The private meeting Pope Francis held with defiant Kentucky clerk Kim Davis could be read as a strong papal endorsement of religious resistance to gay marriage. The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said their encounter in Washington last Thursday was private. Out of deference to the Vatican, Davis’ attorney, Mat Staver, would not say how it was arranged. The Vatican essentially confirmed it, without further comment.
\nDavis said she grasped the pope’s outstretched hand, and he told her to “stay strong”.
Davis refused to issue any marriage licences in Rowan County, Kentucky, rather than comply with the Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalised gay marriage nationwide.
\nShe served five days in jail rather than resign.
Some of her deputies now issue licences without her authority, and she claims they are invalid.
\n“Just knowing that the pope is on track with what we’re doing and agreeing, you know, it kind of validates everything,” Davis told ABC News.
\nTheologian and legal scholar at Boston College Cathleen Kaveny, however, tried to downplay the meeting.
“You can’t take his presence with somebody as his affirmation of everything that they stand for.
\n“He thanked her for her courage and told her to stay strong. That’s a commitment to her voice in the conversation. I don’t think it’s necessarily commitment to her policy views.” — The Herald News/SMR