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Trump taps Callista Gingrich to be ambassador to the Vatican

16 May 2017
Trump taps Callista Gingrich to be ambassador to the Vatican

Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, will be Donald Trump's nominee for US ambassador to the Holy See, two USA news outlets are reporting. Vincent Salamone, a spokesman for the Office of Government Ethics, however, confirmed that the office "completed its work and cleared her report on April 7". He only said that he and his wife were told to "be very cautious" until the nomination was confirmed and announced by the administration.

"She's under consideration", Gingrich said.

Callista Gingrich is a member of the choir at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The choir visited Rome in 2005 to honor John Paul II and sang for Pope Benedict XVI during his official visit to the 2008.

Gingrich, a devout Catholic who aided her husband's conversion to the faith in 2009, beat out former Pennsylvania GOP Sen. The couple divorced in 1999.

Gingrich's husband was a close ally of Trump's during the presidential campaign and was considered for a Cabinet position, but decided against taking a role in the administration.

Schlageter said Callista Gingrich's time producing the documentary about Pope John Paul helped her create professional relationships and friendships in the USA and Rome that will serve her well should she be confirmed to the post.

But the Vatican, under Pope Francis, has shifted many of its traditional stances on divorce, and other social issues. Additionally, the appointment of ambassadors to the Vatican has often proven more hard than might be suspected in the past. How Gingrich qualifies for that position is at least somewhat questionable. Whether Gingrich's pre-martial relationship with the former Speaker falls into that category isn't entirely clear.