Pope Benedict XVI has rejected 2 consecutive nominees to be France's Ambassador to the Holy See. It's a most delicate matter -- the Paris daily Le Figaro will say only that the 2d nominee, long-time French diplomat Jean-Loup Kuhn-Delforge, was rebuffed "by reason of his 'personal profile.'"
France's having trouble finding a suitable candidate who is neither divorced nor gay.
The former adjective describes the 1st nominee, a writer who is married to his 3d wife. The latter describes Kuhn-Delforge, who lives openly with his male partner.
In the late '80s a divorcé represented Spain at the Vatican, but apparently neither Pope John Paul II nor Spain itself knew the ambassador's status. In any event one suspects this Pope wouldn't listen to claims of precedent.
Listened to or not, France does seem to be signaling its view of 21st Century values -- a most interesting message from a country where the President just married for the 3d time; civil unions of same- as well as opposite-sex couples have been recognized for years; and more than 80 percent of the population "identify themselves as Catholic."