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. (The U.S. didn’t seem to mind.)
President Sarkozy set up the meeting with the Pope after polls showed his popularity rating with French Catholics had fallen from 61% to 47% in the past year. Although raised a Catholic himself, Sarkozy is twice divorced and his current wife has an illegitimate child. The Elysée Palace in Paris had no comment on why the first lady stayed in Paris for the Vatican trip. (See pictures of President Obama meeting with the Pope.)
To get on the Pope’s good side, Mrs. Sarkozy might want to make a few trips to confession and swap the pearls for some rosary beads.