France hopes Vatican will accept gay ambassador

Paris, April 11(IANS) – Three months after the appointment of Laurent Stefanini as the French ambassador to the Vatican, the French authorities are still awaiting approval from the Holy See in a delay thought to be due to the diplomat’s sexual orientation, diplomatic officials told Efe news agency.

France hopes Vatican will accept gay ambassador

Stefanini was appointed ambassador because he is an excellent diplomat who has all the qualities for the position. We expect the response to our request for consent, French officials said on Friday, the sole comment on the controversy.

The position, as the newspaper Le Monde recalled this week, has been vacant since early March, when the former French representative to the Vatican, Bruno Joubert, returned to the country.

Stefanini knows Rome. The 55-year-old current chief of protocol in the Elysee was number two in the embassy 2001-2005, noted Le Monde.

The Apostolic Nuncio in Paris, according to sources, has not officially pronounced but has made it known that this candidacy is unlikely to be accepted by the Papal services despite the support received from the Archbishop of Paris.

Italian officials remarked to the Le Parisien newspaper that the three-month period is abnormal, that the process usually lasts no more than six weeks.

Traditionally, the Vatican does not object. Does not answer, does not explain, and the other country would be concerned with interpreting this lack of response, concluded the Le Parisien, reminding that the choice of Stefanini had the backing of both President Francois Hollande and the council of ministers.

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