by Steven Ertelt
December 20, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life congressman has issued a letter to Senate Democratic leaders asking them to stop delaying a confirmation vote on a pro-life attorney President Bush nominated to be the ambassador to the Vatican. Rep. Vito Fossella wants the Senate to confirm the appointment before Pope Benedict XVI visits the U.S. next year.
Fossella, a New York Republican, wrote to Senators Hillary Clinton, Charles Schumer, Joe Biden and Richard Luger on Wednesday.
The nomination of Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon has been on hold due, in part, to blanket Democratic opposition to all of President Bush’s remaining nominees.
In a statement LifeNews.com obtained, Fossella said it is imperative to have an Ambassador in place as quickly as possible to dignify the visit of the Catholic leader.
The current Ambassador, Francis Rooney, recently resigned and is expected to leave office before the Pope’s visit in April 2008.
"Ever since President Reagan formalized diplomatic relations with Pope John Paul II in 1984, the position of Ambassador to the Holy See has had the important role of strengthening the partnership with the Vatican on issues concerning the international community," Fosella said.
"The Senate should not allow this important Ambassadorship to sit unfilled due to partisan bickering," he added.
However, according to the American Spectator, a Republican senator placed her nomination on hold because she has served as an advisor to Mitt Romney. The Republican presidential candidate has received significant criticism over his change of position on abortion.
"[The nomination] is DOA as far as we are concerned," a senior Republican Senate aide told the magazine. "Glendon isn’t going to get this without a fight from the White House and we don’t think that is going to happen."
One Republican leader the magazine interviewed said the nomination may move ahead but not until the Spring after the presidential primary battle has subsided.
Bush’s nomination 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.”