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Is the Pope a Kim Davis Backer?

Pope Francis always makes news in his press conferences. [1] Reuters:

On the flight back to Rome, he was asked if he supported individuals, including government officials, who refuse to abide by some laws, such as issuing marriage licenses to gays.

“Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right,” Francis said.

Earlier this month a county official in the state of Kentucky, Kim Davis, went to jail because she refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple following a Supreme Court decision to make homosexual marriage legal.

Davis’s case has taken on national significance in the 2016 presidential campaign, with one Republican contender, Mike Huckabee, holding rallies in favor of Davis, a Apostolic Christian, who has since joined the Republican party.

“I can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscientious objection but, yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right,” he said, speaking in Italian.

“And if someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right,” he added.

Francis said conscientious objection had to be respected in legal structures. “Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying: ‘This right has merit, this one does not.'”

I hope to read a full transcript of his remarks here. He defends conscientious objection in principle, but concedes that he “can’t have in mind all cases that exist about conscientious objection.” As you know, I am very much not a supporter of Kim Davis’s, but I can agree with the Pope here, given how general his statement is. I am sure it’s going to be pulled out of context to claim Francis for the Kim Davis side. And if he had the particulars of this case explained to him, he might well back Davis.

My point simply is that it’s a real stretch to say “Pope Francis backs Kim Davis” based on his general comments in the press conference, as reported by Reuters, especially given his caveat about particulars. It is quite possible — I would say desirable — to provide for conscientious objection for many American dissenters, while still believing that government employees and elected officials have a many fewer grounds for standing on conscientious objector status, and still being allowed to keep their jobs. This would satisfy Francis’s belief that conscientious objection should be respected in legal structures, but would nuance it to fit the quotidian practicalities of governing a pluralistic country.

Once we have a transcript of Francis’s remarks, I’ll update this post if facts warrant.

UPDATE: Via Denny Burk [2], here are the full remarks of Pope Francis on the issue:

Terry Moran, ABC News:
Holy Father, thank you, thank you very much and thank you to the Vatican staff as well. Holy Father, you visited the Little Sisters of the Poor and we were told that you wanted to show your support for them and their case in the courts. And, Holy Father, do you also support those individuals, including government officials, who say they cannot in good conscience, their own personal conscience, abide by some laws or discharge their duties as government officials, for example in issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Do you support those kinds of claims of religious liberty?

Pope Francis:
I can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscience objection. But, yes, I can say the conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying ‘this right that has merit, this one does not.’ It (conscientious objection) is a human right. It always moved me when I read, and I read it many times, when I read the “Chanson de Roland” when the people were all in line and before them was the baptismal font and they had to choose between the baptismal font or the sword. They had to choose. They weren’t permitted conscientious objection. It is a right and if we want to make peace we have to respect all rights.

Terry Moran, ABC News:
Would that include government officials as well?

Pope Francis:
It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.

Burk adds, with appropriate caution:

Pope Francis is the progressive’s dream Pope. But the Pope’s liberal admirers are not going to like this. My hunch is that Pope Francis did not know the particular background to the reporter’s question. I wonder if he would have answered in the same way if he had known? As it is, however, the Pope has landed on the side of Kim Davis. And that’s really something.

It is. Burk is right not to claim that Francis would have supported Davis fully, but it is hard to deny that the pope would have supported some compromise that would have allowed Davis to keep her job while still making it possible for gay couples to exercise their right to obtain a marriage license. Not, of course, that Francis would support gay marriage, but notice that Francis said, “if we want to make peace we have to respect all rights.” Do we want to keep the peace in this time of cultural transition? Francis does. We could all learn from him. Kim Davis and her supporters could — but so too could Davis’s progressive opponents.

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41 Comments To "Is the Pope a Kim Davis Backer?"

#1 Comment By Leslie Fain On September 28, 2015 @ 2:59 pm

“He defends conscientious objection in principle, but concedes that he “can’t have in mind all cases that exist about conscientious objection.'”

Davis’s is the most famous case right now — and the Pope was talking about governmental officials and gay marriage — so who else could he be talking about here?

#2 Comment By Surly On September 28, 2015 @ 3:23 pm

I don’t see anything in Francis’ comments that support the specifics of Kim Davis’ case. And as a devout Apostolic Pentecostal, she’d probably take a dim view of the Pope.

