NEW COIN IN THE FOUNTAIN
Last night’s news from the White House contained one stunning appointment, the new Ambassador of the United States to the Holy See. The president’s choice is Miguel Diaz and I am personally delighted since I have known Ambassador-designate Diaz personally and admired his theological and intellectual work. Normally, I would be clueless about these appointments but this man served on the faculty of our regional seminary as a professor of theology following receiving his doctorate degree from Notre Dame. Miguel Diaz is proud of his Cuban heritage and history and also of his Church. The bishops of Florida were sad to see him leave when for economic and professional reasons first Barry University in Miami andf then St. John’s in Collegeville, Minnesota offered him positions he could not turn down. At the time he was also serving as academic dean at our seminary. A number of priests of this diocese ordained in the last thirteen years would probably remember Diaz and, I would think, with respect and gratitude for his work at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary. Of this I am certain, this is a man who would not sell out either his Catholic faith or his love of his country.
The appointment will be “batted around” in some circles prior to his confirmation hearings precisely because he is a working Catholic theologian. Those who are skeptical of the president’s every move will likely see something sinister in this appointment and the media may have a little more interest than they normally would. All I know is this, the Miguel Diaz I know and remember is an outstanding husband, father, and teacher and a wonderful representative of our Catholic faith. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the Holy See and the joint appointment of ambassadors by the late President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, our country will for the first time be represented by someone who can not easily be called a “political operative” but a son of immigrants who loved the Church enough to make it his life up to this moment. There will soon be a new coin in those fountains in St. Peter’s Square.