Following reports of resistance and delays from the Vatican, France could not appoint a gay man, Laurent Stefanini, as an ambassador to the Vatican’s Holy See.
However, France could not stop appointing Stefanini for a UNESCO post, though. On Wednesday, France appointed him as an ambassador to UNESCO as revealed by the minutes of the weekly meeting conducted by the cabinet.
It was in January 2015 when French President Francois Hollande proposed his name for the Vatican post of an ambassador to the Holy See but reports indicated Stefanini’s sexuality as the reason behind the delayed agreement of Church officials regarding the appointment.
Pope Francis, according to The Guardian, did not agree to the appointment of a gay person to a Vatican post because he believed that the issue might get controversial. He knew the views of the church on homosexuality, which made him resistant towards the government’s decision. He was apparently disappointed to see the pressure that came from French authorities in connection with the appointment of Stefanini as Vatican’s ambassador.
Last year’s The Guardian report claimed that Stefanini and Pope Francis had a conversation for about 15 minutes over a weekend where the latter said that his disagreement to the Vatican appointment was nothing “personal.” The reports claimed that the pontiff has also joined the diplomatic row. “Laurent Stefanini is the only candidate nominated by the Republic and the council of ministers,” the Elysee palace stated. According to the publication, Stefanini’s nominations was supported by the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois.
According to First Post, Pope Francis always managed to go with the flow of the church’s beliefs concerning homosexuality, but he always had a personal tone of sympathy for the gay community. Nevertheless, according to The Guardian, the pope has never shown any appreciation for easing rules against gay unions or has never tried to change the teachings and beliefs of the churches for homosexual communities.