I can think of many situations where simply resigning your post isn’t enough. Should a public official (or Military officer) who is a Christian set up an “enhanced interrogation” site? Should that same official order people to be waterboarded? Should a medical director at a public hospital set up a program for human euthanasia? Both could just resign, but the programs would get set up anyway. Should those Christian officials do more to stop these evil programs from continuing? I would argue yes–maybe that is what Francis meant?

#3 Comment By Sophie On September 28, 2015 @ 3:30 pm

If someone in Britain did what Kim Davis did they’d be put on a list of ‘non-violent extremists’; and that’s under the Tories! In America you have presidential candidates throwing you a party.

#4 Comment By Charles Cosimano On September 28, 2015 @ 3:31 pm

The rule is simple. Public employees do not get a conscience. If they cannot do their job they should resign or be fired.

#5 Comment By EB On September 28, 2015 @ 3:52 pm

This one is pretty easy. Kim Davis has a right to conscientious objection to same sex marriage in the same was as a commissioned army officer has a right to conscientious objection to waging war. He has to resign in order to live out that objection; she has to resign in order to live out her objection.

#6 Comment By Kurt Gayle On September 28, 2015 @ 4:05 pm

Rod, I think that the Pope was answering the question as a Christian, rather than as someone making a political calculation.

From the Full transcript of Pope Francis’ in-flight press conference. The Holy Father spoke with journalists on the flight back to Rome after his visit to the US — September 28, 2015 09:11 EST – The Catholic World Report:

Terry Moran, ABC News:

Holy Father, thank you, thank you very much and thank you to the Vatican staff as well. Holy Father, you visited the Little Sisters of the Poor and we were told that you wanted to show your support for them and their case in the courts. And, Holy Father, do you also support those individuals, including government officials, who say they cannot in good conscience, their own personal conscience, abide by some laws or discharge their duties as government officials, for example in issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Do you support those kinds of claims of religious liberty?

Pope Francis:

I can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscience objection. But, yes, I can say the conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying “this right that has merit, this one does not.” It (conscientious objection) is a human right. It always moved me when I read, and I read it many times, when I read the “Chanson de Roland” when the people were all in line and before them was the baptismal font and they had to choose between the baptismal font or the sword. They had to choose. They weren’t permitted conscientious objection. It is a right and if we want to make peace we have to respect all rights.

Terry Moran, ABC News:

Would that include government officials as well?

Pope Francis:

It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.

[3]

#7 Comment By collin On September 28, 2015 @ 4:09 pm

Frankly, I find the Kim Davis episode enormously lame. It is great she has a conscience. But almost any other employer would find Kim alternative work and find somebody else to issue marriage licenses. (Isn’t this similar to an airline moving a Muslim from flight attendent seving booze to a desk job?)

Well on the other hand her conscience is getting her a lucrative book deal!

#8 Comment By Surly On September 28, 2015 @ 4:11 pm

It is just possible that the Kim Davis kerfuffle wasn’t high on his radar when he was thinking about his response to the question.

The other thing that drives me nuts about this is the conflation of a marriage license and holy matrimony. What the government says is a marriage is only sometimes holy matrimony–there are a few steps to take once you get the license. People can get a license and still not be married until they actually have a ceremony, and not all ceremonies “count” in the eyes of the church.

Denominations who believe marriages can only be between a man and a woman would be wise to educate their flock and the public about the difference and quit trying to die on the wrong hill.

#9 Comment By panda On September 28, 2015 @ 4:25 pm

“Davis’s is the most famous case right now — and the Pope was talking about governmental officials and gay marriage — so who else could he be talking about here?”

For once, there is the option he really didn’t hear about the case, or at least doesn’t know all relevant details, and is speaking off the cuff.

#10 Comment By tmatt On September 28, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

So the crucial facts remain in place. The pope would support LAWS that protect conscience. Kentucky does not have laws of this kind, at this point. Thus, Kim Davis is trapped. She has refused to cooperate and continues to act as if, well, she resides in North Carolina. But the Kentucky legislature needs to act, for laws in that state to change. Both left and right need those laws clarified. The fact that the press has done little to cover the efforts, by some Democrats and Republicans to create laws that protect gays and lesbians and traditional religious believers (compromises Davis has consistently backed) has not helped.

