The Vatican has claimed Kim Davis’ meeting with Pope Francis last week was not the pontiff endorsing her views on denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The Kentucky clerk who was jailed for defying the law of the land was among the guests at the Vatican embassy in Washington DC.
Davis then gave interviews to reporters claiming the pontiff thanked her for her ‘courage’ and that she should be ‘proud’ for what she is doing and standing for.
But the Vatican denies Francis specifically endorsed the Kentucky clerk, issuing a statement today (2 October).
‘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 Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said.
‘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.’
He added: ‘Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.’
But while the Vatican has said the meeting should not be seen as an endorsement, they might have a harder time attempting to PR away Francis’ actual endorsement of government officials who deny same-sex couples marriage licenses.
When asked if he supported individuals, after his visit to the US, who had gone against the law of the land to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses, the Pope said it was a ‘human right’.
‘Conscientious objection must enter into every judicial structure because it is a right,’ he said.
‘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 added: ‘And if someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.’