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Senate confirms Callista Gingrich as U.S. Ambassador to Vatican

Callista Gingrich takes her seat for a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to discuss in part her nomination as President Donald Trump's pick to be U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Monday voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s nomination of Callista Gingrich to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.

Gingrich, 51, an author, documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide, is the wife of former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, a vocal Trump ally.

Her nomination was approved on a 70-23 vote.

Gingrich’s nomination to the post at the Holy See in May caused some controversy because of her marriage to Gingrich, with whom she became involved when he was still married to his second wife. Gingrich is Roman Catholic.

Gingrich may need to smooth over relations with Pope Francis, who has criticized the Trump administration’s positions on the environment and immigration.

Reporting by Richard Cowan and Patricia Zengerle; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by James Dalgleish; Editing by Dan Grebler, David Alexander and Eric Walsh