Pope Francis and Laurent Stefanini

Pope Francis Denies French Ambassador for Being Gay

Pope Francis and Laurent Stefanini

The Vatican is facing accusations of hypocrisy after Pope Francis turned down a French ambassador, presumably, because of his homosexuality.

On January 5, the French government nominated Laurent Stefanini, 55-year-old foreign service officer, for the role of the French Ambassador to the Holy See. Typically, the announcement for acceptance would be made by the following month. However, the Vatican has remained uncharacteristically silent for the past four months on the subject. Pope Francis met with Stefanini to personally tell him he is unacceptable, potentially because of his openly gay sexuality and his well-known stance on same-sex marriage, which was legalized in 2013 in France.

History Repeats Itself

In 2008, when France proposed Jean Loup Kuhn-Delforge, an openly gay diplomat living in a civil union, as the ambassador, it was met with silence as well. Pope Benedict the XVI remained silent for so long that France had the Vatican remove their Papal Nuncio to Paris. However, this time around, France has made very public statements refusing to withdraw their nomination of Msr. Stefanini, also openly gay, though described as discreet with his personal life.

Though Pope Francis happily preaches that homosexuality isn’t a sin, he stands by the age-old teachings that the homosexual acts are. He has, in the past, said that “if someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” However, the statement is being directly challenged with these latest twist in the diplomatic problems between France and the Vatican. Robert Simon, who speaks for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance there, has said that the church “is pushing towards hypocrisy… if you are a closeted gay, alright – if you are openly gay, we don’t want to talk to you.”

The Vatican has refused to make any comments. Stefanini hasn’t made a statement either, while the French government has said that the meeting has changed nothing. “France has proposed a candidate and for the time being, we are waiting on the Vatican’s reply after the usual discussions and review of his candidacy,” according to a spokesperson for the French government, who adds that the Vatican hasn’t said that he was officially rejected.


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