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While many defended Pope Francis’s comments in Congress taking aim at “the family” as being not anti-gay, reports of a meeting with anti-gay Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis pointedly shows the pontiff’s stance on LGBT rights.
While no one expected the Pope or the Catholic Church to evolve on gay marriage as quickly as the US (and Europe) has, many in the LGBT community were caught off guard by news that the Pope scheduled a meeting with a lawbreaking anti-gay like Davis.
According to the reports out of the Vatican, a 15-minute meeting took place at the Vatican’s embassy in Washington D.C. “I cannot not deny the meeting took place, but I have no comments to add,” Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said.
Davis was already in Washington receiving an award from the Family Research Council.
The county clerk who refused to do her job and marry same-sex couples released a statement via her legal team saying: “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.”
According to further reports the Pope told Davis to stay strong and gave her two rosaries for her Catholic parents.
On his trip home, Francis also made headlines for indirectly showing support for Davis. When asked if he would support.
Reporters asked: “Do you… support those individuals, including government officials, who say they cannot in good conscience, their own personal conscience, abide by some laws or discharge their duties as government officials, for example when issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples?”
“Conscientious objection must enter into every judicial structure because it is a right,” Francis 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…And if someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. [NPR]