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Vatican envoy who invited Kim Davis to papal meeting quits

Even before the Davis affair, Vigano stirred controversy and was best known for his role in the first Vatileaks scandal. The scandal, which helped bring about Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, began in 2012 when an Italian journalist broadcast letters from Vigano, then the No. 2 Vatican administrator, to Benedict. In the letters, Vigano begged not to be transferred to Washington for having exposed alleged corruption in the Vatican administration that cost the Holy See millions of euros.

Despite his protests, Vigano was sent to Washington to become ambassador in 2011.

During his term, he strongly took up the religious liberty cause championed by U.S. bishops, suggesting that he might well have supported Davis in her battle over gay marriage. In a 2012 speech to the University of Notre Dame, Vigano denounced threats to religious liberty in the U.S. and abroad, citing a public school curriculum presenting same-sex relations as “natural and wholesome.”

Last year, he received two standing ovations from U.S. bishops at their conference after a speech in which he urged them to persevere in working to “preserve a moral order in society” and not “fall prey” to “secularized and increasingly pagan” practices in broader society.

Pierre, 70, has been nuncio to Mexico since 2007 and helped organize Francis’ recent trip to the country. Previously he was ambassador to Haiti and Uganda.

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