Davis and her husband met privately with Francis last Thursday afternoon at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., for less than 15 minutes, her lawyer, Mat Staver has said.
And then, just hours later Father Benedettini released a second statement that read: “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I will not comment on it further”.
For Davis, who spent five days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in Rowan County, Ky., the visit was clearly a victory.
“It is a right“.
Davis told the Liberty Council that she was “humbled” to meet Pope Francis.
ABC reports the meeting was the Vatican’s idea, and that officials reached out to Davis several weeks ago. When Davis returned to work, she said she wanted her name and title removed from the licenses being issued by her office. Of all people, why me?’ said Davis after the meeting according to the Liberty Counsel. “I’ve weighed the cost and I’m prepared to do whatever it takes, even jail”.
Two years ago, Francis said “Who am I to judge?” when asked about a supposedly gay priest, but he has also affirmed marriage is between a man and woman.
No photographs of the alleged meeting between Davis and Pope Francis have been released to the public. Davis continued, “I never thought I would meet the Pope”. “He told me before he left, he said, ‘stay strong.’ That was a great encouragement”, she said. “He thanked her for her courage and told her to stay strong”.
While Francis didn’t speak specifically about Davis during his time in the USA, however, he did address her case during a press conference held aboard the papal plane while returning to Rome from Philadelphia.
Kim Davis, a born-again Christian, told broadcaster ABC she met the pontiff on September 24 while he was in Washington after receiving a surprise phone call from a Vatican official. But he supports conscientious objection, he said.
“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“.