The American Senate confirmed on October 15, 2017, with a vote of 70 to 23, that Callista Gingrich will be the next American ambassador to the Holy See. The opposition, exclusively from Democratic ranks, was relatively high for an ambassador: only David Friedman, appointed to Israel, received a higher number of “no” votes this year.
President of a publishing and film production company, she also directs the Gingrich Foundation, a charitable organization. She has also, according to cath.ch, “long been a member of the basilica choir of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC,” the largest Catholic church in the United States.
Born in 1966, in a small country town in Wisconsin with a population of scarcely 2000, the fifty-year-old has never had a position as elected or diplomatic representative, as is often the case with US ambassadors. Callista Gingrich become widely known to the public in 2000 when she became the third wife of Newt Gingrich, president of the House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. According to the American press, “under the influence” of his (new) wife, the Lutheran-born Republican who had become a Baptist, converted to Catholicism in 2009.
“The Catholic Faith is naturally very present in her work, as can be seen from her documentaries on John Paul II and the role of religion in the American society,” commented the newspaper La Croix on May 21, 2017, when it was announced that her nomination was probable.
At the Vatican, Callista Gingrich will replace the former president of the humanitarian NGO Catholic Relief Services, Ken Hackett, who was the successor of theology professor Miguel Humberto Díaz.