American President Barack Obama has nominated Ken Hackett, retired president of Catholic Relief Services, as US ambassador to the Holy See.
Making the announcement alongside nominations for posts in Brazil, Spain, Germany, Denmark and Ethiopia, Mr Obama said: “It gives me great confidence that such dedicated and capable individuals have agreed to join this administration to serve the American people. I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”
Mr Hackett retired in December 2011 after 18 years as president of CRS, the US bishops’ overseas relief and development agency.
He is expected to succeed Miguel Diaz, who left the post late last year. Dr Diaz now is a professor of faith and culture at the University of Dayton, Ohio.
Mr Hackett was appointed president of CRS in 1993. During his tenure, he established a division focusing on outreach to dioceses, parishes, Catholic organisations, and colleges and universities, and lay people were first appointed to the CRS board of directors.
Catholic Relief Services now operates in more than 100 countries, with a global staff of nearly 5,000.
In May 2012 he received the University of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal during commencement ceremonies. The medal has been given annually since 1883 to a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the church and enriched the heritage of humanity”.
In announcing the honour, Fr John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s university president, said: “Ken Hackett has responded to a Gospel imperative with his entire career. His direction of the Catholic Church’s outreach to the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and unsheltered of the world has blended administrative acumen with genuine compassion in a unique and exemplary way.”
Mr Hackett is a former North American president of Caritas Internationalis, the confederation of humanitarian agencies of the Catholic Church, and continues to serve on the board of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum at the Vatican and as an adviser to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund