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-- Okay yeah yeah.
Well -- of this segment of a spirited debate or -- -- -- -- -- correspondent for Fox News Channel.
The church is more than one billion strong but has it been weakened in recent years by scandals and secular -- -- And so the other question is in -- does the Catholic Church still have a moral authority to be a leader in international affairs.
Press is -- served as US ambassador to the Vatican under president George W.
Bush and his new book the global Vatican he explains.
The tough challenges ahead for America and a Catholic Church.
Ambassador Francis Rooney joins me now from Washington DC welcome ambassador.
Thank you -- a pleasure to be here it won't do what you write the book.
-- -- -- back because in speaking and traveling around.
After we came back from -- and even while in -- speaking to American audiences.
There was a great deal of interest in the role the Holy See had played diplomatically in the world.
And possibly could continue to play but very little familiarity with what Holy See diplomacy was all about.
And even a lot of confusion about the relationship between the Holy See in the United States.
So the more -- that I thought well I would try to write -- -- and see if I can advance in some small way understanding of those two fundamental.
An important areas.
You know what I get to that in a second but I -- -- actually.
Talk about what we lightweight introduced in the your introduction which was you know with all the sex scandals that -- securitization.
About -- leaks.
Does the Catholic Church how in the moral authority now to lead.
Well I think it does I think that the principles which comprise the holy season diplomatic -- reach our enduring and and and fundamental to freedom and humanity human dignity.
Which are apart from the unfortunate scandals -- have her occurred in the United States and in some parts of the world the other thing isn't mentioned many parts of the world.
Scandal there or not they areas where scandals -- occurred but where the greatest abuses of human dignity human rights -- -- and deprivations of freedom occur.
So there's a bit of an asymmetry between the areas where.
Holy See diplomacy is he's viewed in the constitution and is and is part of the daily fabric of civic life.
And -- in the western world that's for a lot of the scandals have been on the other hand I think the Holy -- greatest impact has been -- areas where people are marginalized.
Where Christians are persecuted.
And where there's radical -- terrorism.
Hill -- a lot of people are saying that the scandal plagued Vatican is why Pope Benedict resigned.
A few months ago back in.
And the spring do you believe that.
I don't think it was a scandals -- say you know you got to remember that.
Benedict was really part of the solution when he was head of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith he he was.
The fellow that change the procedures to make sure that the Vatican would have a voice.
When these cases came up -- -- bishops would would not be able -- under the rug and avoid calling in the civil authorities that's the problem with the system was it was so.
And -- different bishops.
-- Pope Benedict health -- never been real good and when I'm betting.
Nearly 2005 he was frail and and from what -- come to understand his health it continued to deteriorate.
As well as I think some of the internal issues and -- in the Vatican like that things about the bank and that problems that resulted from a -- Roberto name.
We're great weight on his shoulders as well.
That didn't help -- -- -- but you know there's an issue -- is it that the church isn't fighting the HHS mandate.
-- -- that would requires employers provide contraception.
And Puerto patients unit can.
Does that lingering battle with the Obama administration -- a loss of that are following is disappointed.
The Catholic Church is not as strong as it used to -- Well I think you've got to separate what's really being fought over I think that the the issue here's the First Amendment.
In the and the role and and the clash of the -- Establishment clause of the first amendment rights practice religion.
Vs the team and the government.
Taking an action which happens too in this case be a contraception.
Inclusion in insurance.
And and I don't I don't think that day the struggle.
Defend the First Amendment is a bad thing.
But is also an issue though is that I am.
And colonel Don Carlo.
To -- the -- Dolan.
Basically said that Obama almost -- practically lied to him when he said no one would it would be forced to.
Violate their beliefs and it during did this debate about the HHS mandate and whether it would be -- for contraception.
Just the issue that.
Perceived or not that.
A cardinal Dolan could say that Obama almost lied to him.
Does -- point of fact that there's no fear.
Of not living up to.
Your stance against the Catholic Church.
Well I I think there's no doubt that the relationship between the Holy See in the Obama administration is certainly more attenuated.
Then it has been under previous.
Administrations in -- even including the Clinton administration in recent years.
And there are things I say that there's more than just the insurance mandated in discussion here you remove the case if -- -- on -- vs Faber.
The be able to deal religious institutions dealing with their employees.
The whole issue of secularism which post Pope Benedict spoke about in Western Europe and I think is that they're creeping issue now that -- -- and many others have written about I mean.
Though those are important concepts you know one of the things I try to make of the argument in the back.
Is that really from the time -- Saint Augustine the Holy See is diplomatic principles.
Of the need for moral values and and the the institutionalizing.
Force of religion in civic society this really necessary to to assure justice to ensure.
Freedom to ensure a good good civic environment for people.
And that history shown that when those things become.
So some bad things can happen in society.
We've got our new ambassador to the Holy See can a packet.
And he is supposedly very good match for Pope Francis do you know him at all.
I've never met a lot I think I actually I may have made even when we were grown but I'm not sure how we met a lot of people.
But I think he's a very enlightened choice for many reasons and his.
His background with Catholic Charities certainly should resonate strongly with the emphasis that -- Francis is put recently.
-- I'm Catholic social teaching treatment for the poor.
Reaching out against social injustice.
Which by the way I think those principles align with the diplomacy based on nurturing human dignity.
-- it's -- it was wasn't about you call the Catholic Church a powerful source of soft power what do you mean by that.
Well I think soft power.
Is is the ability to persuade people by moral right.
On the basis of principles and appealing to those fundamental moral principles that unite all citizens rather than guns and -- and armament.
-- in -- world right now with so many.
A symmetrical conflicts that are.
Religiously and culturally oriented I think the Holy See is voices and net is needed more than ever try to combat those you know the fact that they don't have any territory.
That they -- -- hegemonic agenda.
Kinda gives them a unique standing to align with nations of goodwill like the United States seeking freedom and and the protection of human dignity around the world.
Time out thank you very much ambassador Francis Rooney the global Vatican is what it's called a thank you very very much for being on a spirited debate and that's very very insightful book thank you very much thank you lord thank you very mention.
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