Pope Francis Fires Vatican Ambassador to U.S. Who Set Up Meeting With Kim Davis

A arch-conservative bishop was let go.

Pope Francis.
Photo Credit: Casa Rosada/Wikimedia Commons

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is a staunch conservative and was vocally opposed to same-sex marriage throughout his five-year tenure as the Vatican’s nuncio (ambassador) to the United States. He also sent an anonymous invite to Kim Davis, of anti-equality fame, to the Pope’s DC visit. While people here and elsewhere initially thought this was a coup for Davis and bigotry, Pope Francis turned the other cheek.

Now word comes that the incident is prompting the Vatican to replace Vigano. A friend of the Pope’s claimed Francis was blindsided by the meeting, and the move caused the Vatican to distance itself from Viganò, leading many to believe the Pope would quietly replace him as his “statutory retirement age” was approaching. Viganò turned 75 in January; when bishops and archbishops reach that age, they are required to submit a letter of resignation to the Vatican.

The Pope is reportedly thinking about replacing the social conservative warrior with an advocate of immigration. 

[W]ill be replaced by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, a French-born clergyman who is currently the nuncio to Mexico, Catholic magazine America reports, citing Sandro Magister, a blogger who covers the Vatican.

The Vatican is not expected to confirm the news until the Obama administration has agreed to the new nuncio’s appointment, the magazine notes, but it adds that “reliable sources” expect an official announcement before Easter, which falls on March 27 this year. Because of his experience in Mexico, Pierre may well emphasize immigration issues.

In addition to being the current nuncio to Mexico, Pierre was the nuncio to Uganda (1999-2007) and Haiti (1995-'99) and is widely recognized as one of the Holy See's most accomplished diplomats. 

Another small step in Pope Francis' effort to modernize the Vatican.


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