Pro-Life Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon Starts as New Vatican Ambassador

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 19, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon Starts as New Vatican Ambassador Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 19
, 2008

The Vatican ( — Former Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon began her new job yesterday as the ambassador to the Holy See from the United States. The Senate approved her nomination in December and now Glendon will partner with the Catholic Church in advancing the pro-life perspective on an international scale.

Glendon’s nomination drew praise from the pro-life community and President Bush’s nomination of her to the diplomatic post followed the trend of keeping pro-life advocates in it.

The attorney took her oath of office on Valentine’s Day at Harvard’s law school and arrived in Rome on Friday where she is expected to begin meetings with top officials later this month.

According to a Washington Times report, Glendon will help Pope Benedict and his staff prepare for his visit to the United States on April 16 and an address at the United Nations two days later.

Upon her arrival in Rome, Glendon spoke with reporters and told them that the U.S. and the Vatican share a "common commitment to the human dignity of every man, woman and child."

"Both the United States and the Holy See have a long history in which faith and reason are inseparably united in that quest," she added.

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, in 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 activists trying to promote abortion on an international level.