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France, Vatican still discussing ambassador's nomination

May 26, 2015

Vision Book Cover Prints

French and Vatican officials are still discussing the nomination of Laurent Stefanini as French ambassador to the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has disclosed.

The government of France put forward Stefanini’s name in January. The Vatican has not yet formally responded to the nomination. In a highly unusual twist, Pope Francis met privately with Stefanini in April.

The Vatican has not commented on Stefanini’s nomination, but media reports in France have suggested that the would-be ambassador is being block because he is homosexual—although Stefanini has never been identified in public with a homosexual partner or with homosexual causes.

Under ordinary diplomatic protocol, a country is not required to accept the nomination of an ambassador, nor to give any reason for declining the nomination. But in this case the Vatican has not rejected Stefanini, and the French government has apparently decided to continue pressing for his acceptance. “The dialogue is still open and we hope that the question can reach a positive conclusion," Cardinal Parolin told reporters.


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