Kim Davis, the Court Clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky, was met with skepticism when she said that she had met with the Pope last week. As it turns out, according to USA Today on Wednesday, the Vatican has confirmed the meeting, although they have refused to add any other details other than the fact that it took place. Matt Staver, the lawyer for Davis, said that the Vatican reached out to Kim Davis through his office; he was there when a car picked them up and took them to the Vatican Embassy in Washington.
Davis, an elected official, has been under fire for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples due to her Fundamentalist Christian beliefs. The Christian Bible holds out the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. After a short stay in jail, she was released and returned to her position where she has still refused to affix her signature to licenses issued to gay couples.
The debate continues about whether Ms. Davis deserves consideration as a conscientious objector or should be fired for failing to uphold the laws of the United States. Her attorney has expressed that the Pope thanked her for her courage and told her to “Stay strong.” Davis has expressed that the whole meeting “humbled” her.
NPR.org reported that the Pontiff was asked about governmental officials who cannot fulfil their duties due to their religious beliefs. The Pope, without mentioning Davis by name, explained that conscientious objection was a basic human right. Supporters of Kim Davis, such as presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, have celebrated the meeting as a victory for Davis. Staver has stated that this event placed the Pope on the side of “religious freedom” around the world.