France is sending a gay ambassador to Vatican City

The Holy See is to receive its first ever openly gay ambassador in the form of France’s Laurent Stefanini and not everybody’s sure they’re too thrilled about that.

The smallest country in Europe and its only remaining absolute monarchy is about to get its first ever openly gay ambassador from another country.

Vatican City, home of the Holy See and headquarters of the global Catholic Church, is only 44 hectares (110 acres), and with a population of 842 is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.

Many countries which have large numbers of Catholics have diplomatic relations with it and to facilitate that they send ambassadors to the Vatican City State like they would any other country and France needs to fill a vacancy at it’s Villa Bonaparte embassy in the Vatican.

France’s Council of Ministers approved openly gay Laurent Stefanini to take over the role on 5 January but the position has been vacant since the departure of his predecessor Bruno Jouvert on 1 March leading many to wonder whether the hold up might be disapproval of Stefanini’s appointment from the Vatican itself.

The Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois and the former president of the Bishops’ Conference of France have sent a letter to Pope Francis to support the French Government’s choice of ambassador.

However according to a report by Swiss based, some members of the Roman Curia believe Stefanini’s appointment is a provocation by the French Government and the president of French anti-gay marriage group Manif Por Tous, Ludovine LaRochere, has contacted the Apostolic Nuncio in Paris to object to his appointment.

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