Monday, February 18, 2008

US ambassador to Vatican arrives in Rome

~from AFP (when I think of "feminine genuis", here is a fabulous example...but note the "anti-abortion" label.)
The new US ambassador to the Holy See, anti-abortion Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon, arrived in Rome on Friday to take up her post, a mission spokeswoman said.

The United States and the Holy See have a "common vision rooted in respect for the dignity of each man, woman and child," Glendon said on her arrival, the mission's media advisor Amy Elizabeth Roth told AFP.

"Both the US and the Holy See have a long history in which faith and reason have been inseparably united in the quest to make that vision a reality," Glendon said, adding that both sought "to promote dialogue and tolerance between people of different faiths and cultures."

President George W. Bush appointed Glendon, 69, who has served on his council on bioethics, as his envoy to the Vatican in November.

She was sworn in on Thursday just before leaving the United States and was to present her credentials to Pope Benedict XVI in the coming days, Roth said.

Glendon, who has written extensively on abortion and divorce law, is the second woman to serve in the position following a stint by Lindsey Boggs in the late 1990s.

In 2004 Glendon became the first woman to serve in an advisory position in the Roman Catholic Church when she became the head of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

She resigned that position on Thursday, Roth said.

In 1995, Glendon led the Vatican delegation to the UN-sponsored international Beijing Conference on Women, where she drew fire for the Holy See's opposition to condom use as contraception or to battle the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Glendon, who has three children, said Rome "has long been like a second home to me," noting also that her eldest daughter and three of her six grandchilden live here.

She is a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

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