This will put a damper on the progressive left’s infatuation with the pope.
A secret meeting took place last week between Pope Francis and embattled Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, with the pontiff thanking Davis for her courage, giving her rosaries and telling her to “stay strong.”
That’s the bombshell first reported by Inside the Vatican, and confirmed late Tuesday by Davis’ attorney, Mathew Staver, according to the New York Times.
Davis was caught up in a firestorm of controversy and spent six days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of her religious views.
The pope spoke in support of conscientious objection on his way home from last week’s historic visit to the United States, saying it’s “a right that is a part of every human right.”
Staver said the meeting took place Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, and that they conversed in English.
While the report of the meeting made headlines across the Internet, the secrecy reported surrounding it led some news outlets to hedge their bets. The Washington Post and Fox News, for instance, said Davis “claims” a meeting with the pope. The Times headline said “Kim Davis, Kentucky Clerk, Is Said to Have Met Pope.”
Reuters, however, made no bones about it, headlining its report “Pope secretly met Kentucky clerk over gay marriage license.” But it still noted that the Vatican had neither confirmed nor denied the meeting.
Davis gave this account of the meeting, as reported by Inside the Vatican’s Robert Moynihan:
“The Pope spoke in English,” she told me. “There was no interpreter. ‘Thank you for your courage,’ Pope Francis said to me. I said, ‘Thank you, Holy Father.’ I had asked a monsignor earlier what was the proper way to greet the Pope, and whether it would be appropriate for me to embrace him, and I had been told it would be okay to hug him. So I hugged him, and he hugged me back. It was an extraordinary moment. ‘Stay strong,’ he said to me. Then he gave me a rosary as a gift, and he gave one also to my husband, Joe. I broke into tears. I was deeply moved.
“Then he said to me, ‘Please pray for me.’ And I said to him, ‘Please pray for me also, Holy Father.’ And he assured me that he would pray for me.”
Moynihan said there was no recording of the conversation, or photographs of the meeting. Davis, an Apostolic Christian, reportedly gave the rosaries to her parents, who are Catholic.
According to Staver’s organization, Liberty Council, Davis considered herself blessed to have met with His Holiness.
“I was humbled to meet Pope Francis. Of all people, why me?” Davis said. “I never thought I would meet the Pope. Who am I to have this rare opportunity? I am just a County Clerk who loves Jesus and desires with all my heart to serve him.”
“Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable,” she added. “He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong.'”
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