April 8, 2011. (Romereports.com)
The Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero has appointed a new female
ambassador to the Vatican. Maria Jesus Figa has a prestigious diplomatic
career, and until recently was the under-secretary of Foreign Affairs. She's replacing Francisco Vazquez, who served as ambassador for five years, managing to maintain a steady relationship between Zapatero and the Vatican.
María Jesús Figa is well known in Roman circles because she was one of the main interlocutors between the government of Zapatero and the Church.
With the approval of the Vatican, she will present her credentials to the pope on April 16. Her main challenge will be Benedict XVI's visit to Spain scheduled for next August.
She will now belong to an exclusive club, because the Vatican holds diplomatic relations with 178 countries but has only 17 accredited females ambassadors to the Vatican.