Callista Gingrich, wife of Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich waves to the crowd during the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Story highlights

Gingrich is a devout Catholic and has said she has "always been a very spiritual person"

The White House hopes to name Gingrich as ambassador before Trump meets with Pope Francis on May 24

Washington CNN  — 

Callista Gingrich, the wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, is the preferred nominee to be the next ambassador to the Vatican.

The White House hopes to announce her nomination before President Donald Trump meets with Pope Francis on May 24 in Rome.

An administration official said the decision to nominate Gingrich has been made but the announcement has taken longer than expected pending approval from the Office of Government Ethics.

A spokesman for the ethics office told CNN on Monday that Gingrich’s financial disclosures had been approved five weeks ago. The office is awaiting the formal nomination from the White House.

“OGE completed its work and cleared her report on April 7,” spokesman Vince Salamone said.

The White House hopes to formally nominate Gingrich as soon as this week.

Gingrich is a devout Catholic, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network in a 2011 interview that she has “always been a very spiritual person.”

Gingrich’s husband was a close ally of Trump’s during the presidential campaign and was considered for a Cabinet position, but decided against taking a role in the administration.

Soon after the inauguration, Newt Gingrich told CNN that Trump was considering his wife to be the ambassador to the Holy See.

“She’s under consideration,” Gingrich said.

The former Republican presidential hopeful would not elaborate further on the deliberation process at the time, simply saying he would be “very excited for her” if she were offered the position.

This story has been updated with CNN’s latest reporting.