On Monday, the Senate named Callista Gingrich the new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. President Donald Trump’s nominee—and wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich—was confirmed by a 70-23 vote, finding support from around 20 Democrat senators as well as from within the GOP.
Her confirmation was celebrated by the U.S. Embassy at the Vatican, which tweeted following the vote: “Good news! @CallyGingrich was confirmed as the next US Amb to the Holy See. We look forward to seeing Amb-Designate Gingrich in Rome soon.”
The lifelong Catholic, who is also responsible for her husband’s conversion to Catholicism, said during her confirmation hearing in mid-July that she wanted to work on areas that were of mutual concern to the U.S. and the Vatican.
During the hearing, Gingrich also managed to handle some tough questions on areas such as climate change, which the pope and the president traditionally do not agree on. “The pope and the president share a great concern about our environment,” Gingrich said, according to Crux Now.
Officials at the Vatican previously suggested that Trump should not withdraw from the Paris climate deal, but she added diplomatically that “if confirmed, I look forward to working with Holy See as the United States pursues a balanced approach to climate policy.”
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Her initial nomination did raise eyebrows, Reuters reported, over speculations that her husband was still married when the pair met as well as the fact that she is his third wife.
Gingrich’s husband, an ally of Trump, has previously spoken of his excitement at the potential new role for his wife, whom he met while she was working as a congressional aide.
In an interview with Politico back in August, Gingrich said: “I’ll be the person at the front door saying, ‘Hi, I’m Newt Gingrich. The ambassador will be down shortly.’”
“It’s a great new role. Callista supported me in ’12 when I ran for president; I get to support her now. And I get to join the spouse organization,” he added.
The pair is set to relocate to Rome when she assumes her role as ambassador to the Holy See. Gingrich will become the 10th person to assume the position and the third women to do so.
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