The lawyer for Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has stated that she met with Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit to Washington D.C. last week and received encouragement from him in the meeting. It is a surprising disclosure, if true, but Attorney Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel insists that the Pope spoke to Davis and her husband in English and said “Thank you for your courage” and told her to “stay strong.”
The Vatican is mum on the alleged meeting or who was present on September 24 at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington. That was the same day that he had spoken to Congress.
That adds an interesting political wrinkle for Democrats who generally love (as do I) this Pope for his views on climate change, poverty, and other issues. The Pope however also spoke against abortion and does not support same-sex marriage. If he also supports Davis, it can create some difficult issues with the party line on the Clerk. After all, as we discussed today, you have one Democrat who reveres the Pope so much that he is actually dispensing the Pope’s drinking water to family from the glass used during his speech before Congress.
Of course, there is no reason why either Republicans and Democrats cannot still oppose the position of Davis even if (and that is still an “if”) the Pope supports her position. After all, many support the right to choose even when they are personally against abortion and remain practicing Catholics. Yet, it is intriguing that this is one of the people that the Pope would choose to meet if the account is correct.
I am surprised if the Vatican agreed to this meeting. Even the people on rope lines are often screened for the Pope though he is known to plunge into crowds. If this was a truly arranged “meeting,” it is pretty significant that Davis would be selected for such a meeting and encouragement. Politicians like Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz have been criticized for their support of Davis, who asserts the right to impose her religious views of the legitimacy of a marriage before performing her purely ministerial functions. Reporters have been trying to get the Vatican to confirm whether the Pope has added his voice of support.
Of course, the Vatican could spin the meeting as support for someone following her faith rather than endorsing her legal position. Nevertheless, the alleged meeting may be the most surprising in this even-filled Papal visit.