by Steven Ertelt
December 26, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Before the Senate closed up shop for the year, lawmakers approved the nomination of a respected pro-life attorney to sere as the ambassador to the Vatican. President Bush nominated Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon to become the next delegate to the Holy See but her confirmation vote had been held up by both Democrats and Republicans.
The current ambassador to the Catholic state, Francis Rooney, recently resigned and is expected to leave office before the Pope’s visit in April 2008.
Though Glendon’s nomination drew praise from the pro-life community, 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.
One Republican leader told a conservative media outlet that Glendon’s nomination probably wouldn’t receive action until next year.
However, as LifeNews.com has learned, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Glendon’s confirmation and sent her name to the full Senate. There, lawmakers approved her along with a flurry of other last-minute appointments on a voice vote.
Before the vote, Rep. Vita Fossella, a pro-life Republican from New York, issued a letter to Senate Democratic leaders asking them to stop delaying a confirmation vote.
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.
"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.
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.”
Glendon has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics since 2001 and, 1995, Pope John Paul named her head of the Vatican delegation to the U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing. There she helped pro-life advocates confront pro-abortion activities trying to promote abortion on an international level.