Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
 CNS Story:

WENSKI-PILGRIMS Jun-28-2010 (490 words) xxxi

Ambassador, archbishop speak of importance of US-Vatican ties

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- They came as pilgrims, but the 250 Miami Catholics must have felt a little like VIPs the day after landing in Rome.

Miguel H. Diaz, U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, hosted the group, led by Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, at a garden party at his residence June 27. Diaz warmed them up with a pep talk about the importance of U.S.-Vatican relations.

The ambassador planned to greet similar groups from Cincinnati and Milwaukee June 28, but as Archbishop Wenski said, "he wanted to show a little favoritism to us from Florida." In fact, Cuban-born Diaz spent many years in southern Florida, as a student and later as a professor at a Catholic seminary and a Catholic university. He still has family in the Miami area.

Archbishop Wenski's line about favoritism drew laughter and applause from the Florida pilgrims, who came to Rome for Pope Benedict XVI's June 29 Mass to bestow palliums, a woolen band symbolizing pastoral ministry, upon 38 archbishops.

At the reception, the ambassador and the archbishop both spoke about the significance of strong U.S.-Vatican ties, but with somewhat different points of emphasis.

Recalling President Barack Obama's meeting last year with Pope Benedict, Diaz said that "while such a brief formal occasion doesn't allow for a deep relationship to develop, it is clear that the pope and the president share key values and philosophies as well as their Christian faith."

"Together they seek to make this a better world -- to foster peace, to promote justice and freedom, to feed the hungry, to heal the sick and to bring a message of life and hope to those desperate to hear it, as well as those who refuse to hear it," the ambassador said.

Diaz said the United States appreciates the immense value of faith-based organizations and their ability to "translate compassionate intent into practice," both domestically and in the international arena.

Archbishop Wenski said the Miami Archdiocese has a special vocation to welcome immigrants, especially from the Caribbean and Latin America. In that sense, he said, Miami has become "America's modern Ellis Island."

"The church in Miami and South Florida was always there for the newcomers. It was there for the Cubans right after the revolution in 1959 in Cuba. And it has been there now for the Haitians who have fled the earthquake and have come to South Florida for medical treatment. So Miami represents hope for so many people," he said.

The archbishop recalled Pope Benedict's praise of the healthy church-state relationship during his visit to the United States in 2008. But the pope also challenged the United States, he said, warning about a modern secularist trend toward "living as if God did not matter."

"As Catholics and Christians, our witness is to show to the world by the way we live how joyful life can be when we live convinced that God indeed does matter," he said.

END


Copyright (c) 2010 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250