed where the TARP money went even though we know the majority of American Tax Payer money was used to bail out Bucket Shop Bankers overseas. He has taken over car companies and directed that the assets be given to Unions in a far greater ratio than deserved (clearly illegal)etc etc etc. He is making steady progress in socialing as much of the private economy as possible. He is the most radical pro-abortion politician. Ever.

    Go back and look at the Socialist Candidates and The Socialist Party Platform

    and read Garet Garret’s The People’s Pottage

    and try to understand that we who are opposed to the extreme far left program to remake America are not conspiratorialists but wide-awake realists who recognise the trajectory towards totalitarianism this country has long been on.

    Since FDR died, Barack Obama is the most competent and charismatic conductor who has arisen who is capable of bringing the socialist train safely into the Washington Station.

    Just because our tyrants don’t have funny haircuts, moustaches, or goose-stepping troops, does not mean they are not flat-out tyrants to be opposed.

    Frankly, the last thing Americans need to hear are calm-down-cautions and insinuations they are card-carrying members of some crackpot conspiracy.

    For those with eyes to see, the truth is a stark, vivid, reality.

  60. EDG says:

    Ugh. I just read that the Papal Nuncio has just congratulated Diaz. Abp Sambi said he was congratulating him “as his partner on the other side to collaborate with him on what is our main reason of life: to improve relations.”

  61. Faustina says:

    Remember Sam Brownback also supported Sebelius’ nomination.

    Bush and Catholic Santorum campaigned for pro-choice Specter against pro-life Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania.

    It is time to get beyond the left-right false choices and really get behind true Catholic social doctrine – ALL OF IT – including the parts about social justice that conservatives don’t seem to relate to.

  62. Rev. Paul L. Vasquez says:

    Since other Latinos are sounding off here, I will also do so. While there are always dangers in over-simplfication and over-abstraction in a word like “Latino”, neither is it a word devoid of all meaning. To say, for instance, that Latinos voted in a majority as a demographic group for Obama is not a meaningless nor unfounded statement. That the Democrat party and Mr. Obama in particular are not well known for their intellectual rationale for positions, but rather take a populist approach is also not a meaningless nor unfounded statement. I don’t think I’m the only Latino who worries about the apparent lack of critical thinking that seems to be going on very prominently in American politics at the moment, and the apparent manipulation that our ethnic group (as well as Americans in general) seem to be demonstrating by their voting habits.

    Id est I worry about Obama manipulating Latinos as did the initial poster and disagree with the person who insists that we cannot make some general statements about the ethnic group “Hispanics”/”Latinos” in regards to US Politics.

  63. Rev. Paul L. Vasquez says:

    Re-reading Jose’s post, I would make the following clarification. While it is true that Obama will not automatically get anyone’s vote for a couple of nominations, it has been a recent pattern in US politics that Democrats get positive attention for perceived minority appointments while Republicans receive negative attention for the same. As historical examples I will cite Justice Thomas, Alberto Gonzalez, and Sarah Palin.

  64. I am not Spartacus says:

    He forced banks to take TARP money even though some did not want to.

    I gotta rescind that because I just remembered that it was Bush, not Barack, who did that.

    In any event, no matter who the President was, it was some former member of Goldman Sachs who was in the room making the Godfather-like offer to the Banksters.

  65. EDG says:

    Rev. Paul R. Vasquez, you forgot Miguel Estrada – an excellent appointment savaged by the Dems.

    In their books, you don’t count if you’re not a leftist. Clarence Thomas (who was not only genuinely African-American, unlike our faux AA Occupant of the Casa Blanca, but was Catholic by birth) never qualified as black with the left. The left gets to define your minority status.

  66. EDG says:

    Faustina, don’t confuse left and right with Dem and GOP. Specter was a leftwing GOPer (who has recently crossed the bar and become a full-fledged Dem). There are many lefty folks in the GOP, which is the reason you can’t say that opposition to Obama is based on party. It is, however, based on the left-right distinction.

    This can have many implications, but generally, I would say that the right is more inclined to the individual, free will and the possibility of conversion, and the left is inclined to the State and passivity.

