The Vatican is preparing to announce a new ambassador to the United States, replacing the current diplomat who put Pope Francis in an awkward position by setting up a meeting with Kentucky county clerk and anti-gay activist Kim Davis.
According to Jesuit newsletter America, French-born Archbishop Christophe Pierre is set to become the new Apostolic Nuncio — leaving his post in the same capacity in Mexico.
Pierre will replace Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who took heat after setting up the face-to-face between the anti-gay activist and the pontiff at a time when the Pope was making inroads with the LGBT community and softening the church’s stance on gay rights.
Following the meeting in October of 2015, a spokesperson for the Vatican attempted to downplay the meeting saying the Pope met with “several dozen” people who had been invited by the Vatican ambassador to see Francis.
“The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” spokesperson Frederico Lombardi said in a statement.
According to sources within the Vatican, Viganò was slated to be relieved of his duties due to his age.