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Diplomatic Role of Vatican to be Highlighted in Thursday Program

The diplomacy of the Vatican, its reach and impact will be highlighted in an event that will bring a former ambassador to the Holy See onto the Duquesne University campus-just as the U.S. prepares for its first visit from Pope Francis.

Pittsburgh's World Affairs Council, along with Duquesne's Center for International Relations and the Diocese of Pittsburgh, are sponsoring the event, Pope Francis: Reshaping the Diplomatic Role of the Vatican.

Ambassador Anne Leahy, who served as Canada's ambassador to the Holy See from 2008-2012 and is an adjunct professor at McGill University in Montreal, will deliver the keynote in Duquesne's Power Center Ballroom on Thursday, Sept. 17. The Most Rev. David A. Zubik, bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, will provide introductory remarks and former U.S. Ambassador Dan Simpson, associate editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, will moderate the program from 6:30 to 8 p.m. A VIP reception at 6 p.m. will preface the event.

As a Catholic university, Duquesne provides an appropriate venue to underscore the extraordinary diplomacy undertaken by Pope Francis, who was credited with the breakthrough for Cuba and the U.S. to restore their diplomatic ties, said the Rev. John Sawicki, C.S.Sp., director of Duquesne's Center for International Relations and assistant professor of political science.

"It's a great opportunity for Duquesne to talk about what the pope is accomplishing in public diplomacy and a great way to discuss the larger consequences of the importance of the offices of the Holy See," Sawicki said. "This underscores the sort of quiet Track 2 diplomacy that the Vatican often undertakes when countries may be at loggerheads, that allows them to reach a Track 1 diplomatic solution that is public and official."

Registration is available at www.worldpittsburgh.org. VIP registration is $40, general admission is $25, and a special $10 rate is available to clergy members and students with IDs. The event is free to Duquesne students with IDs, but they must register online.

For more information, call 412.281.7055.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.