Jim Nicholson speaks at the Vatican on human trafficking

Secretary Jim Nicholson was invited to address the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Conference on Human Trafficking entitled:  “Human Trafficking:  Issues Beyond Criminalization”.  The Conference was held in the Vatican on April 17-23, 2015.

Nicholson spoke of his experiences as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.to introduce the worldwide problem of human trafficking to the Vatican and the Holy See Diplomatic Corps. Nicholson implored the attendees from around the world to urge their governments to take action against this scourge of modern-day slavery and to provide more rehabilitation support for the victims of trafficking.

Following his presentation he and his wife were received and thanked by Pope Francis.

Commencement Speaker, May 2013 Franciscan University

Secretary Nicholson noted that the graduates are entering the next phase of their lives at “such a propitious time,” when the freedoms of religion and conscience and the sanctity of marriage are threatened.

“There’s a palpable downward drift in the traditional values of our society. Pope Benedict XVI aptly described this as the tyranny of secularism. But therein lies your mandate and your opportunity,” he said, urging Franciscan’s graduates to “push back” and use their education, leadership skills, and motivation “in first stemming and then reversing this downward cultural drift.”


Commencement Speaker

Colorado Christian University, May 12, 2012, Denver

Hire Our Heroes, How to Grow Jobs for Ideal Employees – Veterans

Western Governors Association, June 29 2011

Diplomatic Relations between the United States and the Holy See

Panel Discussion to Holy See Mission Path to Peace Foundation, May 25, 2011, United Nations

Authentic Leadership

Keynote address to the SPAWAR – Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, August 26, 2010

America and the Vatican: The Spiritual and Secular Partnership for Peace and Justice

Catholic Distance University Annual Lecture, Nov. 21, 2009
Perspectives on ending human trafficking, HIV/AIDS and famine, and the “Just War” theory of pre-emptive engagement from Jim Nicholson, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, who presented his diplomatic credentials to Pope John Paul II two days after the terrorist attacks of 9-11.

The Growing Crisis in Our Nation

Keynote address for the National Prayer Breakfast, May 8, 2009
Before the fundamental and great challenges which we as a nation are facing, how better to express our patriotism than by celebrating the teachings of our Catholic faith. The most treasured gift which we as citizens of the United States of America can offer to our country is a faithful Catholic life. It is the gift which, even though it has often been misunderstood, has brought great strength to our nation, from the time of its founding. Today more than ever, our nation is in need of Catholics who know their faith deeply and express their faith, with integrity, by their daily living.

University of Denver College of Law

Commencement Speech May 20, 2006 
Our nation is blessed with young men and women who believe in the Four Freedoms, who cannot cast a blind eye toward injustice, and who are prepared to lay down their lives on the altar of freedom so that others may live in peace and tranquility.  Their commitment is great; their sacrifice, greater still. But in the end, they are not motivated by visions of greatness; they do what they do because they are good people, seeking to do good in war-torn worlds.

A Call to Action:  Joining the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons

Opening remarks to the international conference sponsored by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See.
The Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, June 17, 2004

It would be too depressing if we looked at the evil of trafficking without hope.  Indeed, there are many good people committed to anti-trafficking work..  Many are here today.  There are also many good news stories about people who have been rescued from slavery and who enjoy their newfound freedom, and  have the hope of new job skills or the opportunity to own a small business.  Communities of religious women and men are taking victims into their facilities to offer them shelter, protection and hospitality.

Italy and America’s Common Vision

Remarks to the Gruppo Esponenti Italiani, an international trade organization, Jan. 9, 2004
Both Italy and the United States share the belief that prosperity is key to a better world — a more secure world. Americans believe that strong economic growth in European countries is vital to our prosperity and security.  Italian businesses exporting to the U.S. play an important role in maintaining a healthy two-way economic partnership.

Trafficking Persons Across International Borders

International Conference on Safety in Transportation, Rome, Italy May 28, 2003
Unfortunately, trafficking in human beings is the fastest growing form of transnational organized crime. It thrives on the fact that many countries do not have adequate laws against trafficking. The laws, when enacted, often do not recognize a trafficked person as a victim. The victim is treated as a criminal while real criminals go scot-free.  Most countries’ laws do not take adequate care of the human rights of victims.

Celebrating the U.S. Memorial Day in Italy

Opening ceremony speech to American ex-pats in Florence, Italy, May 28, 2003
Many today ask whether war is ever justified; is it ever moral?  The men and women buried here before us knew the answer to that question.  In the face of a brutal fascist dictator who had engulfed Europe in flames of death, destruction, persecution, and holocaust, they knew that evil had to be defeated so that liberty could triumph.  They knew that defeating that evil would exact the life of some, the limbs of others, the idealist dreams of most.  And yet, they were willing to pay that price for the people of Europe and the people back home.

Faith and Patriotism: John Carroll Exemplified American Society

Ambassador’s address to the John Carroll Society January 5, 2003 
This, it seems to me, is the challenge of our time, and arguably the two most important figures on the world stage, between whom this ambassador is the interlocutor, are both saying the same thing. We must convince the radical elements of certain faiths that religion is not a zero sum game. That diverse views are okay, and the freedom to possess these views is equally important, that one who doesn’t see it the same way is not a demon, who deserves to be destroyed.

Restoring Human Dignity and Protecting Creation: U.S. Efforts in Global Development and the Environment

Keynote address to international forum on Global Development October 9, 2002 
At the heart of the United States approach to sustainable development is the belief that successful development places responsibility on all nations.  Since the break-up of colonial empires after World War II, the United States and other donors have poured in massive assistance to developing countries.  Some countries have made great progress –such as  Singapore, South Korea, Chile, Costa Rica,  Barbados, and, recently, Mozambique.  Others have fallen into a spiral of despair – including Sierra Leone, the Congo, and Haiti.  Many others are somewhere in between.

Conflicts and Reconciliation: An American Perspective

Keynote address to the Faiths and Cultures within Conflict and Dialogue, sponsored by the Noble Peace Prize-nominee Sant ‘Egidio Community in Rome, August 27, 2002
In considering this global engagement and how the international community can best respond to conflicts and promote reconciliation, a few initial points stand out.  The first is the importance of international engagement. This engagement includes securing backing of the U.N. Security Council for specific courses of action; direct diplomatic efforts with parties to promote dialogue, identify contentious issues, and propose steps to address them; and the creation of international diplomatic or military coalitions.

Freedom:  Rx for a Life of Dignity

World Youth Day presenter, Toronto, Canada July 26, 2002  
When people are not allowed to practice their faith because their society promotes only one religion or bans all religions – that’s a serious threat to freedom as a whole and to human dignity. That’s why the United States government has an office at the state department to promote religious freedom. We publish a report every year on how each country is doing in regard to religious freedom issues.