#11 Comment By Pilgrim On September 28, 2015 @ 4:38 pm

These conversations remind me of Daniel Berrigan and his brother. I wonder what the Pope would say about their actions, during the Vietnam Nam war.
And their punishment.

#12 Comment By TJ On September 28, 2015 @ 4:43 pm

@tmatt – Yes, I was going to post something similar. The Pope, I believe is asking for legal compromises that allow the law to be implemented, yet give allowances to officials who object on moral grounds. In other words, the political/legal order must take into account conscientious objectors AND at the same time implement the law. Otherwise, you might have situations that say “well, I guess orthodox/traditional Christians, Muslims, etc. just can’t work here”. Also, never forget many of these officials are elected and they would still be responsible to the voter.

#13 Comment By Don On September 28, 2015 @ 4:44 pm

Kim Davis was elected to County Clerk in November of 2014. It was clear to everyone involved that there would be a change in the definition of marriage. She’s either being disingenous about what her job was going to require or feels entitled since she been on the government payroll most of her adult life. The KY legislature needs to make a change to allow individuals to exercise their religous rights and allow same sex marriage licenses to be issued. They were also aware of the changes coming and could have done a little bit of planning. This is not so hard to do. Her posturing about what god demands of her and the legitimacy of the law are irrelevant. Calling for her to be fired or put in jail is also counter productive. Meanwhile actual people trying to move forward with their lives are caught in the middle. This has to stop being about Kim Davis and start being about a solution for the couples seeking licenses.

#14 Comment By Eamus Catuli On September 28, 2015 @ 4:50 pm

….it is hard to deny that the pope would have supported some compromise that would have allowed Davis to keep her job while still making it possible for gay couples to exercise their right to obtain a marriage license.

This isn’t really saying anything, though, because nobody opposed such a compromise. Suppose Kim Davis, instead of making a public stink, had gone to whomever above her has authority — the state AG, maybe — and said, quietly, “Look, I know my office has to issue these licenses, but it’s against my religion so I don’t want my name on them. Would it be OK if we redesigned the form and had one of my assistants sign it?” The pro-gay left wouldn’t even have noticed this, let alone objected to it and insisted that, no, the county clerk herself has to personally sign every marriage license.

The whole point here is that Kim Davis herself, like other True Believers on both sides, didn’t want “compromise,” she wanted martyrdom — albeit, martyrdom that still comes with a handsome salary and pension. One has to be practical, after all.

#15 Comment By EngineerScotty On September 28, 2015 @ 4:58 pm

I have no disagreement with the Pope here. Davis is not a conscientious objector; she’s a government official who is illegally trying to impose her beliefs on the public she is sworn to serve. She is violating the First Amendment, as opposed to having her rights thereunder infringed.

Next.

#16 Comment By MikeCA On September 28, 2015 @ 5:16 pm

I wouldn’t count on Pope Francis knowing the particulars of the Davis case,indeed whether he knows of it ar all. And if I’m not mistaken he did make mention of the fact that civil marriage laws no longer (in the US) conform with the Church’s definition of marriage and that Catholics ought not confuse the two. The problem with Kim Davis is that she didn’t permit anyone in her office to issue licences; the business of her name appearing on the forms is pretty weak beer. Chances are the very building her office is in is named after someone who disapproves ( or would have if still alive) of SSM- should they or their descendants demand the name of the building be changed ? Her moral approval of marriage applicants is irrelevant. I truly hope her 15 minutes of “fame” are up.

#17 Comment By grumpy realist On September 28, 2015 @ 5:53 pm

As I mentioned in another thread, what bugs me the most about Kim Davis is the absolute level of unprofessionalism she has shown in this entire mishwallah. She ran for the job, never mentioning a PEEP about her attitude towards SSM, and got elected. The handwriting was on the wall even then–why didn’t she go to her bosses and say “look, I find it against my religion to sign forms for a gay couple, can we please try to head off the possible problem so that it never occurs”? One of the responsibilities of being a public servant is to serve EVERYONE. Second responsibility: head off problems before they land and don’t become an embarrassment to your employer.

Fail, fail, fail, fail. This woman is a ridiculous showboating irresponsible IDIOT and should be dumped from her expensive $83K job as soon as possible.

#18 Comment By AdamK On September 28, 2015 @ 6:20 pm

People who don’t know the facts should learn to say, “I don’t know,” pope or not.

