President Obama is on a roll. On the same day he nominated Sonia Sotomayor to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, he announced his intention to appoint Miguel Diaz, a Roman Catholic theologian and associate professor at St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota, to serve as the next US ambassador to the Vatican. Diaz will be the first Hispanic appointed to the post since the US and the Holy See established full diplomatic ties in 1984. Diaz, who was an advisor to Obama's presidential campaign, was born in Havana. He is the son of a waiter and a data entry operator and the first person in his family to attend college.
The outgoing ambassador to the Vatican is Mary Ann Glendon, the Harvard law professor who declined an invitation to receive Notre Dame's top honor, the Laetere Medal, at graduation ceremonies earlier this month in protest of Notre Dame's decision to bestow an honorary degree on Obama notwithstanding his political position supporting abortion rights.