Vatican refuses to accept new gay French ambassador

Paris: The Vatican reportedly refused to accept the nomination of the new French ambassador because he is gay, a media report said on Friday.

Laurent Stefanini, a senior diplomat and French President François Hollande’s chief of protocol, was nominated in January, officials said.

Normally a new ambassador’s credentials are accepted within a month-and-half, The Local news portal reported.

The Vatican does not usually explicitly refuse an envoy’s credentials, but a prolonged silence after a nomination is interpreted as a rejection.

The Vatican declined to comment when asked if Stefanini, who is openly gay, was being rejected and if this was due to his sexuality.

A French presidential aide said that the choice of Stefanini to represent France at the Vatican resulted from “a wish by the president and a cabinet decision”.

French media widely reported that the apparent rejection by the Vatican was because of Stefanini’s homosexuality.

French daily Le Journal du Dimanche quoted a Vatican source as saying that the rejection was due to "a decision taken by the Pope himself".

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