#19 Comment By mt On September 28, 2015 @ 6:37 pm

This is really a very simple accommodation question. In prosecutors offices around this country if a prosecutor objects to the death penalty those cases are assigned to another prosecutor.

Easy. Next question.

#20 Comment By Loudon is a Fool On September 28, 2015 @ 6:46 pm

Davis is not a conscientious objector; she’s a government official who is illegally trying to impose her beliefs on the public she is sworn to serve.

-Engineer Scotty

[I]f a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right.

-The Pope

I guess EngineerScotty doesn’t think government officials are human?

#21 Comment By Fran Macadam On September 28, 2015 @ 7:47 pm

“The rule is simple. Public employees do not get a conscience. If they cannot do their job they should resign or be fired.”

Or serve long sentences, if they reveal wrongdoing by those higher in the hierarchy.

When you’re right, you’re right.

Unfortunately there really is no way of resisting, unless you resist. Why make it easy for them? Some deny there’s any place for resistance to authority, that means nothing more than might makes right.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it, and sometimes doing the right thing won’t win approval or be personally advantageous. Lies have many advantages, while the truth has only one thing going for it, often inconvenient. But delegating our consciences and scope of action to only lawyers is really abdication of conscience and reveals a touching if delusional faith in legalism. The law follows practice and gives its belated assent to whatever forces are ascendant in society. Don’t ever expect constitutions, treaties or laws to mean anything when they become inconvenient to power, whether democratic or oligarchic. The Supreme Courts of regimes which morphed into authoritarianism largely rubber stamped what had before been unconstitutional.

#22 Comment By TB On September 28, 2015 @ 8:09 pm

F1: “Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right…”
__________________________

Failure to object to following orders is what sent several high Nazi officials to the gallows at Nuremberg seventy years ago and, if I had my way, it would justify life sentences for the Bush Cabal’s Iraq war crimes horrenda. Yes…

Kim Davis should certainly follow her conscience. But what she cannot do is grasp a paycheck given to her by the taxpayers with one hand and use her other hand to flip us the bird.

#23 Comment By EngineerScotty On September 28, 2015 @ 8:13 pm

I guess EngineerScotty doesn’t think government officials are human?

Nonsense; I just think they aren’t entitled to refuse to do their jobs consequence-free. I’ve no objection to reasonable accommodations, but “sorry, y’all cannot get married in Hero County because the clerk is offended” is not a reasonable accommodation.

#24 Comment By William Dalton On September 28, 2015 @ 10:16 pm

Pope Francis is not invested in the peculiar American problem of determining who among state and federal office holders has the right to interpret the U.S. Constitution. Neither would he observe the distinction between the rights of conscience of those who are public office holders in the discharge of their duties and the those of private citizens.

But he does believe in rights of conscience, for those who hold his beliefs and those who don’t, and is interested in seeing that those rights are observed and respected. He is not about people being compelled to do anything except by their conscience.

#25 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 28, 2015 @ 10:27 pm

One thing we can say for sure… anyone of any political persuasion who says “I like Francis, because he’s obviously on my side,” doesn’t have a clue about Francis.

#26 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On September 28, 2015 @ 11:07 pm

It’s almost impossible for the pope not to know about Kim Davis.
Francis says he reads the Italian press daily, and the case was high in the headlines (mostly because of the fierce debate about gay civil unions)

#27 Comment By Fran Macadam On September 29, 2015 @ 3:28 am

“One thing we can say for sure… anyone of any political persuasion who says ‘I like Francis, because he’s obviously on my side,’ doesn’t have a clue about Francis.”

Gott mit uns?

As Bob Dylan put it in Masked and Anonymous, “Ya gotta be born on my side, Sweetheart.”

Hmm, wonder what would have happened, had we “got Mittens” Romney as Prez?

#28 Comment By Clint On September 29, 2015 @ 5:15 am

Davis Legal Team Attorney Harry Mihet,
“Today, Kim Davis remains the bravest woman in America. She has not compromised her conscience, she has not compromised her faith and she has not quit serving the people of Rowan County that she loves very much.”
Coming from Argentina,Pope Francis knows about Big Government intrusions provoking conscientious objection.

#29 Comment By Bryan On September 29, 2015 @ 8:02 am

Pope Francis: “If we want to make peace…”

Make peace with what? Society? The world? The US Supreme Court?

