National News

United States to Co-Host Vatican Summit on Religious Freedom

U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Callista Gingrich. (Photo: U.S. State Department.)

By Christopher White, The Tablet’s National Correspondent

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Callista Gingrich announced on July 17 that the United States and the Vatican will co-host a summit on religious freedom in October of 2019.

The announcement came during the second day of the Second Annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom sponsored by the U.S. State Department, which is taking place in the nation’s capital with more than 1,000 representatives from civil society and religious groups.

Gingrich said the event, which will take place on October 2, will highlight “the importance of working with faith-based organizations to support and protect religious freedom” and is a direct result of the ministerial, which is billed as “largest religious freedom event of its kind in the world.”

The ambassador said promoting religious liberty is a major part of her work in collaboration with the Holy See.

“If there is one fundamental goal of this ministerial, it is to rid the world of religious persecution and repression,” said Gingrich.

“The United States is deeply committed to this endeavor, and will never settle for people of faith to be persecuted, repressed, or merely tolerated by governments or societies,” she continued. “Religious freedom is a key building block of peace and security. It provides a foundation on which a society can thrive. It is in the interest of every nation to uphold and defend religious freedom.”

Gingrich has served as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the Holy See since December 2017.

Last summer she participated in a major religious freedom summit in Rome with the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

“Promoting and securing religious freedom as a universal human right is a shared priority of the United States and the Holy See,” she said at the time. “Together we will continue to defend and support those persecuted for professing their faith.”