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Rome Reports

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U.S. Ambassador Offers Advice To Her Successor

One of these is U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon, who returned to her teaching position at Harvard University, one day before Barack Obama was sworn in as the next president of the United States.Although she held the post for less than a year, it was a very eventful one, which included Benedict XVI?s first papal visit to the United States. But when asked for the favorite memory or moment of her tenure, she offered several. Mary Ann GlendonFormer U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Well, it?s hard to single out any but certainly I will always remember the magnificent liturgies I?ve been privileged to witness here. The ordination of priests in the Rome diocese, the funeral mass we had this morning for Cardinal Pio Laghi, who was the first apostolic envoy to the United States 25 years ago. It?s been a great chance to get to know the Holy See better from a different perspective, and to get to know the United States Foreign Service. Ambassador Glendon also reflected on her experiences working with and for the last two Popes.Mary Ann GlendonFormer U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See I knew John Paul II in my capacity as a diplomat for the Holy See, and I have become acquainted with Pope Benedict in my capacity first as president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, and then as a representative of my own country. I would say I found enormous continuities in their expounding of Catholic social thought and I have related to Benedict as a professor to the scholar that he is.The nominee for U.S. ambassador to the Holy See has not been announced yet, and is not expected to be confirmed by the Senate and ready to assume the post until next summer. But Ambassador Glendon offered these words of advice to her successor.Mary Ann GlendonFormer U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See To take advantage of the magnificent opportunities that there are for local knowledge, both from the diplomats in the Holy See who are among the most highly skilled diplomats in the world, but also from the members of the diplomatic corps.With a change in administration come changes in relations between the United States and the Holy See. President Obama will be coming to Italy for the G8 summit in July, and it is possible he will meet with the Pope during this trip. They will be at odds on issues such as abortion, stem cell research, and contraception, but in agreement on issues like global humanitarian efforts.