Callista Gingrich, wife for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, told a Senate panel Tuesday that if confirmed as President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Vatican, she’s convinced the Holy See and the White House can find common ground even on seemingly contentious issues as the environment.

Gingrich was responding to a question about the apparent contrast between Trump and Pope Francis on environmental issues. Francis is the first pope ever to devote an entire encyclical to the care of creation, Laudato’ Si, and presented Trump with a signed copy when the two men met on May 24.

Gingrich said Trump is committed to sustaining “our clean air and our clean water,” that “we aren’t backing off of that” despite withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, and Trump is committed to ensuring the United States is an “environmental leader.”

Trump announced his withdrawal from the Paris agreement shortly after that May 24 meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican, the first-ever encounter between the two men. At the time, one senior Vatican official described the decision as a “slap in the face” to the pope.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon expressed skepticism, telling Gingrich that he must have missed the statements from Trump that gave her such faith.

Merkley said, “I’m not persuaded.”

Gingrich appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday along with three other Trump nominees: Carl C. Risch, up for assistant secretary of state for counselor affairs; Edward G. Glass, Ambassador to Portugal; and Nathan Alexander Sales, Trump’s choice for Coordinator for Counterterrorism.

In her opening statement, Gingrich stressed the global interests of both the Vatican and the United States.

The Holy See, she said, “is engaged on every continent to advance religious freedom and human rights, to fight terrorism and violence, to combat human trafficking, to prevent the spread of diseases like Ebola and HIV/AIDS, and to seek peaceful solutions to crises around the world.

“Pope Francis has powerfully called on religious leaders and people of all faiths to, unequivocally, reject terrorism and violence in the name of religion,” Gingrich said. “The Vatican and its organizations play an active role to troubled areas around the globe, from Venezuela to South Sudan, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, countries where the Holy See’s support for peaceful solutions and democratic institutions directly benefits the interests of the United States.”

Gingrich also made an indirect case as to why taking the Vatican seriously is a smart diplomatic move.

“The Catholic Church is a unique global network, overseeing the world’s second-largest international aid organization, operating 25 percent of the world’s healthcare facilities and ministering to millions, in every corner of the world,” she said.

“As global leaders, the United States and the Vatican must continue to work closely to advance our shared values of human dignity and freedom,” Gingrich said. “This can only happen if we maintain and build upon a strong foundation of trust and mutual communication.

“If confirmed, I will continue this vital dialogue which has been so important for the people of the United States and the world,” she said.

In a deft bit of insider baseball, Gingrich also took the occasion to praise the work of the staff she would inherit in Rome in preparing the recent summit between Francis and Trump.

“Charge d’affaires Louis Bono and the embassy team did an extraordinary job preparing for and hosting the president on his visit to the Vatican in May,” she said. “During that visit, President Trump and Pope Francis highlighted shared concerns, including the protection of Christian communities in the Middle East.”

The reference to persecuted Christians was highlighted in statements after the May 24 meeting as an area of common ground between Trump and the pontiff.

While the Gingriches are among the “power couples” of the Trump era, it does not appear they’ll be relocating fully to Rome if Callista is formally confirmed. In January, when his wife was being considered for the nomination, Newt Gingrich told CNN they would keep their home in McLean, Virginia, if she got the job.

“I’d clock in an amazing number of miles,” he said. “You guys won’t be getting rid of me. I’ll be around.”