IRD Advisor to Be Nominated as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:55:12 PM EST
I recently referenced Andrew Weaver's report of last year in Media Transparency, which detailed the role of neoconservative Catholics close to the Bush administration in the leadership of the Institute on Religion and Democracy.  IRD is, of course, the Washington, DC-based organization that busies itself trying to disrupt and dismantle the major denominations of mainline Protestantism in order to, according to its own internal documents, "discredit and diminish the Religious Left's influence" (as Max Blumenthal reported on a few years ago.) Weaver, a Methodist minister, called the role of leading neoconservative Catholics in IRD
"...the most grievous breach in ecumenical good will between Roman Catholics and Protestants since the changes initiated by Vatican II."

Imagine the outcry from Catholic leaders, a fully justified response, if a highly influential group of Protestants obtained a million dollars a year from left-wing sources to generate a propaganda campaign against the leadership of the Catholic Church over the issues of the ordination of women and divorce. Moreover, this Protestant-directed group constantly sought to undermine Catholic leaders and missions through twisted and demeaning distortions of what they said, while seeking no reforms in their own communions. This is exactly the situation we have at IRD.

One of the Catholics Weaver cited in his article was Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon.  The Associated Press reports that President Bush plans to nominate her to be U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.

Here is part of what Weaver wrote about Glendon:

Mary Ann Glendon is a member of the IRD Advisory Board and the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University. According to the Boston Globe, she is "the highest-ranking female adviser in the Catholic Church". In 2004, she was appointed by Pope John Paul II to head the Pontifical Academy of Social Science which produces research upon which the Catholic Church establishes its social policy. In 1995, she headed the 22-member delegation of the Holy See to the Fourth United Nations' Women's Conference in Beijing. She has been mentioned as a possible Supreme Court justice nominee and is a member of President Bush's Council on Bioethics.

Glendon also serves on the Catholic League's Board of Advisors with three other IRD associates: Robert George, Michael Novak and George Weigel. The Catholic League purports to defend Catholics' right "to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination." However, John M. Swomley, emeritus professor of social ethics at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri, calls the Catholic League one of the "most dangerous of the far-right organizations". He wrote that while "it masquerades as a civil rights organization," the Catholic League's actual "mission is to censor or suppress any activity, language, speech, publication, or media presentation that it considers offensive to the papacy, the Vatican, or the Catholic church in America".

William A. Donohue, who has been the president of the League since 1993, appears frequently on news programs, primarily to attack gays, progressives, and Hollywood. Recently he declared on national television "there are people in Hollywood, not all of them, but there are some people who are nothing more than harlots" who "will do anything for the buck." He added that, if asked "to sodomize their own mother in a movie, they would do so, and they would do it with a smile on their face." And, "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular...Hollywood likes anal sex."

Glendon remains on the advisory boards of both IRD and the Catholic League to this day.

In researching information for my Catholic Right series, Glendon's name pops up quite frequently in association with Opus Dei.

This is not good news.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 07:39:26 AM EST

You've been on top of this with your reports on the Catholic Right.

by khughes1963 on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 09:09:48 PM EST

It's amazing how Donohue's language is starting to sound like the jackleg preachers I've been reporting about.

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 01:22:39 PM EST

I'm not happy about the appointment either, but I think that, since Glendon is a woman, the Vatican will simply ignore her, the way they tend to do with all women. I never thought I'd say this, but in this case, that would be a good thing.

by mkerby on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 01:12:51 PM EST
She is already a top advisor to the Vatican and has headed a Vatican delegation to a UN conference. If anything, they listen all too well.

Which leads us to a different question. Why would the U.S. appoint as a diplomat, someone who is or was a diplomat for the sovereign state to which she would represent U.S. interests?

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 01:59:15 PM EST

who isn't too concerned about those following after. I never have been able to abide the 60-70 year old women who squeezed through the pink curtain to get into law school, and then work to limit the rights of other women. Phyllis Schlafly, who lives locally, is another such. I am sad to say that Glendon is a graduate of my alma mater, a Seven Sisters college.

by NancyP on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 10:19:31 PM EST

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