Saturday, April 11, 2015

Paris holds firm on nomination
of gay ambassador to Vatican

Homophobia with a smiling face, chapter 236: In January, France appointed an openly gay ambassador to Vatican City. He was supposed to take over the post on March 1, but has yet to receive the required accreditation from the head of state — which is to say Pope Francis. Okay, so what's the hold up, Mr. "Who Am I to Judge"? Maybe you're too busy listening to the president of the arch-homophobe French group Manif pour Tous, who has denounced the appointment as a "provocation"?

Paris will not withdraw the nomination of career diplomat Laurent Stefanini as ambassador to the Holy See, sources at the Élysée Palace and the foreign ministry have said.

The Vatican has yet to confirm Mr Stefanini’s posting three months after his appointment by French president François Hollande, a delay French and Italian media are speculating is because he is openly gay.

The French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche is quoting a source inside the Vatican who says the rejection of Laurent Stefanini was "a decision taken by the pope himself."

The French newspaper is reporting Ambassador Stefanini has indeed been rejected, but not by some faceless prelate hidden with the ranks of the Vatican Curia, but by Pope Francis himself:

"On 29 July 2013, the pope created a real enthusiasm in the gay community, who concluded Pope Francis was definitely more "friendly" than his predecessors when, on the plane to Rio, he made the comment, "If a person is gay, and sought the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?"

"France has just discovered the hard way that softening has its limits. It was "a decision by the pope himself," a source inside the Vatican told Le Journal du Dimanche. The letter from the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, which was presented to the Pope on February 11, which brought together Cardinals asking him to accept the French ambassador has not changed his decision. Jean-Louis Tauran, the Camerlengo of the Holy Church, also interceded on behalf of Stefanini. In vain. The pope told several cardinals he would not yield."

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, the archbishop of Paris, has written to Pope Francis urging him to accept Mr Stefanini’s nomination.

Almost every report on the affair has quoted the pontiff’s statement that he would not judge gay people: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Last year’s Vatican Synod on the Family was also marked by bitter divisions after a call from the synod for a more “welcoming” attitude to homosexuals.

Sources: The Irish Times, Reuters, The New Civil Rights Movement, April 10, 2015

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