A 39-year-old lawyer has seen his hopes of becoming a new aide to the Pope dashed. According to the Independent, Bulgaria’s Kiril Maritchkov was turned down from an ambassadorial position after the Vatican became aware of his literary past.

Mr Maritchkov is also an author and has previously written a novel called Clandestination. It tells the story of Ivan, a young man fleeing a Russian state following the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Ivan eventually finds himself in Rome working as a prostitute and earning 50 euros for sex with a male Italian.

Before this week’s row it had seemed that Mr Marichkov was on course to follow in the footsteps of his granddad – who was appointed as Bulgaria’s first ambassador to the Vatican in 1990.

Mr Marichkov is married to an Italian and speaks five languages but his proposed selection by Sofia to the Holy See appears to have offended senior Vatican officials.

The Telegraph states that Archbishop Janusz Bolonek, Pope Benedict’s representative in Sofia, reportedly sent a copy to his superiors highlighting the controversial pages of the book.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s chief spokesman, declined to comment on the allegations but confirmed the ambassadorial position remains vacant.

The Vatican has previously made no secret of its opposition to books with an LGBT flavour.

In June the Holy See’s Orthodoxy Officet criticized US theologian Margaret Farley’s book, Just Love, due to its references about “equal marriage” and “masturbation”.