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Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel, which has been representing Davis, told CBS News that the Vatican contacted him a few days before the pope was to arrive on his historic visit, his first to the U.S., because Francis had been following Davis’ saga “and obviously is very concerned about religious freedom not just in the United States but worldwide.”
Despite the blanket media coverage of every move the pope made during his visit, which ended Sunday night, Staver said he worked with the Vatican to sneak Davis and her husband, Joe, into the Vatican embassy in Washington where Francis was staying.
They arrived in an SUV, he said, and Davis hid her distinctive long hair “in a different way because her hair is very recognizable from the mug shot.”
- See more at: sojo.net...-
Vatican deputy spokesman Father Thomas Rosica said the audience, which included several dozen other people, didn't amount to an endorsement.
"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," Rosica said.
This sounds more like the truth. The pope probably feels the same as I do about religious freedom. Yes, I support people's right to believe and worship as they see fit, but not if it imposes on others' freedoms.
It sounds like this meeting is a bit of an embarrassment to the Vatican. They had no idea the political crapstorm they were getting into, IMO.
Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi is disputing Liberty Counsel's version of the meeting between renegade antigay county clerk Kim Davis and the pope, saying people shouldn't read too much into it.
After Davis recounted the experience to ABC News and her attorney, Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver, claimed the pope told the defiant antigay clerk to "stay strong," the Vatican now says Pope Francis did not talk about Davis's defiance of federal law in denying same-sex couples marriage licenses. In fact, the Vatican claims that Davis's audience with the pope wasn't even a private meeting, as she and Staver have repeatedly claimed.
One day before he met antigay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, Pope Francis had a private meeting at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C. with a gay man and his partner, who the pontiff knew from Argentina, CNN reports.
Yayo Grassi, who has been with his partner, Iwan, for nearly 20 years, told CNN that Pope Francis personally arranged the meeting, and welcomed both men warmly with hugs at the Vatican Embassy in D.C. on September 23.
"Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug," Grassi, a caterer who lives in D.C., told CNN.
Grassi has long maintained a correspondence with Pope Francis, who originally served as Grassi's high school literature and psychology teacher when he was Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, according to National Geographic.
After Bergoglio came out against Argentina's marriage equality efforts in 2010, Grassi struck up an email correspondence with the future pope, expressing his disappointment that his former mentor was taking a stance so personally hurtful to Grassi.
Vatican deputy spokesman Father Thomas Rosica said the audience, which included several dozen other people, didn’t amount to an endorsement.
“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,” Rosica said.
Rosica said the Vatican ambassador to the United States, “…invited a number of guests, his own choice, to greet the Pope, very brief greetings, and in the Pope’s characteristic kindness and hospitality he shook people’s hands and gave them Rosaries. In terms of why this person was invited, you’d have to ask the Nuncio.”
To the displeasure of the pro-homosexual group, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano was among the special guests at the third annual march in Washington, D.C., presented by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).
originally posted by: intrepid
The Vatican needs a lesson on "spin". They are trying to combat BS with truth. It doesn't work that way in America any more.
originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
a reply to: Annee
I love the title... Was Pope Francis Actually Swindled into Meeting Kim Davis?
This is what I have suspected ever since I heard about the "meeting". The religious right in the US is determined to get as many brownie points as they can. I bet the Pope is sorry this meeting happened now. He seems a little naive about the religio-political landscape int he US today.
Yayo Grassi, and his partner of 19 years, Iwan Bagus, met with Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 23, Grassi said. Grassi is one of the pope’s former students.
“I need to testify to the fact that he’s not this homophobic person that people think he is,” Grassi said of the pope.
National Geographic reported that Grassi wrote to the pope in 2010 to criticize his views on gay marriage. “You have been my guide, continuously moving my horizons — you have shaped the most progressive aspects of my worldview. And to hear this from you is so disappointing,” Grassi wrote, according to National Geographic.
According to the magazine, Pope Francis wrote back to say that he had taken Grassi’s words to heart, but the Church’s position on gay marriage was fixed. But the pope also told his former student that homophobia has no place in his pastoral work.
After the huge blowback and resulting PR firestorm the Vatican endured for meeting with Kim Davis — the Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to LGBT couples — Pope Francis is expected to fire the church official who arranged the meeting.
Faithful America, a Christian group that organizes social justice actions online, created a petition calling for Viganò to resign from his position as Vatican ambassador to the U.S.
"Inviting Kim Davis to a reception with Pope Francis undermined the pope's message to the United States and was a mean-spirited insult to the Kentucky couples whose marriage licenses she has tried to deny," the organization's petition reads. "For the good of the church, please resign immediately and allow Pope Francis to appoint a new apostolic nuncio."