Last night, Kim Davis’s lawyer and an obscure Catholic magazine claimed that Kim Davis met with the Pope in Washington D.C last week. This morning, Davis told ABC she did totally meet with the Pope. It all sounded like bullshit, but indeed, the Vatican has briefly confirmed the meeting took place and that they don’t want to talk about it.
The news of the papal-clerkal meeting was first reported by a reporter named Robert Moynihan, who edits a monthly magazine called Inside the Vatican. Kim Davis’s lawyer at the Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver, released a statement saying the meeting took place, with the clerk and the pope hugging, the pope thanking Davis for her “courage,” and presenting her with two rosaries, which Staver said she’ll give to her Catholic parents. Davis is an Apostolic Christian, a sect which usually doesn’t have a lot of use for the Pope or his pronouncements.
This morning, though, Davis told ABC the meeting was emotional for her: “I was crying. I had tears coming out of my eyes. I’m just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me.”
The Vatican initially refused to say much of anything about the meeting, with Father Ciro Benedettini of the Holy See Press Office initially telling CBS and other outlets, “The Vatican does not confirm nor deny this.” Hours later, that was upgraded, with Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi telling the New York Times and other media organizations, “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no other comments to add.”
In a press conference on the papal plane during his return trip, Pope Francis said it’s a “human right” for government officials to refuse to carry out duties that violate their conscience.
This news was especially hard to take without a boulder of salt on hand given that Staver was just caught lying about a rally for Davis in Peru that he claimed drew 100,000 people. The photo was actually of a prayer rally that took place in May 2014. Staver and the Liberty Counsel repeatedly insisted the photo was real and taken in Kim Davis’s honor before finally admitting the photo “was not of the prayer meeting.” Staver called the photo “an honest mistake.”
Today is wild.
Kim Davis upon her release from jail, in front of the Rowan County Judicial Center. Photo via AP Images