Pope Francis has a lot of positives and negatives – which seem to fluctuate daily. This week he’s on an upswing, and progressive types everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief, thanks to it now becoming apparent that infamous Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’s account of her meeting with the Pontiff was most likely bullsh*t.
This Friday, the Vatican reiterated that the Pope was not scheduled to meet Davis.
“The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family,” the Vatican said in a statement.
That former student would be Yayo Grassi, who knew Francis since Grassi was a literature and psychology student where Francis taught at a high school in Flores, Argentina from 1964 to 1965. Accompanying Grassi was his boyfriend and a few of their friends.
According to Wonkette, Grassi said the Pope always knew he was gay, but has never condemned his sexuality or his relationships with boyfriends. Grassi said he and [his current boyfriend] also met Francis last year in Rome.
“He has never been judgmental,” Grassi said. “He has never said anything negative.”
“Obviously he is the pastor of the church and he has to follow the church’s teachings,” he continued. “But as a human being he understands all kinds of situations, and he is open to all kinds of people, including those with different sexual characteristics.”
Grassi added that he thinks Francis was “misled” into whatever meeting with Davis took place.
The Vatican’s statement along with Grassi’s account goes directly against the claims made by Davis’s notoriously anti-gay law firm Liberty Counsel, who touted the “secret meeting” reported in “Inside the Vatican.”
Turns out the author of that article got his inside account from the Liberty Counsel. Brandon Ambrosino of the Daily Beast writes:
The inconsistencies with the Liberty Counsel’s story were infuriatingly apparent from [the go]. For example, [Davis’s lawyer, Mat Staver] told CBS that Francis definitely knew who Kim Davis was, before their meeting: “Pope Francis,” he said, “has been following the story of Kim Davis and obviously is very concerned about religious liberty, not just in the United States, but worldwide.” But in an interview with TIME, Staver said that he didn’t know if Francis knew who his client was, but he assumed the pope had heard of her because “her story has been published worldwide.”
The Vatican quickly realized they had to weigh in. Admitting that Francis had some brief encounter with Davis, the statement from the Holy See’s press office made clear that the meeting “should not be considered a form of support” for Davis’ refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moreover, the Vatican didn’t even consider Davis a “real audience,” saying she was just one of dozens paraded in front of the pontiff at the Vatican embassy.
In short, Francis probably had a brief encounter with Davis in passing, but most likely didn’t even know who she was.
Featured image via Flickr