BY DAVID V BARRETT
PRESIDENT GEORGE W Bush has nominated a new US ambassador to the Vatican to replace Jim Nicholson, now secretary of veteran affairs.
His formal title will be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Holy See.
Florida businessman Laurence Francis Rooney is chairman and chief executive officer of Rooney Holdings Inc, an investment company that deals with construction and the distribution of building materials.
Mr Rooney was a major fundraiser for President Bush, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for his two presidential campaigns, and contributed the maximum permissible $250,000 to President Bush’s 2004 inauguration festivities.
Mr Rooney is a member of the board and chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee of the St Francis Health System, a large Catholic health system in Oklahoma; chairman of the Board of Cascia Hall Preparatory School, an Augustinian middle and high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma; a member of the School of Architecture Council of the University of Notre Dame and a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (Federal Association).
President Bush’s nomination has yet to be approved by the US Senate.