Babylon’s peace is the classroom, the time clock, the break room, the court room, the jail cell, the pension fund, the grave.

The peace of Christ moves from one soul to another soul, when one saved person successfully reaches one lost person. We’re not commanded to “negotiate peace” with restless mobs or abstract sociological concepts.

There is peace with ‘the world,’ and there is peace with one’s neighbor. The former is an evil lie, the latter is the only real thing.

Kim Davis was targeted by strange men who cried to other strange men for judgment against Kim Davis. A trial was held, a verdict was rendered, and Kim Davis peacefully accepted her sentence and went to jail.

Eventually some form of peace will likewise find her persecutors and her captors and me and you, and a different kind of judgment will cover us all. Tongues will be silenced, knowledge will pass away, prophecies will have been fulfilled and thus be strangely incomplete, for in fulfillment they cease to be prophecy. Our planet will melt away like wax, every knee shall bend, and the question will emerge one last inescapable time: “Is God real?” And those souls who want to conquer death and receive eternal life will have to confess the correct answer: “Yessir.”

And then we shall see clearly. But Kim Davis owes Babylon nothing.

#30 Comment By grumpy realist On September 29, 2015 @ 9:12 am

Byran–To use your somewhat overflown imagery: Kim Davis decided to interact with Babylon and now is bitching because she needs to complete certain tasks before getting getting handed a bag of gold.

She can always walk away–which she is still refusing to do.

#31 Comment By Johan On September 29, 2015 @ 9:23 am

No progressive contests Davis’ right to conscientiously object; they just object to her being a sanctimonious jerk and gumming of the works of the marriage license process in an entire county.

#32 Comment By MikeN On September 29, 2015 @ 9:46 am

He defends conscientious objection in principle, but concedes that he “can’t have in mind all cases that exist about conscientious objection.’”

Davis’s is the most famous case right now — and the Pope was talking about governmental officials and gay marriage — so who else could he be talking about here?

Well ,from the full quote it shows that he was asked about the Little Sisters of the Poor, which was about contraception not gay marriage.

And considering he was a bishop in Argentina who had to consider issues such as sheltering dissident priests at a time when the governments response to dissent was to toss dissenters out of helicopters without parachutes

considering he lived through the whole era of the clash between military dictatorships and liberation theology in Latin America through the 70s and 80s

considering he has overseen the beatification of Oscar Romero, and ha just lauded oft-arrested Catholic activist Dorothy Day

considering he oversees a Church which has conflicts with governments over religious freedom in places like China, Vietnam, and yes, Cuba

considering he also has to consider the fate of Christians (and others) in hellholes of repression in the Middle East and Africa

considering his concerns with refugees, immigration, the poor, and climate change

it may, just may, be he parses his response in consideration of other issues than the fate of a county clerk in Kentucky.

#33 Comment By panda On September 29, 2015 @ 10:07 am

“And then we shall see clearly. But Kim Davis owes Babylon nothing.

While “Babylon” owes Kim Davis a paycheck+benefits! It’s a great deal, if you can get it.

#34 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 29, 2015 @ 11:40 am

Fran, if George Romney had been the Republican nominee in 1968, I might have spent the next thirty years as a Republican. It was a pivotal year for me, and with Romney out of the picture, I went for Gene McCarthy. He turned out to be a bit of a flash in the pan, but my course was more or less set to the left after that. Mittens isn’t one tenth the man his father was.

Babylon… lets examine conscientious objection in Babylon… and Persia for that matter… Daniel and his friends served the kings of each faithfully, but if a law required them to do something against their God, they politely and quietly refused… came through the ordeal rather well. It is worth remembering though that there were not citizens whose “rights” were infringed, because there were neither citizens nor rights, only subjects. Refuse to carry out the king’s edicts, go directly to jail, not for denying service to citizens, but for something on the order of lese majeste.

I don’t think one can begin to cast Kim Davis in a similar light. And enduring five days in a jail cell, then going home, changing party registration, and going back to work, is hardly bravery of great note… certainly nothing comparable to being cast into a den of lions.

#35 Comment By Anne On September 29, 2015 @ 2:48 pm

Considering the Church’s history with regard to this issue, even following as it does Vatican II’s historic stand on religious liberty, the Pope’s thinking here is pretty expansive. The conscience of the individual is clearly given more weight than the right of the state (or church?) to protect the common good. He seems to realize the potential for overstatement here, but it’s certainly interesting to hear a pope weigh in so heavily on the side of conscience.

