Friday, April 24, 2015

Footnote to Story of Laurent Stefanini's Meeting with Pope Francis: I.Media Says Pope Did Not Inform Stefanini He's Unsuitable to Be Ambassador to Vatican

Yesterday, I.Media, a French-language news service based in Rome and specializing in Vatican coverage, published a statement about the meeting of Pope Francis with Laurent Stefanini that corrects (and/or contradicts) coverage of that meeting in other French journals. As I noted yesterday, other media outlets are stating that sources inside the Vatican insist that the pope has informed Stefanini that he's unsuitable for the job of French ambassador to the Vatican because he's gay.

I.Media cites the noted historian of the papacy, Philippe Levillain, who maintains that Francis's choice to meet with Stefanini (according to I.Media, for 40 minutes and not 15, as other media sources have reported) was a "rare mark of consideration" for Stefanini on the part of Francis. According to I.Media, Francis also did not, as other sources have reported, inform Stefanini during this meeting that he is unsuitable to be the French ambassador for the Vatican, but the meeting took place at the pope's initiative in order for him to get to know Stefanini, and to pray with him.

Still, the Vatican remains silent about this appointment, and as I.Media also notes, sees itself as having no obligation to explain the silence or even to provide a reason for rebuffing an ambassadorial appointment. And so people interested in how the church intends to respond at a pastoral level to the LGBT community will continue, it goes without saying, to watch this situation with interest.

Because the proof of pastoral intent is its enactment.

(Thanks to Jean-François Garneau for sending me the link to this article).

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