Vatican: Pope’s visit with Kim Davis not a form of support

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VATICAN CITY — The Vatican says Pope Francis’ meeting with Kim Davis “should not be considered a form of support of her position.”

After days of confusion, the Vatican issued a statement today clarifying Francis’ Sept. 24 meeting with Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky who has become a focal point in the gay marriage debate in the U.S. because of her refusal to sign marriage licenses for gay couples.

The Vatican says Francis met with many people during his U.S. stay, due to his “kindness and availability.”

The statement says, “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.”

In response to the Vatican’s statement, Davis’ attorney Mat Staver told The Associated Press early Friday that the meeting was an affirmation of the Kentucky county clerk’s right to be conscientious objector.

He says Vatican personnel initiated contact with Davis’ camp on Sept. 14 saying the pope wanted to meet her. He says Vatican security picked up her and her husband up from their Washington hotel and brought her to the Vatican embassy. He says Vatican officials told her to change her hairstyle so she wouldn’t be recognized since they wanted the encounter kept secret.

Staver disputed a Vatican spokesman’s claims that the pope only met with Davis in a receiving line. He said the couple was in a room with only the pope and Vatican personnel.