The Vatican appears to have refused to accept the nomination of a new French ambassador, who is gay.
It is unusual for the Vatican to outright object to any ambassador’s nomination, but if the request goes unanswered after a considerable period of time, it is understood to have been rejected. Senior diplomat Laurent Stefanini was nominated by the French government in January but there has been no response from the Vatican yet.
Mr Stefanini is not the first gay ambassdor that France has suggested – in 2007, the French government was forced to choose another being met with months of silence for their first nomination, who was gay.
While Pope Francis has appeared more progressive about gay people than previous popes – declaring “who I am to judge?” – it has not yet spread to much of the rest of the Catholic Church. He also still opposes same-sex marriage, which France made legal in 2013 saying it “disfigures God’s creation.”
The Vatican refused to comment on the nomination to the French newspapers, according to The Local, with some saying it is a shameful attack on liberal French values by Pope Francis.