France withdraws controversial nominee as ambassador to Holy See
April 07, 2016
After a diplomatic stalemate that lasted well over a year, the government of France has dropped an effort to persuade the Vatican to accept a controversial nominee as ambassador to the Holy See.
In January 2015, France named Laurent Stefanini to be the country's new envoy to the Vatican. But the Vatican evidently declined to accept Stefanini's nomination. Under standard diplomatic protocol, a host country is not required to give a reason for declining a nomination, and the Vatican did not explain its reluctance to accept Stefanini as ambassador. But reports from France suggested that the Vatican might have objected because Stefanini is homosexual-- although the French diplomat has not been identified as homosexual or acted as a spokesman for the homosexual cause.
Pope Francis met privately with Stefanini last April: a very unusual move. Neither Vatican nor French officials would comment on the meeting.
Finally, after months of silence, France has named Stefanini to be the country's envoy to UNESCO, and that appointment has been confirmed. The post of French ambassador to the Holy See remains officially vacant.
- France abandons bid to name gay official as Vatican envoy (Crux)
- France will not name new ambassador to the Holy See after nomination stalemate
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