Remarks by Ambassador Gingrich at a Reception Honoring the Synod of Bishops

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Callista L. Gingrich at a Reception Honoring the U.S. Delegation to the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

Rome, Italy

October 11, 2018

Your Eminences, your Excellencies, distinguished guests, and friends – welcome to Villa Richardson!

Tonight we’re gathered to honor the U.S. delegation to the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

Established by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1965, the Synod of Bishops has played an important role in upholding the Catholic Church’s teachings.

This year’s Synod focuses on the theme of “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.”

Pope Francis has called this meeting to “help the Church better accompany all young people in a joyful life and actively build up the Church and society.”

His Holiness has said that this Synod should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful; and that each bishop must be both a teacher and a disciple.

In his first Synod address, Pope Francis asked participants to “speak with courage and frankness… to integrate freedom, truth and charity.”

As a lifelong Catholic, I know how critical it is to engage our youth, empower their voices, and develop their trust.

As the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, I know how important the Catholic Church is for advancing peace and justice throughout the world.

Today the Church is engaged on every continent – advancing human rights, defending religious freedom, providing health care, and educating those most in need.

America benefits from the Church’s vast reach and soft-power influence.  This is why President Reagan and Saint John Paul II established an official U.S. Embassy to the Holy See in 1984.

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 shared values, in every region of the world.

Like the Catholic Church, the United States relies on each generation to preserve and strengthen its core ideals and principals.  As leaders, it is our responsibility to listen and respond to the hopes and challenges of our youth.

And so I thank each of you for being here, and ask you to join me in a toast to a successful Synod.  Salute!