The problem for government with regard to any individual’s right to conscientious objection occurs when that right comes into conflict with the rights of others (as is clearly the case in the Kim Davis affair, and hypothetically, even in the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor), and the question then becomes how to properly balance one against the other. That the Pope didn’t address, nor did he take into account matters of prudence or other potentially overriding considerations. He was, after all, speaking hypothetically. Still, the Pope’s response gives yet another indication of how far the Catholic Church has come from the time when “error has no rights” served as the primary rule of thumb with regard to religious liberty. The real test for a pope comes when an individual’s conscience conflicts with the Church, not the state.

#36 Comment By Ken T On September 29, 2015 @ 3:55 pm

The problem with everyone saying “there should be a compromise” is that the “compromise” has been on the table the whole time. In fact, it is what got her released from jail in the first place. Others in her office can sign the licenses she objects to, and she can keep her hands clean. SHE is the one who has rejected the compromise. Of course, if she had just accepted that she would no longer be in the news. So I guess we can see what is really important to her.

#37 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 29, 2015 @ 8:45 pm

We will know that the Pope endorses Kim Davis’s specific actions as a legitimate acto of conscientious objection when the Pope says “Yes I see Kim Davis’s specific actions as a legitimate acto of conscientious objection.”

#38 Comment By kag1982 On September 29, 2015 @ 9:43 pm

Well.. Apparently someone is suggesting that the whiny Kim Davis actually met with Pope Francis. If true, this takes it to a level of disgusting not even fathomed by me. Yes, county clerks can decide not to follow the law because of Jesus. Absolutely disgusting. I swear the man is after a Catholic theocracy or something.

#39 Comment By Kurt Gayle On September 30, 2015 @ 7:04 am

”Pope Francis met secretly in Washington last week with Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who defied a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, her lawyer said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. Francis gave her rosaries and told her to ‘stay strong,’ the lawyer said.

“Ms. Davis and her husband, Joe, were sneaked into the Vatican Embassy by car on Thursday afternoon, according to Ms. Davis’s lawyer, Mathew D. Staver. The couple met for about 15 minutes with the pope, who was accompanied by security, aides and photographers. Mr. Staver said he expected to receive photographs of the meeting from the Vatican soon.

“Mr. Staver said that Vatican officials had been aware of Ms. Davis, and that the meeting had been arranged through them, not through bishops or the bishops’ conference in the United States. He would not identify the Vatican officials…Ms. Davis and her husband were in Washington anyway to receive an award from the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group, in recognition of her stand against same-sex marriage.

“During Ms. Davis’s visit to the Vatican Embassy, ‘the pope came to her and held out his hand,’ Mr. Staver said. Ms. Davis asked the pope to pray for her, which he said he would, and then the pope asked Ms. Davis to pray for him, Mr. Staver said. They spoke in English, he said, and the pope gave the Davises two rosaries. Ms. Davis gave the rosaries to her mother and father, who are Catholics. Ms. Davis is an Apostolic Christian, a form of Pentecostal Christianity. He thanked her for her courage and told her, ‘Stay strong,’ ” Mr. Staver said. Mr. Staver added that he, the Davises and Vatican officials had agreed to keep the meeting secret until the pope had left the United States because, he said, “we didn’t want the pope’s visit to be focused on Kim Davis.”

“The meeting was first reported by Inside the Vatican, a publication edited by Robert Moynihan, an American who has covered the Vatican for many years. A spokesman for the Vatican did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday evening.”

“Kim Davis, Kentucky Clerk, Is Said to Have Met Pope,” by LAURIE GOODSTEIN, New York Times, SEPT. 30, 2015

[4]

#40 Comment By Edwin On September 30, 2015 @ 7:40 am

[5]

#41 Comment By Chris S On October 4, 2015 @ 12:23 am

Did he land on the side of Kim Davis? I don’t know. I thought so at first when I heard they met, that he asked to meet her, that it was a private meeting, etc, then the Vatican i.e. Lombardi is almost denying it. He said the only audience Pope Francis had was with his old school friend- the homosexual who brought along his boyfriend, a weeping woman, a few others in his entourage.
So…what side is he on?
And what was that comment on the people in line facing the sword or the baptismal font!! What an example to use!