President Obama has nominated Miguel H. Diaz to be Ambassador to the Vatican. The Brody File provides some details below. Full analysis coming later.
The Bio on Diaz released by The White House:
Dr. Miguel Díaz is a Professor of Theology at St. John's University and the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota. He is the co-editor of the book "From the Heart of Our People: Explorations in Catholic Systematic Theology" and author of "On Being Human: U.S. Hispanic and Rahnerian Perspectives", named "Best Book of the Year" by the Hispanic Theological Initiative at Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Díaz taught Religious Studies and Theology at Barry University, the University of Dayton and the University of Notre Dame. From 2001 to 2003, he taught and served as Academic Dean at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida. He is a Board Member of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) and Past President of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS). Dr. Díaz holds a B.A. from St. Thomas University and a M.A. and PhD in Theology from the University of Notre Dame.
We'll wait to see the Catholic reaction to this pick. Clearly The White House believes he is one of the nation’s leading Catholic theologians. It looks like they're going with someone who seems to have devoted his life to the Church. The Brody File research shows that he is a Cuban American and the first person in his family to go to college.
This nomination will be heavily scrutinized.
More here. Read a portion of an article from The Associated Press:
One potential point of conflict is Diaz's support for the nomination of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic whose abortion rights record angered conservative Catholics. Diaz was among 26 Catholic leaders and scholars who signed a statement hailing Sebelius as "a woman of deep faith" and citing her a record on immigration, education, health care and reducing abortion rates in Kansas.
According to public records, Diaz donated $1,000 to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint committee of Obama and the Democratic National Committee. He served on the Obama campaign's Catholic advisory board.
Diaz was far from the most visible — or controversial — Catholic to campaign for Obama. Douglas Kmiec, a Catholic law professor and former Reagan administration lawyer, was targeted by conservative Catholics and denied Communion by one priest for his support for Obama.
Kmiec, who was mentioned as a possible Vatican envoy, applauded the choice of Diaz on Wednesday, calling him "a gifted theologian and a natural teacher. And his love for the faith is unquestioned."
Cathleen Kaveny, a Notre Dame law and theology professor who also served on the Obama campaign's Catholic advisory committee, said it was significant Obama chose a theologian and a representative of one of the fastest growing demographics in the U.S. church, Hispanics.
"He is not a big donor, he's not a big professor," she said. "He's someone very knowledgeable about the Catholic tradition and Catholic theology. What you see is President Obama taking seriously not just Catholicism as a political force but as an intellectual force."