Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Interview With U.S. Ambassador to Holy See


ROME, JUNE 8, 2007 (Zenit) - The United States and the Holy See are going down parallel paths in many important areas, especially in efforts to advance freedom and human dignity in the world, according the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.
 
In anticipation of President George Bush's upcoming meeting with Benedict XVI on Saturday, Ambassador Francis Rooney comments on the points of convergence and divergence between the United States and the Holy See.
 
This is the first meeting between Bush and Benedict XVI since the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005, when the president and first lady Laura Bush met Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
 
The Holy Father received Laura Bush in an audience in Feb. 2006.
 
Q: What do you think President Bush's goal is in visiting with Benedict XVI, in this, their first meeting since the funeral of John Paul II?
 
Ambassador Rooney: This is a tangible reflection of how important the Holy See is to the United States and to the president.
 
The most direct and tangible way to show the interest of the president is a presidential visit.
 
There is a great deal of excitement on our part to have the president here and to have him devote this time and effort to the Holy See.
 
The United States and the Holy See have many values in common and are going down parallel paths in many important areas, especially in efforts to advance freedom and human dignity in the world.
 
The president has done many things that relate to the values that the Holy Father and the Holy See support and nurture.
 
Q: Following on the heels of the summit of the Group of Eight nations in Germany, what do you think the main points of discussion will be between Benedict XVI and Bush?
 
Ambassador Rooney: The broad platform of discussion will be the issues that relate to freedom and the promotion of human dignity in the world.
 
In that context, I think the recent increase in consciousness about global warming will be discussed. The president has had some very direct and concrete things to say about that and the Holy Father has mentioned the environment in one of his recent official pronouncements.
 
I'm sure the efforts of the world to combat terrorism and to understand and deal with fundamentalism is also a likely topic for discussion.
 
The Holy Father has spoken about some of the religious and dogmatic foundations related to extremism. Of course, the president has spoken about the necessity of the world to combat violence and extremism.
 
Q: You have spoken before on issues of immigration. The topic has moved to headlines again with the new proposed U.S. legislation. What are your thoughts on the new legislation?
 
Ambassador Rooney: The president has said this is legislation he can support.
 
President Bush has been a believer in the need for a rational, orderly, legal and fair system of immigration and of dealing with the 11 or 12 million illegal aliens in the United States from the beginning of his term in office, even before 9/11, as evidenced by his trip to Mexico to meet with President Vicente Fox.
 
He has been a supporter for this type of legislation from the beginning, courageously, sometimes even against some of the members of his own party.
 
9/11 changed many things in the United States and certainly has made the border security and immigration issue more complicated. It has raised sensitivity of the need to secure borders.
 
In the context of securing borders, which I think everyone agrees is critical, we still need to solve the problem that the president was trying to solve in the first place, which is the 11 or 12 million people living illegally in our country, who are providing valuable goods and services, as well as a rational means of dealing with future potential migrants.
 
The president's proposals, for the last seven years, have been about providing a means to identify who these people are in our country. Unless you have some kind of process to make them come forward, like his proposal, how can you identify who they are in the first place?
 
So you identify who they are and provide them a framework to either work in the United States or to go home. And possibly a framework to work in America for a while as a worker and then go home to their home country, or possibly an avenue toward citizenship for certain people who meet all the criteria that the president and Congress agree on. But there has got to be a process for that. You cannot just ignore it.
 
What I've learned as an ambassador that I didn't realize before is the global nature of population shifts and migration. The world of free trade, widespread communication and transportation technology, and the free flow of goods and services, has radically changed the paradigm.
 
The United States is not the only country dealing with immigration issues. Italy is dealing with them; the United Kingdom is dealing with them. The issue of Turkish workers in Germany is very well known. It is a global phenomenon.
 
From a principled point of view, the concepts of Catholic social teaching -- such as uniting families and allowing individuals to enjoy the fruits of their own labor, which is an inalienable human right -- to me ties into what our country is built on. That is, that all men are created equal and all have the opportunity to develop their talents and create opportunities in their lives.
 
There is a lot of symmetry in Catholic social teaching and the principles America is built on.
 
Q: The presidents of the Catholic bishop's conferences wrote a letter last week to the leaders attending the G-8 summit asking them to honor their commitments to Africa. Can you explain the recent efforts made by Bush in Africa?
 
