The U.S. Senate confirmed Miguel Diaz for the position on Tuesday. He is the first Hispanic person to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See since full diplomatic ties were established.
“I’m really looking forward to speaking to members of the press once I am able to present my credentials to His Holiness,” Diaz said Wednesday, before declining to comment further.
President Barack Obama nominated Diaz in May, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended him in July after he testified before its members on July 22.
Diaz has been on the St. John’s and St. Benedict faculty since 2004.
“I am very grateful to the Senate for this confirmation and to President Obama for the confidence he has invested in me,” Diaz said in a statement issued by St. John’s and St. Ben’s. “I am honored to be given the responsibility of representing the people of the United States to the Holy See.”
Diaz and his family will move to Rome soon, according to Rita Knuesel, provost of the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University.
“What I would like to add is how proud both the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University are to have Miguel and his wife, Marian, who are two extremely talented, young, dynamic, responsible, ethical leaders, represent the United States,” she said Wednesday.
The native of Havana, Cuba, earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas University in Miami, and his master’s and doctorate in theology from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. He is fluent in Italian, Spanish and French.
“He is very excited and thrilled and looking forward to this new challenge, and he feels buoyed and supported by his colleagues here, and just very energized by this new assignment,” said Knuesel, who spoke to Diaz on Wednesday.
Diaz had taught previously at Barry University, Miami Shores, Fla.; St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach, Fla.; University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio; and Notre Dame. He also is a board member for the Catholic Theological Society of America and is past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States.
Diaz donated $1,000 to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint committee of Obama and the Democratic National Committee, and served on the Obama campaign’s Catholic advisory board.
“I am, as provost, thrilled with the appointment of Diaz, proud of his accomplishments and his wife’s accomplishments, and I look forward to watching the good things that they shall accomplish,” Knuesel said.
Times staff members Lisa Schwarz and Dave Aeikens contributed to this report.
Read Daniel 11:4-45 which outlined the Papal movement to the time of the end. Just before Daniel 12:1 when Michael stands up.