The new United State ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich on Friday presented her credentials to Pope Francis and has begun her duties, the embassy said in a statement.
After her audience with the pontiff, Gingrich met the Vatican's second-in-command, secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the statement said.
"Ambassador Gingrich looks forward to working with the Holy See to defend human rights, advance religious freedom, combat human trafficking, and to seek peaceful solutions to crises around the world," the embassy stated.
Gingrich previously served as a congressional aide in the U.S. House of Representatives and is the former president and CEO of Gingrich Productions. She is the author of the “Ellis the Elephant” children’s American history series and co-author of “Rediscovering God in America,” the embassy said.