No, Pope Francis Didn't Fire the Apostolic Nuncio Who Arranged Kim Davis Meeting

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Apr 13, 2016 8:36 AM
No, Pope Francis Didn't Fire the Apostolic Nuncio Who Arranged Kim Davis Meeting

On Tuesday, the Vatican announced the replacement for Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the apostolic nuncio (ambassador) to the United States. Last month, it was reported that Archbishop Viganò had been "fired" by Pope Francis, supposedly for arranging the meeting with Kim Davis during the pontiff's visit to the United States in September.

There's just one problem: Pope Francis didn't fire anybody. Archbishop Viganò had recently turned 75, which is the mandatory retirement age in the Roman Catholic Church. As such, he had submitted a letter of retirement, which was accepted by Pope Francis.

The Vatican named French Archbishop Christophe Pierre as the new apostolic nuncio to the United States. Archbishop Pierre served as the apostolic nuncio to Mexico for nine years, and has also worked in Haiti and Uganda. As Archbishop Pierre turned 70 in January, one can expect him to work in the United States for a maximum of five years before he too will retire. He is described as a "seasoned diplomat." 

It's frustrating to see the media twist what should have been a routine retirement into something seemingly scandalous. There's nothing out of the ordinary about a person retiring once they've hit a mandatory retirement age.