Vatican: Pope Francis didn't really mean to support Kim Davis' agenda

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Last week, Kim Davis' lawyers announced that the Pope, during his U.S. trip, had specifically sought out and met the Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


"I was crying. I had tears coming out of my eyes," Davis told ABC News in an interview. "I'm just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me."

Turns out the Pope might not actually have wanted to know Davis, at least not specifically. "The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects," a spokesperson for the Vatican, Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement today.


Another Vatican source told Reuters there was a "sense of regret" over the meeting with Davis at the Pope's office. Father Tom Rosica, assistant to the Vatican spokesperson, said the Vatican embassy in Washington D.C. may not have thought the meeting through, Reuters writes:

"I'm not sure that they (the embassy) realized how significant it would be," he told reporters.

Rosica said he did not believe the pope was even indirectly involved in inviting Davis, adding that the greeting was very brief and that she and her husband were among the many guests at the Washington embassy before the pope left for New York.

After Davis' lawyers at the Liberty Council publicized the meeting last week, the Vatican has not exactly issued eager messages of support.

"The Holy See is aware of the reports of Kim Davis meeting with the Holy Father. The Vatican does not confirm the meeting, nor does it deny the meeting. There will be no further information given," was the initial response, in a statement from the Vatican. Though they later acknowledged that the meeting took place, they have been reluctant to talk about it.


Davis' lawyers have responded to the Vatican's stance–basically backing away slowly–by insisting that the Pope did express support for the clerk.

"Despite a statement this morning by a Vatican official, the Pope’s own words about conscientious objection being a human right and his private meeting with Kim Davis indicate support for the universal right of conscientious objection, even for government officials," a statement released this afternoon by her lawyers, the Liberty Council, says.


The Vatican's statements suggest that whatever the initial intention was in meeting Davis, they're now keen to frame it as support for conscientious objectors in general, and not endorsement of her specific ideologies.

So no, Kim Davis, the Pope is probably not "on track" with what you're doing, and he seems to be quite clearly trying to distance himself from it: but the church does generally still think it's okay that you want to deny gay couples their right to get married.


It is worth pointing out that although he's more liberal than his predecessors, the Pope is the head of what is still a deeply conservative church, and still defines marriage as being exclusive to heterosexual couples.

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