It looks as though the well-known lawyer and pro-life feminist Mary Ann Glendon may become the newest U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.
According to reports by ANSA in Italian, sources inside the Bush administration are saying that it is very likely that “President George W. Bush would appoint Mary Ann Glendon as the new US Ambassador to the Holy See."
Glendon is someone who is well prepared to serve in this post since she has worked with the Vatican frequently in the past. Her resume includes being appointed by Pope John Paul II to the newly created Pontifical Academy of Social Science in 1994, leading the 22-member delegation of the Holy See to the Fourth U.N. Women’s Conference in Beijing in 1995 and serving on the Holy See’s Central Committee for the Great Jubilee 2000.
The most recent Vatican appointment for Glendon came in 2004 when she was made the head of the Pontifical Academy for the Sciences.
Interestingly, in a speech that she gave at the U.N. this past May, Glendon spoke about the theme of faith and politics, a topic that Pope Benedict has been quite outspoken about of late.
The president of the pontifical academy said in her address that a challenge for religious and cultural leaders is to motivate "their followers to meet others on the plane of reason and mutual respect, while remaining true to themselves and their own beliefs."
Glendon explained that often "religion has often been exploited for political purposes," but that dialogue is also hindered by "not only misunderstandings about the faith of others, but also a poor grounding in one's own faith."
Mary Ann Glendon has also distinguished herself as a lawyer. She is currently the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University and teaches and writes on international human rights, comparative law, and constitutional law issues.