Ambassador Rooney: Fighting AIDS in Africa has been a huge priority for the president.
 
He started PEPFAR -- the President's Emergency Program for AIDS Relief. It was a $15 billion program at the start of his second term, but now he has called for doubling it and having it continue over the first five years after he leaves office to really get the job done.
 
It is a courageous thing. All these people around the world talk about how to deal with Africa and what the United States should or shouldn't do. They ought to look at what the Unites States is doing.
 
The vast majority of the money being spent in this program coincides with the values of the Holy See, especially regarding the treatment of those suffering from the disease and the cultural education being made available to help people change their lives and behavior.
 
We hosted a conference recently focusing on AIDS and the important role of the Vatican's Good Samaritan Foundation, involving Caritas International and experts from the United Nations.
 
Attention was given to AIDS treatment, where the money needs to be spent, and showing the important role the Good Samaritan Foundation plays, as well as the important role PEPFAR is playing. Around 27% of all people with AIDS are being treated by Catholic organizations.
 
It is another area where the Holy See and the United States have very common objectives and are pursing parallel tracks very much in line with each other.
 
It's a similar discussion about climate change and emissions. What the president has said is that there are certain countries that produce most of the serious emissions, and everybody knows who they are.
 
The way to deal with these emissions is to use advanced technologies to solve the problem, not just move them to another country.
 
I think it is logical to make available the technologies to countries that need it the most to solve the problem for everyone. I saw recently that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also said the same thing.
 
Q: You have spoken already about some of the points of convergence between present U.S. government and the Holy See, but what do you see as the main areas of divergence?
 
Ambassador Rooney: I don't know that there are very many areas of divergence. There have been some in the past -- certainly the well-known position of the Holy See about the entry into the war in Iraq.
 
But since then, the Holy See's support of the efforts of the coalition to bring stability to the country and freedom to create a decent place for people to live to raise their families shows that there has been some convergence there.
 
Q: There has been a lot of discussion about the persecution of Christians in Iraq, including a recent statement made by the head of the Chaldean Church Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly of Baghdad. Is this something that will be discussed by Bush and Benedict XVI?
 
Ambassador Rooney: It could be. The Holy Father represents Christians and we are a major part of the coalition forces trying to bring stability to Iraq.
 
We share the same goals of creating stability and opportunity, while providing freedom and safety for the Iraqi people. In that sense, the Holy See has been supportive of the nation-building and community-building efforts of the coalition forces.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Benedict, Bush, Holy See, Rooney, G8

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 250 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Priestly Identity: Crisis and Renewal (Part 1)
Catholic Online

Al Qaeda...afraid of Benedict's message!
Hugh McNichol

Benedict XVI...calling all to hope...
Hugh McNichol

Perfect Women
Cheryl Dickow

Papal Palm Sunday Address - 'Enough With the Bloodshed'
Catholic Online

Spotlight on China
Catholic Online

Papal Homily for Palm Sunday
Catholic Online

Holy Week...Holy Time!
Hugh McNichol

Mary and Motherhood
Cheryl Dickow

The Void
Paul Sposite

Islamic violence wounds the global community!
Hugh McNichol

The Seven New Deadly Sins!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic benefits include Catholic principles!
Hugh McNichol

Remembering Father Alfred Kunz
Matt C. Abbott

David vs Goliath
Theresa Lisiecki

Happy Lent!
Paul Sposite

Diplomacy...Vatican style!
Hugh McNichol

Sub umbra Petri! (Under the Shadow of Saint Peter)
Hugh McNichol

Cuba...a neonascent Church!
Hugh McNichol

Kids in Conflict
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Writings of St. Augustine
Catholic Online

The Relevance of Lourdes at 150
Catholic Online

Hillary...what would Saint Norbert say!
Hugh McNichol

Lent...questions, answers and involvement!
Hugh McNichol

Mary, Mother of all Humanity, Hic et Nunc!
Hugh McNichol

Catholics...WAKE UP!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic Brotherhood with the People of the Covenant
Hugh McNichol

Have mercy on us O Lord! - Ash Wednesday
Hugh McNichol

Vote early, vote Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Christ, our global Alpha and Omega!
Hugh McNichol

