Tuesday night, Georgetown University hosted its annual event for alumni
and friends at Rome's Minerva Hotel. I was asked to moderate a panel
discussion on Vatican diplomacy featuring Ambassadors Francis Rooney, who
represents the United States to the Holy See, and Francis Campbell,
representing the United Kingdom.
Both are Catholics who do not come out
of conventional diplomatic circles. Campbell is a policy wonk who worked
for Prime Minister Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street, while Rooney is a
successful businessman with construction firms in Oklahoma and Florida.
Rooney said there is a great "symmetry" between the interests of the
Holy See and the American government in promoting "human dignity and
essential freedoms in the world," which he described as "under attack" in
places such as Venezuela, China, Bosnia and Russia. He specifically
mentioned the struggle for religious freedom in various parts of the