VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of his ambassador to the United States who was behind Francis’ controversial meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who went to jail rather than comply with a court order to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 75, had submitted his resignation in January after he reached the mandatory retirement age for bishops.
On Tuesday, Francis accepted it and named his ambassador to Mexico, the French Monsignor Christophe Pierre, to replace Vigano in the Holy See’s highest-profile diplomatic posting.
Vigano had invited Davis to be among those greeting Francis in the Vatican embassy in Washington last September during his visit to the country. Her lawyer caused an uproar when he announced the meeting shortly after Francis returned to Rome, describing it as papal affirmation of Davis’ approach to conscientious objection.
The Vatican insisted the meeting was no such thing and that Davis was merely one of many people who were at the embassy that day. An incensed Vatican ultimately said Francis had only one private audience during his visit to Washington: With his openly gay former student and his partner.