Being Catholic means...total affirmation of being Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Seeing the World through New Eyes
Sarah Reinhard

Emulating the Angelic Doctor!
Hugh McNichol

Priests defend, commend Archbishop Raymond Burke
Matt C. Abbott

Saint Paul...a continued example of radical conversion!
Hugh McNichol

A renaissance of faith, reason and global cooperation....
Hugh McNichol

Cardinal Rigali's Homily at Life Vigil
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Silencing the Pope
Catholic Online

Papal Homily on Feast of Christ's Baptism
Catholic Online

Education and Gender
Catholic Online

The ignominy of Roe vs. Wade
Hugh McNichol

Papal Message for World Day of the Sick
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Planned Lecture at La Sapienza
Catholic Online

Pope's Letter to Jesuits' 35th General Congregation
Catholic Online

Fr. Cantalamessa - Behold, the Lamb of God!
Catholic Online

That We May Be One, and Never Lose Heart
Catholic Online

Sowing Hope in Sierra Leone
Catholic Online

God-incidences are the gift of kairos moments
Mary Regina Morrell

St. Augustine's Last Days
Catholic Online

Liturgy: When There's a Medical Emergency
Catholic Online

Marriage and Celibacy: Love's Link
Catholic Online

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Rooms in My Father's House
Cheryl Dickow

Resolutions for New Year 2008
Chris Anthony

Keep teaching Holy Father!!!
Hugh McNichol

Dangers of anti-Catholic academic extremism....
Hugh McNichol

The liturgy war
Matt C. Abbott

Some Answers to a Few Common Questions about Vocations
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Christmas reflections
Chris Anthony

The Lasting Contribution of The Servant of God Pope John Paul II
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

No more bobble-head Jesus'!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Baptist World Alliance
Catholic Online

The Virgin Without Sin
Catholic Online

Cardinal Vingt-Trois on His New Mission
Catholic Online

Archbishop Forte on Religion & Freedom: Part 1
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Chromatius of Aquileia, Pope, Benedict
Catholic Online

Pope's Address for Consistory of Cardinals
Catholic Online

Trafficking in Lives
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict - On Hope
Catholic Online

The Hidden Costs of Gambling
Catholic Online

A Vital, Life-Giving Message
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Christianity's Contribution
Catholic Online

Youth and Fashion's Modest Twist
Catholic Online

Papal Homily at the Consistory
Catholic Online

Love, Marriage and Happy Kids
Catholic Online

The Virtue of Obedience: Our Duty, Our Crown
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Vere dignum et justum est!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Bishops of Kenya
Catholic Online

Democracy in Danger in Venezuela
Catholic Online

The Life-Sapping Human Virus
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Sacred Time...Come Lord Jesus!
Hugh McNichol

How Christ-like are we in our lives?
Chris Anthony

A Retreat for Today's Christian Woman
Cheryl Dickow

Pope Benedict - On Trust in God
Catholic Online

God and Caesar Seen From Down Under
Catholic Online

Praying the Luminous Mysteries for our Clergy
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Culture's Pressure on Our Girls
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

Papal Message on the Common Good
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - St. Jerome on the Bible
Catholic Online

What Every Parent Should Know About 'The Golden Compass'
Catholic Online

Cardinal Poupard on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

A Richer Liturgical Translation: Interview With Bishop Roche
Catholic Online

U.S. Bishops' Statement on War in Iraq
Catholic Online

The 'Golden Compass' is no treasure for children
Mary Regina Morrell

Bishop Skylstad's Address to U.S. Bishops' Fall Meeting
Catholic Online

Rewarding Failure
Catholic Online

On St. Martin of Tours
Catholic Online

Undermining Parents
Catholic Online

God...our theological E.F.Hutton!
Hugh McNichol

The Secular Vs. Religion?
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Jerome
Catholic Online

The Scourge of Poverty
Catholic Online

Sons and Daughters of God...EQUALLY!
Hugh McNichol

On Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Catholic Online

Why Dads Matter
Catholic Online

Archbishop Chaput on Citizenship and Evangelization
Catholic Online

God Created Man for Life, Not Death
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for November
Catholic Online

