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Although frequently unacknowledged and misunderstood, the relationship between the US and the Holy See can play an important role in soft-power dynamics. During Monday's Bradley Lecture at AEI, Francis Rooney, former ambassador to the Holy See, illustrated the importance of the Vatican as a force for good, equality, and free enterprise in the diplomatic world, a topic he explores in his newly released book, "The Global Vatican."
According to Rooney, the values of individual liberty, private property, and the rights of man are all core principles of Catholic Church doctrine, and therefore make the Holy See a natural diplomatic partner to the US. He argued that diplomatic relations between the two were sporadic for the majority of America's early history, but played an important role in the nation's emergence as a world superpower by aiding the US during World War II, by helping stem the growth of Communism in Italy, and by fostering democracy in Eastern European nations, which facilitated the fall of the Soviet Union.
Rooney continued, "it’s not lost on the Church that those who have had their lives improved most by globalization" are those who have needed it most; for example, in areas of Africa and Latin America, economic progress has spurred democracy, individual rights and freedoms, and free enterprise. Rooney closed by expressing hope that the US and Holy See will work together to promote their shared values, making them a joint force for good in an increasingly secularized, radicalized, and difficult global landscape.
What is the proper role for the Catholic Church in world affairs? Please join AEI for this special Bradley Lecture with Francis Rooney, who served as US ambassador to the Holy See from 2005 to 2008.
Drawing on insights from his new book, “The Global Vatican” (Rowman & Littlefield, November 2013), Ambassador Rooney will provide an unprecedented inside look at the Catholic Church, its role in world politics and diplomacy, and the extraordinary relationship between the United States and the Holy See. He will argue that no institution on Earth has both the international stature and the global reach of the Holy See, which has the “soft power” of moral influence and authority to promote religious freedom, human liberties, and related values that Americans and our allies uphold worldwide.
Books will be available for purchase.
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Arthur C. Brooks, AEI
Francis Rooney, Former US Ambassador to the Holy See
Adjournment and Reception
For more information, please contact Laura Lalinde at firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.862.5875.
For media inquiries, please contact MediaServices@aei.org, 202.862.5829.
Arthur C. Brooks is the president of AEI. Until January 1, 2009, he was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University. He is the author of 10 books and many articles on topics ranging from the economics of the arts to applied mathematics. His most recent books include “The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise” (Basic Books, 2012), “The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future” (Basic Books, May 2010), “Gross National Happiness” (Basic Books, 2008), “Social Entrepreneurship” (Prentice-Hall, 2008), and “Who Really Cares” (Basic Books, 2006). Before pursuing his work in public policy, Brooks spent 12 years as a professional French hornist with the City Orchestra of Barcelona and other ensembles.
Francis Rooney served as US Ambassador to the Holy See under George W. Bush from 2005–08. He is CEO of Rooney Holdings Inc. In his new book, “The Global Vatican” (Rowman & Littlefield, November 2013), Ambassador Rooney provides an unprecedented inside look at the Catholic Church, its role in world politics and diplomacy, and the extraordinary relationship between the United States and the Holy See. Ambassador Rooney serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Panama Canal Authority, a member of the Council of American Ambassadors, and a trustee of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.