Conservative Catholic Activist Nominated For Vatican Post

A Harvard professor known for her fervent advocacy of Catholic doctrine has been chosen to become the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

In early November, President George W. Bush announced plans to nominate Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon to the Vatican ambassadorship, which requires Senate confirmation. A staunch defender of the church hierarchy, she has served more than a decade as an adviser to the Vatican.

Glendon has also been a critic of reproductive rights, gay marriage and the separation of church and state. She has drawn attention for sharply criticizing media coverage of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandals.

The Rev. Richard P. McBrien, a University of Notre Dame theologian, told The Boston Globe that Glendon’s far-right views fit well with the Bush administration.

“She has also been an outspoken critic of feminism, tending to write it off as a relic of the 1970s, all of which endears her to conservative Catholics and makes her an ideal choice for President Bush,” McBrien said.