France backs down after Vatican blocks gay ambassador
French President François Hollande has reportedly backed down – after his attempts to appoint a gay ambassador to the Vatican were blocked.
Back in January , the French government selected openly gay diplomat Laurent Stefanini to head to the home of the Catholic Church – which remains strongly opposed to LGBT rights.
It usually takes just weeks for a nomination to be approved – but it became clear in April that the Vatican was ‘freezing out’ the country’s selection of ambassador , refusing to respond to the nomination at all.
French President François Hollande had refused to back down over the incident, but after ten months with no Vatican approval, sources say he has finally given up.
According to French newspaper Libération, sources confirmed the president has agreed to drop the ambassador nomination.
A source told the newspaper: “It’s dead.”
The country will not nominate a new ambassador until 2017.
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France previously nominated a gay ambassador to Vatican City in 2007 – but also backed down after receiving no response from the Vatican.
The news comes as the Vatican has re-asserted its anti-LGBT stance in recent weeks.
Speaking at the opening of a Synod last week, the Pope suggested that same-sex marriage is a ‘passing fad’.
Despite an early ‘who am I to judge’ PR blitz attempting to bolster his image, the Pope is yet to lift any of the actively homophobic and transphobic policies of his predecessors.
Proposals to ‘reach out’ to gay people were scrapped at last year’s Synod – and despite suggestions that the plans would return this year, it is clear that the Church has no plans to have another discussion surrounding the matter.
The Vatican has also maintained a silence after a report exposed that it was funding a ‘gay cure’ clinic for priests.