Symposium Addresses Future of Vatican Diplomacy
October 26, 2011 –Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., and two former ambassadors to the Holy See took part in an Oct. 25 symposium at Georgetown on “The History and Future of Vatican Diplomacy.”
The symposium honored President Reagan's 1984 establishment of diplomatic relations with the central government of the Roman Catholic Church and the centennial of Reagan’s birth.
Participating in the symposium were L. Francis Rooney III (C’75, L’78), former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See; R. James Nicholson, another former Holy See ambassador and former Secretary of Veterans Affairs; John O’Sullivan, author of The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister; and Joe Grieboski (F’96, G’01), founder and chair of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.
“The future of Vatican and American diplomacy will have to be rooted in supplying the lessons of the American past to a new uncertain future,” noted O’Sullivan, the symposium’s keynote speaker.
Grieboski said that the United States and the Holy See complement each other.
“In post a 9/11 world … it really is only the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church that has the global capacity to provide in the overwhelming amounts that it does, humanitarian and medical aid,” Grieboski said. “Over the last 27 years it’s a partnership that has been strengthened, where both sides are able to fill gaps that exist in the capacity and the ability of the other.”
Carol Lancaster (F'64), dean of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, moderated the event, sponsored by the university and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.
“The Holy See has been a voice for human rights and justice in the world, a voice for just war, a voice for caring for the poor and helping them find a better life for themselves, a voice for just markets,” Lancaster said.