VATICAN CITY — The same day Miguel Diaz, U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, attended Pope Benedict’s annual meeting with diplomats, the Vatican and the U.S. government marked a special anniversary.
On Jan. 10 twenty-seven years ago, the United States established full diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
President Ronald Reagan named William Wilson (see photo) to be the first U.S. ambassador to the Vatican in 1984.
To commemorate the anniversary, Ambassador Diaz issued the following statement this morning:
Celebrating 27 Years of U.S.-Vatican Relations
Statement from Ambassador Díaz, January 10, 2011
“Today, we celebrate the 27th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the Holy See. On January 10th, 1984, President Ronald Reagan nominated William Wilson as the first U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. During the 1980s, the United States and the Holy See worked together to tear down the Berlin Wall. Today, we work together to tear down new walls – walls that threaten to separate us as a human family – such as religious intolerance, terrorism, modern-day slavery, human rights violations, and other evils.
On this 27th anniversary, we raise our voices in solidarity with those who continue to suffer oppression, such as victims of religious persecution and extremism worldwide. As we begin the twenty-eighth year of our relations, the United States looks forward to continuing engagement with the Holy See to promote human dignity and human rights worldwide.”