Friday, October 2, 2015

Vatican Denies Kim Davis' Meeting With Pope Francis Indicates Support

Pope Francis' reported meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, was just a greeting and doesn't indicate support for her position, the Vatican said Friday. In a statement, Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi distanced the pontiff from her case, saying Francis met with "several dozen" people at the Vatican's embassy on Sept. 24, just before leaving Washington for New York. Davis spent five days in jail last month for her defiance of a Supreme Court ruling and has become a folk hero among some on the religious right. An attorney for her said Tuesday that Francis told her to "stay strong." However, Lombardi said the Vatican wanted to "clarify" what happened in order to "contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired." "Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City," Lombardi said, referring to the Vatican's diplomatic mission. "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." The statement also added explained that the meeting could not be described as a formal audience. "Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope's characteristic kindness and availability," it said. "The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family." Davis was earlier this week quoted as saying that Francis was "on track with what we're doing and agreeing, you know, it kind of validates everything." However, the Vatican statement indicates the pope did not express any view.

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