Pundits wondered on Monday if Pope Francis’ support for “conscientious objection” was a sign of support for Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis and her refusal to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. They now have an answer.
Liberty Counsel, Davis’ legal representation, said Tuesday that a private meeting at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., occurred among Davis, her husband Joe, and the pope Sept. 24.
“During the meeting, Pope Francis said, ‘Thank you for your courage.’ Pope Francis also told Kim Davis, ‘Stay strong. He held out his hands and asked Kim to pray for him. Kim held his hands and said, ‘I will. Please pray for me,’ and the pope said he would. The two embraced,” the organization reported Tuesday.
Davis, 50, spent five days in the Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Kentucky, beginning Sept. 3 after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She was ordered detained under a ruling by U.S. District Judge David Bunning.
“I was humbled to meet Pope Francis. Of all people, why me?” asked Davis, an Apostolic Christian. “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. Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him.”
The revelation that Davis met with the head of 1.2 billion Catholics comes just one day after he told reporters on his trip back to Rome, “Conscientious objection must enter into every judicial structure because it is a right. … If someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. Otherwise, we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, ‘This right has merit, this one does not,'” WND reported.
Multiple media outlets questioned whether the pope’s comments were a sign of familiarity and support for Davis’ ordeal.
Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”
“Not only did Pope Francis know of Kim Davis, he personally met with her to express his support,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.
Davis was also presented with rosaries, which she will give to her Catholic parents, Liberty Counsel reported.
Pope Francis left for Rome out of Philadelphia after a nine-day visit to Cuba and the United States.