Pope Francis has replaced the Vatican ambassador who arranged a controversial secret meeting between the pontiff and Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk who went to jail for refusing to comply with a court order to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
The Vatican said Tuesday that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano submitted his resignation in January after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.
Vigano is being replaced by French-born Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who previously served as the papal ambassador to Mexico, where Francis visited two months ago.
Bishops are permitted to work past retirement age but can stay on at the pope’s discretion.
Last September, Francis was embroiled in controversy after Vigano invited Davis to be among those greeting the pope at the Vatican embassy in Washington.
Davis’ lawyer publicly described the meeting as the pope’s support of his client’s approach to conscientious objection. A Vatican spokesman insisted, however, the meeting was not an endorsement of Davis’ views on same-sex marriage.