New US Ambassador to Holy See presents credentials to Pope
By Deborah Castellano Lubov
The new U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Joseph Simon Donnelly, of Indiana, presented his credential letters to Pope Francis on Monday morning in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
The Ambassador’s main task will be to liaise between the Holy See and the U.S. Government. Diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the United States of America were established between Pope St. John Paul II and U.S. President Ronald Reagan on 10 January, 1984.
Ambassador Donnelly was appointed to serve as the 12th U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See on 24 January and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February 2022.
Human Dignity and Rights
In a statement released by the Embassy, Ambassador Donnelly said, “My family and I are proud to be members of the Catholic faith, and through my years of public service, the Church has been a core part of my life and my values.”
Ambassador Donnelly, the statement noted, "looks forward to strengthening the important and strategic relationship between the Holy See and the United States, especially our shared commitments to defending human rights and religious freedom, combatting human trafficking, caring for the environment, and advancing peace and security around the globe."
The Ambassador is joined in Rome by his wife Jill, and "they hope to enjoy many visits from their two children and new grandchild," the statement added.
“As U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, I will do all I can to ensure that the United States and the Vatican work together to advance human rights and dignity,” Ambassador Donnelly said.
Ambassador Joseph Donnelly
Donnelly was born on 29 September 1955, in Flushing, New York.
According to a brief biography provided by the U.S. State Department, prior to this appointment as Ambassador, Donnelly served as a partner at Akin Gump in Washington.
The American diplomat is married and has two children.
Donnelly received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.
After having worked as an attorney in various legal studios and private entities from 1977 to 2007, Donnelly served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2013, representing Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District. He served as a U.S. senator from Indiana from 2013 to 2019.
Donnelly served as a member of the Afghanistan Study Group and has been a professor at the University of Notre Dame. In addition, he served as chairman of the board of the Soufan Center in New York, and as a senior advisor to Inovateus Solar in South Bend, Indiana.