Reports: Pope Francis met Kentucky clerk Kim Davis

(RNS) Throughout his six-day visit to the U.S., Pope Francis was careful to avoid or downplay many of the hot-button social issues that have roiled American society, and he repeatedly exhorted his own bishops to take a more positive approach and not pick fights that would turn more people off than they would attract.

Yet it turns out that even as he was preaching that message the pope met secretly with an icon of the culture wars: Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk and conservative Christian who was jailed for six days in early September for refusing to issue marriage licenses for gay couples because she said it conflicted with God’s law.

I’d be very interested to learn whether the story is true or not. And if it is, it would be great for the Vatican to confirm it.

It’s a strange story. The article I saw:–abc-news-topstories.html#

states that the Vatican will neither confirm nor deny that the meeting took place.

What I don’t get is why the news of the meeting didn’t come out until now. Wouldn’t it have been headline news? :confused:

And the statements made by Francis, “I can’t have in mind all the 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. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right,” is a blanket statement to applies universally. Whether or not it specifically addresses Davis is up to interpretation, I guess.

I don’t believe it, and the Vatican won’t confirm it.

I will believe it after I see photos or the Vatican confirms. I mean, if I got to meet Pope Francis, I would certainly take a photo, and the Holy Father did not seem averse to “selfies.”

According to the article, it was postponed precisely because it would have been headline news. They didn’t want news of the meeting to overshadow the message Pope Francis was trying to make while he was here. Thus, they waited till after he was gone back to the Vatican.

I’ll file this in the “interesting if true” category. It seems like a heck of a thing to make up. But then it would also surprise me that Pope Francis was actually following this story and reached out to meet her. I wonder if we’ll ever get confirmation either way.

I thought I read in the interview when he was leaving that he didn’t even know who she was.

I can understand not wanting it to overshadow Pope Francis’ trip (if it is true). However, at the press conference on the plane back to Rome, Pope Francis said he did not know much about Kim Davis’ case at all. That would seem to preclude a meeting. I KNOW our Holy Father does NOT lie. It seems strange that he would meet with someone he knows little about. I will call no one a liar at this point, but I do remain highly skeptical.

You read correctly. I read that, too.

Appears to be verified:


New York Times


Did someone ask him about Kim Davis specifically? From the transcript on CNA, I don’t see that anyone mentioned Kim Davis at all. The guy from ABC news asks about her case in veiled terms, and Francis simply comments that he “can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscientious objection.” I don’t see him being asked if he is familiar with her particular case, though.

Not that I think he is that familiar with Davis’ case. Frankly, it would surprise me if he was that up to speed on such a story in the U.S. news.

Or how it was presented to him if he had been told about it.

Right. I’d guess he was getting a brief overview from one of his people rather than reading article after article on his own.

I don’t understand how you could possibly come to that conclusion. It was on every front page, website, and social media post in the most-followed country in the world. Anything that happens in the U.S. is world news. Certainly, a head of state or religious leader would be following the case. Especially with so much at risk in this country. Already a lengthy thread on this topic. Yes it’s true. She was already in Washington to receive an award from a Protestant group when someone contacted her. She met him the day he spoke to Congress. Her parents are Catholic, she is a convert to a form of Pentecostalism.

The Pope has Catholics from around the world on his mind. I think it’s a bit presumptuous to think that the U.S. news is worthy of more of his attention than what goes on in other parts of the world. With all that is going on in the world, I can’t see him following this case that closely if at all. We’re also talking about a man who has no computer in his office. So that it is all over social media in the U.S. doesn’t necessarily mean he is going to come across it.

I could be wrong, though. :shrug:

You seem confident, rayne. I’m just curious - what is it about the story that seems especially persuasive to you?

The Pope has Catholics from around the world on his mind, as he should. That includes those in the U.S. I’m convinced he’s too smart and up-to-date on current events to say the following to Congress without substantive meaning:

“It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.”

But it is odd that the Vatican hasn’t taken time to explain more about this. Why the secrecy? Why no public acknowledgement, even afterward?


From what I’ve read the Vatican confirmed it. What a shame. It’s more disturbing that Pope Francis may not have known about the meeting or asked for it; it may have been arranged without his knowledge.

In either case, this meeting will do so much harm. The Pope’s message about caring for the poor and needy will know be overshadowed by this selfish individual and the ensuing media storm.

Huffington post and Salon have already started their all out campaign to smear the Pope and put him in league with Davis. So disappointing. Outreach to lapsed liberal catholics who were starting to warm up to the Pope and the Church will now be jumping back into the cold.

Kim Davis had the right (and biblical obligation) to object… AND resign from her job. But no, she wanted her 80k salary. She made this a media firestorm for attention / money and is now dragging our Pontiff into it.

What a sham / shame.

Can you post an official source. My reading was that the Vatican did not deny it, which is not the same as confirming the visit.

I suspect there was no such meeting. Though, unlike you, I wish there had been.

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