The Pope has personally met with France’s proposed ambassador to the Vatican – to tell him his appointment will be blocked because he is gay.
The French government has refused to back down after selecting openly gay diplomat Laurent Stefanini to head to the home of the Catholic Church – which remains actively opposed to LGBT rights.
However, the Vatican has snubbed the country’s selection of ambassador – refusing to answer the nomination in a bid to get it withdrawn.
Pope Francis, who as the head of the Catholic Church is the sovereign of Vatican City, met with Mr Stefanini this week to personally reject him.
According to Reuters, the Pontiff met with the diplomat to tell him that he will not be allowed to become the country’s diplomat, because of his sexuality. Mr Stefanini is single, but the Pope also reportedly raised concerns about same-sex marriage.
However, a spokesperson for the French government still refused to back down – in an apparent bid to either force the Vatican to either accept the nomination or openly reject it.
The spokesperson said: “Nothing has changed: France has proposed a candidate and for the time being we are waiting for the Vatican’s reply after the usual discussions and review of his candidacy.”
Despite a recent PR blitz attempting to bolster his gay-friendly image, the Pope is yet to lift any of the actively homophobic and transphobic policies of his predecessors.
He has also rallied against same-sex marriage, inviting representatives from listed hate groups to a ‘traditional marriage’ conference last year, and recently urged Slovakians to vote against equal marriage.