LU’s Ben Bowles noted on Monday that Pope Francis had come out in support of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis and her stand of conscience on marriage law in Kentucky.
Conscientious objection, said the pope, is “a human right, and if a government official is a human person, he has that right.”
But what has only been made public today is that the pope actually met with Kim Davis on September 24, when they were both in Washington, D.C. Matt Barber, one of LU’s occasional contributors, has the story at Barbwire:
The Pope met privately with Kim Davis and her husband, Joe, at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, September 24, which was the birthday of Kim’s father. Pope Francis spoke with Kim and Joe Davis in English.
During the meeting Pope Francis said, “Thank you for your courage.” Pope Francis also told Kim Davis to “Stay strong.” He held out his hands and asked Kim to pray for him. Kim held his hands and said, “I will. Please pray for me,” and the Pope said he would. The two embraced. The Pontiff presented Kim and Joe Davis each with a Rosary that he personally blessed. Kim’s mother and father are Catholic, and Kim and Joe will present the Rosaries to her parents. Kim’s mother was the elected Clerk of Court for Rowan County for 37 years until her retirement in 2014.
Kim Davis said, “I was humbled to meet Pope Francis. Of all people, why me?” Davis continued, “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.” Kim said, “Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong.’”
Matt cites the Inside the Vatican blog, where Dr. Robert Moynihan says the following:
Vatican sources have confirmed to me that this meeting did occur; the occurrence of this meeting is not in doubt.
Those who have seen the images of the film of the Pope answering the questions of the journalists on the airplane, on the matter of individual conscience, his determination and passion, are persuaded that he had in mind not a theoretical issue of conscience, but a specific person, someone he had met and embraced — someone whose burden, as a loving pastor, he had taken on his own shoulders.
He was thinking of this person [Kim Davis] when he answered those questions.
As this goes to post, Kim Davis’s attorney, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, has reportedly just disclosed her visit with the pope to the mainstream media.