October 2, 2009.
The U.S. has a new ambassador to the Holy See. Miguel Diaz officially presented his credentials to the pope this morning.
The pope gave Diaz the traditional letter he gives new ambassadors. In it, he outlines the Church’s stance on topics of mutual interest, like the economic crisis, nuclear weapons and the tense relationship between American bishops and the Obama administration over abortion issues.
In his letter, Benedict says that the Church has no intention of introducing dogma into political debate, but rather proposing points of view grounded in natural law. He says that if the ethics of life are not respected, they won’t be respected in the realm of social themes either.
The pope went on to mention his meeting with President Obama in July and thanked him for his efforts against nuclear weapons. With regards to the economic crisis Benedict called for ethical measures that secure the development of all people and the individual person.
Ambassador Diaz, on the other hand, highlighted that the Vatican and the United States share certain priorities like inter-religious dialogue, environmental issues, food security and ethical ways to solve the economic crisis.
Before being named ambassador, Diaz was a professor of theology at St. John’s University in Minnesota. The pope took the opportunity to wish him a happy 46th birthday which he celebrated just a few days before the meeting.