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CURRENT ISSUE:  October 19, 2009
VOL. 47, NO. 18   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Bishops: concerns unresolved in health bills
Hawaiians celebrate Damien, new saint
Ambassador optimistic about
US-Vatican links in Obama era

ROME (CNS) — The new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Miguel Diaz, said he is convinced there is wide potential for cooperation between the Vatican and the administration of President Barack Obama, particularly in areas of intercultural and interreligious dialogue.

Ambassador Miguel Diaz
To kick things off, the U.S. embassy to the Holy See and Caritas Internationalis co-sponsored an international conference in Rome on pediatric HIV/AIDS, Oct. 14-16. Diaz said he has already begun exploring additional collaborative possibilities with other Vatican agencies.

“As ambassador, I know there are areas where the Holy See and the United States are not in complete agreement. But I seek to be a bridge-builder, and to underscore that we can work together in multiple areas,” Diaz said in an interview with Catholic News Service.

The ambassador said he was heartened when the pope, in welcoming him to Rome, expressed his confidence that U.S.-Vatican relations would continue to be marked by cooperation in promoting human rights and human dignity.

Diaz said he was able to begin mapping out some potential areas of common interest with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, during a meeting after his papal audience.

Later, he met with the heads of Vatican councils that coordinate interreligious dialogue and relations with Jews.

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