US hails 30 years of Vatican relations

Historic moments of collaboration recalled

The United States Ambassador to the Holy See has marked the 30th anniversary of his country’s diplomatic links with Rome and described relations in that time as “phenomenal”.

Speaking during an event held to mark the anniversary, Ambassador Ken Hackett recalled historic moments occurring over the last 30 years.

“Look what happened in the collapse of the Berlin Wall, look at the collaboration on humanitarian assistance, issues like trafficking, and now under Pope Francis, the wider issues of peace,” he said, adding his hope that there would be “more opportunity for collaboration and cooperation” between his country and the Holy See in the years ahead.

The first US Embassy to the Holy See opened on April 9, 1984, following an agreement between then-President Ronald Reagan and Blessed John Paul II.

The latest chapter in US-Vatican relations will come this March 27 when President Barack Obama visits Pope Francis, an encounter anticipated by Ambassador Hackett as “a special moment”.