BAD COMPANY: Coverage such as this on Huffington Post undoubtedly contributed to Vatican's statement distancing Pope Francis from Kim Davis.
The Vatican is now distancing Pope Francis
from the view of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis
, with whom he had a secret meeting while on his trip to the U.S.
Davis' attorney announced the secret meeting and a tearful Davis has said it "validated" her actions in refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses and going to jail rather than doing so. She has also interfered with the license process since being released from jail.
From the New York Times:
Pope Francis’ encounter with Kim Davis last week in Washington, which was interpreted by many as a subtle intervention in the United States’ same-sex marriage debate, was part of a series of private meetings with dozens of guests and did not amount to an endorsement of her views, the Vatican said on Friday.
Here's the Vatican's statement:
The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC has continued to provoke comments and discussion. In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points:
Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.
The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.
The pope said on a flight home that he defended conscientious objection as a human right when asked a question related to Davis. It was widely viewed as an endorsement of her actions and has caused some large blowback, including from the majority of Catholics who do not oppose same-sex marriage, despite church teachings. Opponents of same-sex marriage — including some evangelicals not customarily warm to Catholicism — have embraced the pope since news of the secret meeting.
Of course Kim Davis may refuse to endorse same-sex marriage. But, like other conscientious objectors, if her actions violate law and Constitution, she can expect to pay a price. One should be to find another job whose legal requirements don't include violating her beliefs.
A number of commentators, including Charles Pierce, have speculated
that the pope was bamboozled into the meeting and knew little about Kim Davis.
And this writer pins it all on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
More good analysis of the pope's direct rebuke
of Davis here.
BREAKING: Pope also apparently met with gay former student and his boyfriend during U.S. visit. NY Times has video.
The NY Times gets granular here.
Pretty clearly the pope got played by a right-wing archibishop with ties to leading U.S. gay-hate groups. He may find himself in a new, lesser job before long.