It’s St. John’s theology prof. Miguel Diaz, and here’s the thumbnail just put out by the White House (with his surname oddly misspelled as DC-az).
Miguel H. Diaz, Nominee for Ambassador to the Holy See Dr. Miguel Diaz is a Professor of Theology at St. John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota. He is the co-editor of the book “From the Heart of Our People: Explorations in Catholic Systematic Theology” and author of “On Being Human: U.S. Hispanic and Rahnerian Perspectives”, named “Best Book of the Year” by the Hispanic Theological Initiative at Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Diaz taught Religious Studies and Theology at Barry University, the University of Dayton and the University of Notre Dame. From 2001 to 2003, he taught and served as Academic Dean at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida. He is a Board Member of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) and Past President of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS). Dr. Diaz holds a B.A. from St. Thomas University and a M.A. and PhD in Theology from the University of Notre Dame.
For starters, with Sotomayor this makes for a serious one-two punch with Latinos. It’s very interesting that he’s a theologian rather than your basic Catholic pol or lawyer type. He served on Obama’s Catholic Advisory Board during the campaign, which puts him firmly in the Kmiec camp. This strikes me as the shrewdest of moves, and one that will cause no end of teeth-grinding on the Catholic right, including the likes of Archbishop Burke. But we await learned commentary from his co-religionists.
Update: Turns out Diaz is a consultant to Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Big win for social-justice, common-ground Catholics.
Exegesis: Catholic conservatives would be free to rail against a pro-Obama Catholic politician. “Not a real Catholic,” etc. A pro-Obama Catholic theologian who teaches at a major seminary, well, that’s a different story. And the fact that he’s a Latino working on issues in Hispanic theology, at a time where we’re experiencing the Latinization of the American Catholic Church–that’s a ten-strike.