Pope Tells New Obama Vatican Ambassador to Uphold Pro-Life Position on Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 2, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pope Tells New Obama Vatican Ambassador to Uphold Pro-Life Position on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 2
, 2009

The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — Pope Benedict XVI has a message for the pro-Obama political activist who the president appointed to become his new Vatican ambassador: uphold the pro-life position on abortion. Some pro-life Catholics have been concerned that Miguel Diaz won’t faithfully uphold the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.

Benedict has written a letter to Diaz, a former professor of theology at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, and St. John’s University in Collegeville, both in Minnesota.

The pope said he hoped the relationship between the Holy See and the United States would "continue to be marked by fruitful dialogue and cooperation in the promotion of human dignity, respect for fundamental human rights" and the "cultivation of the values of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’"

"I think particularly of the need for a clear discernment with regard to issues touching the protection of human dignity and respect for the inalienable right to life from the moment of conception to natural death," he said.

Benedict urged Diaz to promote "the protection of the right to conscientious objection on the part of health care workers, and indeed all citizens."

"The Church insists on the unbreakable link between an ethics of life and every other aspect of social ethics," he reminded the Obama supporter.

The pontiff reminded Diaz of the words of the late Pope John Paul II, who said, "a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized."

Deal Hudson, a popular Catholic writer, applauded the Pope for encouraging Diaz to support the pro-life perspective.

"When a new Vatican ambassador presents his credentials, the Holy Father makes remarks that are directed at the particular country being represented," he noted.

"The message [for Diaz] is clear: Nothing the Obama administration wants to achieve is more important than protecting unborn life," he said.

Pro-life Catholics have had a reason to be concerned about Diaz because he was a member of Obama’s Catholic advisory team during the 2008 presidential campaign and helped cover up his pro-abortion record during the campaign.

The National Catholic Register complained about Diaz and abortion after the Senate confirmed him to the ambassador position.

"The Catholic theology professor’s beliefs regarding the life issues and other moral issues, where President Barack Obama’s stances differ sharply with Church teachings, remain something of a cipher," it said.

The newspaper said it appears that Diaz "is a proponent of Obama’s ‘common ground’ approach on the life issues, which in practice consists of implementing pro-abortion policies and appointing pro-abortion personnel to key positions while proclaiming rhetorically that Obama would like to see the number of abortions reduced through the implementation of social policies that allegedly would discourage abortions."

In 2006, Diaz served as theological consultant to the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good.

The group eventually came under fire from Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, who said it had "done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.”

Obama isn’t alone in earning Diaz’s support, as he also endorsed pro-abortion Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius and her nomination to become Obama’s health secretary.

Diaz was one of several Catholic college professors to support her bid, which prompted Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick Reilly to say they were "giving comfort and aid to those whose stated goals are to advance policies directly opposed to Catholic teachings on life issues."

“Given Gov. Sebelius’s abortion record and the concerns of her own bishop, it is sad that some of her strongest supporters are speaking out from their platforms on Catholic campuses,” he said.

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