Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Callista L. Gingrich at a Reception Honoring Legatus
October 10, 2018
Good evening and welcome to Villa Richardson.
I hope you’re enjoying your time in Rome.
Newt and I have had the honor of being with Legatus on several occasions – and we’re so pleased to host you this evening.
For over three decades, Legatus has helped its members meet the challenges of balancing faith, family, business, and community.
I recently learned that the inspiration for your organization came to Tom Monaghan just hours after meeting Saint John Paul II in 1987.
What began as an intimate group in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has blossomed into an organization with over 5,000 members and nearly 90 chapters.
As Saint John Paul II said in his address to Legatus in 1998, “The world needs genuine witnesses to Christian ethics in the field of business, and the Church asks you to fulfill this role publicly and with perseverance.”
Under Tom Monaghan’s leadership and Stephen Henley’s direction, I have no doubt that Legatus will continue to meet this important calling.
Here in Rome, our Embassy to the Holy See works to achieve a different, yet equally important mission.
I’m often asked to explain the benefits of maintaining a U.S. Embassy to the Vatican. After all, the territory of the Holy See occupies less than one-quarter of a square mile. So, why do we need an embassy?
The answer is simple. Today the Catholic Church is engaged on every continent – advancing human rights, defending religious freedom, providing health care, and educating those most in need.
America benefits from this vast reach and soft-power influence. This is why President Reagan established an official U.S. Embassy to the Holy See in 1984.
By partnering with the Holy See, the United States leverages the global impact of the Catholic Church – extending to more than 1.3 billion Catholics and millions of non-Catholics as well.
Doing so promotes our common priorities and values in every region of the world.
Governments alone, however, cannot solve the many challenges of the 21st century. Organizations like Legatus play a critical role.
And so as the United States Ambassador to the Holy See, and a lifelong Catholic, it is my hope that your endeavors will continue to flourish. Thank you for all that you do.
And now please join me in a toast to Legatus.