U.S. Ambassador-designate to the Vatican Callista Gingrich and her husband, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, attended the funeral of disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law in Rome on Thursday.

Callista Gingrich told the Atlantic that she and her husband, “are blessed to be here today. [Law] was a dear friend.”

Law died in Rome on Wednesday at age 86. His funeral was held at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, where Pope Francis gave a short benediction, which has been widely criticized because Law was at the center of a decades-long sex abuse scandal.

Law served as archbishop of the church in Boston until 2002. He resigned after being accused of covering up years of sexual abuse of children by priests by moving accused the priests from parish to parish.

Callista Gingrich was confirmed by the Senate to be ambassador of the United States to the Holy See, the role's official title, in October.