President Bush Nominates Pro-Life Law Professor as Vatican Ambassador

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 5, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Nominates Pro-Life Law Professor as Vatican Ambassador Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 5,

Washington, DC ( — President Bush has nominated a prominent pro-life law professor as the new ambassador from the United States to the Vatican. The president’s nomination of Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon follows the trend of keeping pro-life advocates in the key diplomatic position.

Glendon has a long-standing pro-life position and her 1987 book, "Abortion and Divorce in Western Law" criticized the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed unlimited abortions.

"What is clearly ‘old-fashioned’ today is the old feminism of the 1970s — with its negative attitudes toward men, marriage and motherhood, and its rigid party line on abortion," she has said.

She has urged society to build “a culture that is respectful of women, supportive of child-raising families and protective of the weak and vulnerable.”

Glendon spoke with Zenit about her appointment and said she would be "deeply honored" to accept it.

"If confirmed, I would be especially pleased to follow in the footsteps of my fellow Bostonian, Ray Flynn, and all the other ambassadors who have so ably contributed to excellent relations between the United States and the Holy See," she said.

Feminists for Life of America, one of the leading pro-life women’s groups, has awarded Glendon with its distinction as a "Remarkable Pro-Life Woman."

"For those who complain about the pro-abortion mentality in the ivory tower of academia, Mary Ann Glendon is a light in the darkness," the group said.

Glendon’s nomination must be confirmed by the Senate and, if she is approved, she would become the ninth person to hold the position since its creation.

Once the nomination is confirmed, Glendon will succeed Francis Rooney, a businessman who has held the post since October 2005.

Glendon is no stranger to working with the Vatican and Pope John Paul II appointed her in 1994 to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, a key policy panel within the church hierarchy.

In March 2004, Pope John Paul II named her the president of the academy, marking the first time a woman has led a Vatican panel.

In 1995, she was the first woman to lead a Vatican delegation to the United Nations Women’s Conference in Beijing that discussed abortion and population control issues.

In her statement to the conference, she presented a strong, pro-life message, challenging participating nations to eliminate the factors that cause women to seek abortions.

This is the second time Bush has named the pro-life professor to a top panel, as he appointed her to the President’s Council on Bioethics, in 2001.

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney praised the nomination in a statement given to Glendon had been a legal advisor to him.

"She will serve our country with the honor and dignity we expect from those who represent our country’s values abroad," Romney said. "While I may have lost her trusted counsel to our campaign, our country has gained an extremely gifted Ambassador."

Before joining Harvard as a professor in 1974, she taught at Boston College Law School.