United States Ambassador to the Holy See
|Ambassador of the United States to the Holy See
Seal of the United States Department of State
|Inaugural holder||William Wilson
|Website||U.S. Embassy - Vatican City|
A U.S. Ambassador serves as that country's official representative to the Holy See since formal diplomatic relations began in 1984. Before the establishment of formal diplomatic relations, President Franklin D. Roosevelts' Postmaster General James Farley was the first high ranking government official to normalize relations with the Holy See in 1933. In addition, Myron Taylor would serve during World War II as an emissary for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1951, President Harry S. Truman's pick of World War II hero Mark W. Clark was defeated.
Between 1951 and 1968, the United States had no official representative accredited to the Holy See. President Richard Nixon changed this when he appointed Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. as his personal representative. President Jimmy Carter followed with the appointment of former New York City mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Every ambassador to date has been a Roman Catholic. The post is currently vacant, since the resignation of Miguel Diaz. The embassy is currently being run by the Chargé d’Affaires.
List of the ambassadors
The following is a list of United States Ambassadors to the Holy See, past and present:
|Name||Years served||Pope||U.S. President|
|William Wilson||1984–1986||John Paul II||Ronald Reagan|
|Thomas Patrick Melady||1989–1993||George H. W. Bush|
|Raymond Flynn||1993–1997||Bill Clinton|
|James Nicholson||2001–2005||George W. Bush|
|Francis Rooney||2005–2008||Benedict XVI|
|Mary Ann Glendon||2008–2009|
|Miguel H. Díaz||2009-2012||Barack Obama|
History before formal diplomatic relations established
Before the establishment of formal diplomatic relations, President Franklin D. Roosevelts' Postmaster General James Farley was the first high ranking government official to normalize relations with the Holy See in 1933 when the Postmaster General set sail for Europe, along with Soviet Commissar of Foreign Affairs Maxim Litvinoff on the Italian Liner SS Conte Di Savoia "Count of Savoy. In Italy Farley had an audience with Pope Pius XI, and dinner with Cardinal Pacelli, who was to succeed to the papacy in 1939.Myron Charles Taylor, an industrialist, philanthropist and diplomat (starting with World War II), served from December 1939 until 1950 as an emissary[clarification needed] to Pope Pius XII for Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.
On October 20, 1951, Truman nominated Mark W. Clark, a U.S. Army general and World War II hero, to be emissary to the Holy See. Clark later withdrew his nomination on January 13, 1952, following protests from U.S. Senator Tom Connally from Texas and Protestant groups.
Between 1951 and 1968, the U.S. had no official representative accredited to the Holy See.
In 1969, President Richard Nixon changed this when he appointed — as his personal representative[clarification needed] — Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., a former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, Nixon's 1960 Republican Vice Presidential running mate and a former U.S. Ambassador (to the United Nations, South Vietnam and West Germany).
In 2009, the seat of ambassador had remained vacant for several months because of alleged tensions between the Vatican and the Obama administration over the issues of abortion and marriage. Three candidates were mentioned, including Caroline Kennedy and Douglas Kmiec, but they were ultimately not selected because of disagreement on these matters.
- Mission Statement from the website of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See
- "Ambassador Miguel Dìaz Departs Post". US Embassy to the Holy See. US State Department. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- From 1981 to 1984, Wilson was Reagan's personal representative to the Holy See.
- "Obama's policy criticised by Church" Irish Independent (online), January 25, 2009, Section: World News
- The Vatican versus the White House Irish Independent (online), April 18, 2009, Section: World News
- "Pope 'rejects Kennedy for being too liberal'" The Times (UK) April 15, 2009
- "Obama's candidates for Vatican ambassador failing 'simple standard'". Catholic News Agency. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- United States Department of State: Chiefs of Mission for the Holy See
- United States Department of State: Holy See
- United States Embassy in Vatican City
- United States Department of State: Background notes on the Holy See