Imposing 'Tolerance'
Catholic Online

Evangelizing a Digital World
Catholic Online

A Turn to the Fathers: Interview With Father Robert Dodaro
Catholic Online

Aborting Viable Lives
Catholic Online

Women Religious on Human Trafficking
Catholic Online

Chicago law firm fights for civil rights, against death culture
Matt C. Abbott

Fr. Cantalamessa - The Pharisee and the Publican
Catholic Online

Media Benefits and Dangers
Catholic Online

On the Call to Martyrdom
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

John Crosby on Von Hildebrand's Understanding of the Person
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Ambrose of Milan
Catholic Online

On Peace, Missions and Justice
Catholic Online

Address of Holy See on Religious Liberty
Catholic Online

Recovering subtle signs of our Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Eusebius of Vercelli
Catholic Online

Christ's Parable About the Need to Pray Always
Catholic Online

Prostitution: Legal Work or Slavery?
Catholic Online

Escaping Poverty: Interview With Archbishop Silvano Tomasi
Catholic Online

Congratulations to His Eminence John Cardinal Foley!
Hugh McNichol

Giving Ourselves Completely to Mary
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

The 'Courage' to go 'Beyond Gay'
Matt C. Abbott

When Bioethics Turned Secular
Catholic Online

Confession Comeback
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Hilary of Poitiers
Catholic Online

Reemergence of Global Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

Father Cantalamessa on the Leap of Faith
Catholic Online

Month of the Rosary
Catholic Online

Why Technology Needs Ethics
Catholic Online

Cardinal Lozano Barragán on Future of Health Care
Catholic Online

How Can Catholics Understand Mary as Co-Redemprix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate?
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

New Saint Book is Visually Stunning and Filled with Detail
Lisa M. Hendey

Papal Homily in Velletri
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa Analyzes Relationship
Catholic Online

Wednesday'a Audience - On St. Cyril of Alexandria
Catholic Online

Holy See Address to U.N. General Assembly
Catholic Online

Homily From Red Mass in Washington
Catholic Online

Pope Remembers Cardinal Van Thuân
Catholic Online

Faith in Politics
Catholic Online

The brave monks of Myanmar
Chris Anthony

On Lazarus and World Hunger
Catholic Online

Fighting the Good Fight: Resisting Temptation
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Media frenzy buries U.N. goals

Holy See Statement on Climate Change
Catholic Online

China's Seven Sorrows
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Chrysostom's Social Doctrine
Catholic Online

Vatican Message to Muslims for Ramadan
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the First World and Lazarus
Catholic Online

Angels, God's Messengers in a world of fragile peace and Broken promises!
Hugh McNichol

Memo to Mrs. Clinton: Why Not Baby Bonds When Life Begins?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Reorienting the Mass
Catholic Online

Report Card on Religious Freedom
Catholic Online

On Wealth and Poverty
Catholic Online

A Response to Hitchens' 'God Is Not Great'
Catholic Online

Vetoing children's health care?

The ideal family
Joseph Sinasac

Who does the judging?
Dennis Heaney

One mistake away

The Big House ban

In praise of the parish

Text of the USCCB statement for Respect Life Sunday 2007

The Outstanding Purity of Our Blessed Mother
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Educated flock

Religion and politics

Facing a door to the future
Dennis Heaney

A long debate

Who Are the True Progressives?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Petraeus offers a dose of reality

Insurgence
Robert Storr

Papal Address at Vespers
Catholic Online

Papal Coat of Arms Still Relevant
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Address at Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Catholic Online

On Loving Jesus as Mary Did
Catholic Online

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos on 'Summorum Pontificum'
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Trip to Austria
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the Joy of Fatherhood
Catholic Online

Commentary on Artificial Hydration and Nutrition
Catholic Online

Vatican on Nutrition to Patients in Vegetative State
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Q-and-A Session With Youth in Loreto
Catholic Online

Take a Risk, Follow Your Call: the challenge of a lifetime!
Sisters of Bon Secours

Papal lessons

Family matters

Lessons from a tragedy
Dennis Heaney

Shopping blues
Joseph Sinasac

Marriage Breakdown: Expensive and Divisive
Catholic Online

Her darkness was a warning

Wednesday'a Audience - Gregory of Nyssa on Perfection
Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through the Spirit, for the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full of faithful ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 30th, 2016 Image

St. Rumon
August 30: St. Rumon, also known as Ruan, Ronan, and Ruadan, ... Read More