There’s a new American in Rome, and, he shares a name with the Holy Father. Pope Francis on Monday morning formally received the United States’ new Ambassador to the Holy See, Ken Francis Hackett, who presented his papers at the apostolic palace.
President Barack Obama nominated Hackett, an international human development veteran, to the position in June, and the Senate confirmed his post in August. Hackett is the former longtime president of Catholic Relief Services, a large worldwide development agency, where he served in Africa and Asia. He is a Boston College alumnus and did graduate studies at New York University and the University of South Carolina. Hackett also served on the Pontifical Council for charitable works, Cor Unum, from 1994-2012.
Hackett plans to blog regularly about his experiences as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. He launched the blog this morning:
The focus of Pope Francis on the issues of poverty, simplicity, and human dignity offers inspiration to leaders around the world and offers great promise for continued partnership between our two countries. We both work to make a difference on a range of important global issues such as trafficking in persons, interreligious dialogue, conflict resolution, food access and security, HIV/AIDS, and care for the environment. And I look forward to deepening, and expanding where possible, that collaboration during my time in Rome.
He also introduced himself to the public via aYouTube, with Italian subtitles: