The position being vacant for more than nine months, the diplomat Elisabeth Beton Delègue was chosen by the President of the French Republic to become ambassador of France to the Holy See.
The choice has been approved by the Vatican, whose agreement is obligatory. The diplomat succeeds Philippe Zeller, who retired in July 2018. In the interim, the charge d'affaires Yves Teyssier d'Orfeuil has filled the functions. The decree of appointment was published in the Journal Officiel of April 11, 2019.
This long absence of a French ambassador was noted by several senior officials of the Holy See. Especially since it was not a first: the post was vacant between February 2015 and June 2016, following the refusal of Pope Francis to accredit Laurent Stefanini, a candidate proposed by the then French president, François Hollande.
This is the first time a woman has been appointed to this position. In Rome, however, this is not an exception since many women are ambassadors to the Holy See, such as Callista Gingrich, representative of the United States, or Miroslava Rosas, representative of Panama.