  67. BCatholic says:

    I think the Sebelius letter could be a red herring. For example, why someone signed it isn’t necessarily the same for all of them. Even at BC, in an interview with the paper the Observer, Cahill signed it because she thinks the hierarchy is becoming overly focused on abortion and Sebelius is more in line with Catholic thought than they are, but Fr. Massaro gave reasons showing that he is no dissenter on the abortion issue. He did it for pro-life reasons based on a misunderstanding of her record. Diaz could be in a similar situation.

  68. little gal says:

    I am curious at the lack of personal information re: Professor Diaz in the bios I have read as this really helps to paint a picture of the complete person. Usually there is a bit of information re: marital status, children etc. Perhaps those who have had contact with him can fill us in…


    “I am appalled at the things that people say about “Latinos” or “Hispanics,”

    In response to this comment, I wonder if the poster has read Ms. Sotomayor’s statement that,”

    she “would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

    I’m concerned that someone who is being considered for a Supreme Court appointment could make a pejorative, global statement concerning all white men.

  69. Peggy says:

    I saw from another poster that Diaz wrote for Orbis books. That told me all I needed to know about him. I can’t stand Ellberg’s “All Saints” book which is loaded with Marxist missionaries, including clergy, who were martyred in S. America as well as other racial justice people who were not Catholic and also sinful, eg, MLK, Jr and Gandhi. I wrote him a 7 page critique of his book and its agenda. I also noted that if he were to include such men, why not some of the founding fathers of the USA whose successful quest for liberty, while only first for white men, became the basis for freedom for all? [John Adams, staunchly against slavery, and a moral man would have been a good entry in Ellsberg’s book.]

    On the related topic of racial grouping, what is “Anglo” supposed to mean? I find that term annoying. My ancestors are from a few countries on the continent. We are not “Anglo.” Why should some Americans be labeled “Anglo”? Further, what does the word “Anglo” mean wrt non-whites who are not Latino/Hispanic? These racial/ethnic labeling games raise more problems than they solve. Sorry for the O/T rant.

  70. Patrick says:


    I would like to be careful in this arena as people can be easily miffed by mis-characterizing the history of these descriptives. The “Anglo” label is indeed hard to swallow as a blanket term. I guess, just as “Latino” has as is root the languages – Portuguese and Spanish, mainly – spoken by inhabitants of Western Hemisphere countries founded by descendants of Spain and Portugal – then too, a language based description is thought to be, I’m guessing, the less offensive, as opposed to a term like “caucasian,” which always sounds weird, and/or “white” which somewhat went the way of “black” in speaking carefully amongst the politically correct, but when it is invoked by minorities, as in the case of Sotomayor, it often comes with some vinegar or other acerbic twist of condescension or distancing villification. The term Hispanic seems to have been our of favor – replaced with of course, Latino, for a long time, not sure all the nuanced reasoning here, it is more that one reason, but for sure, at least one is the term Hispanic leaves out Brazilians – quite a large lot of brownies, OOPs,,sorry (Just kidding everyone, really, no, really I did not mean it like that, yes think and then…yes, there are white Brazilians and black Brazilians and oww, oo, ouch , ooch ouch.)

    Of course, black Americans are never (are they?) Anglos, (except maybe in Catholic communities with large Latino populations, then they would be lumped in, for counting purposes, the “Anglo” masses and other events), though they speak English, in the way that black Cubans Puerto Ricans etc. are definitely Latino. These labels are always an attempt to be least offensive to the most number of people without getting ridiculously cumbersome. They never quite get the job done though.

  71. Patrick says:

    On a more serious note, I do empathize with Latinos who would be thought of as “monolithic” in thinking. “Group think” is rampant, but could easily, very easily, be over applied in assessing how things political will shake out, but much worse, it certainly further isolates – as one Latino poster has eloquently noted – those in minority groups who are very much independent in their thinking, and there are more than most realize.

    As much as I hate “group think” I fear “group labeling” can do almost as much harm. We have to be “wise as serpents” a very wise writer once wrote, and “guileless as doves.” Not easy, but this is our charge, and we better get it right.

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