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Pope Reportedly Bans French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy From The Vatican

French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.


The story, that the Pope has banned Carla Bruni from the Vatican, has appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Daily MirrorTime, and Vogue, among others.

Time's Tara Kelly writes, "It's not often a former model and pop singer gets scratched from a guest list. But earlier this month French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was warned to stay away from the Vatican -- by the Pope himself."

Ahead of President Sarkozy's 30-minute audience with the Pontiff earlier this month, Vatican officials sent the French ambassador a message saying: "Carla Sarkozy is not welcome in the Vatican." The message, which led her to stay in Paris, is said to be over the Pope's fears that more racy photographs of her days as a catwalk model would emerge. Nude and semi-naked pictures from her days as a model are regularly published in the media.  In one, she's seen posing in just a pair of knee high boots and a diamond ring.

Vogue has the back story: "Mr. Sarkozy allegedly requested time with the Pope in an effort to woo French Catholic voters, amongst whom his approval rating is at an all time low."

But is true?

"It's terrible to see the facts get in the way of a good story -- especially when the story keeps getting repeated -- but that's the case here," a Fox News reporter writes.

Greg Burke says the rumor was ginned up byLe Canard Enchaine, a French satirical weekly.

Unfortunately, at least for Le Canard Enchaine, the story of Carla being blocked from greeting Benedict just isn't true. A Vatican official told Fox News that they simply "don't get involved in that kind of thing."

What is true is that the Vatican does employ fashion police, who keep a close eye on scantily-clad visitors. So Carla, next time you’re headed to St. Peter's, shoulders covered, please.

Sound advice.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Gura
Based in New York, David Gura is a correspondent on NPR's business desk. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and he regularly guest hosts 1A, a co-production of NPR and WAMU.