The Irish Independent reports that the pope is said to have rejected the nomination of a close aide of President François Hollande as new French ambassador to the Vatican because he is gay.
The apparent rejection calls into question the Pontiff’s reputation as holding more liberal views on homosexuality.
Laurent Stefanini (54), a senior diplomat and Mr Hollande’s chief of protocol, was nominated in early January but the Vatican had maintained a stony silence over whether it accepts his credentials, officials in Paris said.
The usual time frame for acceptance is a month and a half. After that, a prolonged silence after a nomination is normally interpreted as a rejection.
Maybe they’re just thinking really hard.
French media widely reported that Mr Stefanini has been rejected because of his homosexuality.
‘Le Journal du Dimanche’ quoted a Vatican insider as saying that the rejection was “a decision taken by the Pope himself”.
‘Liberation’, the Left-leaning daily, said that “the Vatican’s homophobia seriously tarnishes Pope Francis’s image as being (slightly) more open-minded than his predecessors on sexuality”. In 2007, France nominated a gay ambassador to the Vatican who had a partner recognised under French law but the Holy See never responded to the nomination.
Look at it from their point of view. They’re the Catholic church. It’s their brand. If they started being less dinosaur-like, what would they have to offer? They’d just be another only-somewhat-terrible church, which is not very sexy.
Observers say the Pope cannot be seen to be adopting an overly gay-friendly approach that would shock the Church’s more conservative elements.
My point exactly.