The Vatican ambassador who arranged the meeting between Pope Francis and the controversial Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples that took place during his historic trip to the United States last year is reportedly being replaced.
According to Catholic magazine, America, Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano will leave the position of apostolic nuncio – the Vatican's equivalent of an ambassador, and will be replaced by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, a French-born clergyman who currently serves as nuncio to Mexico.
The magazine said Vigano, who has been the papal representative to the U.S. since October 2011, reached the statutory retirement age on Jan. 16. He was thrown into the spotlight in September when he hosted an unexpected meeting between Francis and Davis.
The Holy See has not commented on Vigano's departure or its choice for a replacement and is not expected to confirm the news until the Obama administration has agreed to the new appointment.
“Reliable sources” told the magazine and longtime Vatican reporter Sandro Magister that an official announcement is expected before Easter, which takes place on March 27 this year.
The Washington Post reported that with a move from Mexico, Pierre, 70, would bring to the United States an emphasis on immigration issues – particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border – which Pope Francis visited earlier this year.