Ambassadorial introductions: formal and not so formal

Ken Hackett, the new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, presented his credentials to Pope Francis Oct. 21.

The formal ritual called for Hackett to dress in morning coat and white tie, and to physically hand over his paperwork to the pope. But the State Department produced a less formal way of introducing Hackett, in the form of a YouTube video. 

Pope Francis talks with Ken Hackett, the new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

Pope Francis talks with Ken Hackett, the new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)

The 1 minute, 49 second video has a casual Hackett telling a bit about himself, explaining some of his connections to Rome, as the longtime head of Catholic Relief Services, and introducing his wife, Joan. It’s subtitled in Italian.

He’s not the only one to get such star treatment. The State Department’s YouTube page is home to many other ambassadorial introduction films as well as pages for individual embassies and foreign missions.

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