US ambassador to the Vatican takes up university position

The US ambassador to the Holy See, Miguel H. Diaz, is taking up a teaching position at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

The US embassy to the Holy See said that Diaz’s departure had been in the pipeline for some time. The official announcement was made on 7 November – after the US presidential elections – however the news was first reported in the Vatican's daily press bulletin on 5 November, when Diaz was granted a farewell audience with Pope Benedict XVI.

The Roman Catholic theologian has been named a professor of faith and culture at the Catholic college at which he has previously taught.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Diaz was an adviser to President Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and in August 2009 he became the first Hispanic US ambassador to the Holy See.

Although Ambassador Diaz is recognised for focussing on themes such as interfaith dialogue, his term of office coincided with tension between Washington and the Vatican over Obama's support of abortion in contrast with core teaching of the Catholic Church.