After several days of unflattering discussion about the Cool Pope’s date with arguably the least cool woman in America, the Vatican has finally stepped forward to try to salvage his reputation: yes, he did meet with her, but it was more of a pity thing and not, say, a papal endorsement of her backwards views.
The carefully-worded statement issued by the Vatican Friday walks back the notion that the Pope met with Davis to offer support for her frankly illegal actions. Elaborating on the details of the “brief” meeting, the Vatican pointedly clarifies that the Pope only granted a “real audience” to a former student who is definitely not Kim Davis.
The Vatican also seems to suggest Kim’s so-called audience—which her lawyer immediately leaked to the press—was not requested by the pope and that he only blessed her out of the kindness of his heart.
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.
“His meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.”
Does Kim Davis—a small-town county clerk who denied gays their basic human rights, got famous, and got to shake hands with the pope—care? I’m guessing nah.