President Trump has settled on Callista Gingrich as the US ambassador to the Vatican, CNN reported first Sunday night, saying the choice has been made but the process has been hung up by the Office of Government Ethics, which needs to give its approval. The network reports a formal nomination of the wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich could come as soon as this week, with Trump wanting it to be made before his May 24 meeting with Pope Francis. That her name was being floated has been known since January—Newt himself told CNN as much shortly after Trump became president. Newt wouldn't say much to the New York Times Sunday night beyond noting both he and his wife had been advised to "be very cautious" until an announcement was made.
The Times has more on Callista's relationship with Catholicism: She helped Newt convert and sings in the Basilica of the National Shrine choir, but it points out she had a hand in the demise of Newt's third marriage. An opinion piece at the National Catholic Reporter makes the case that "the Vatican cares less about the moral history of an ambassadorial nominee than it does about the nominee's access to the decision-makers in the administration." As for the administration, Axios contributes this to the rumor mill: "About six weeks ago ... Trump told our source he was reluctant to send Callista to the Vatican because he likes seeing her husband Newt defending him on TV. Our source told the President they were sure satellite hook-ups could be arranged for Newt at the Holy See." (In other Vatican news, Pope Francis is not convinced by these famed Mary apparitions.)