These are the rosaries Kim Davis says the pope gave her
Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, received a pair of rosaries blessed by the pope during a private meeting between the two, according to Davis’ attorneys.
A Vatican spokesman on Wednesday would neither confirm nor deny the report of the meeting between Davis and the pope. As a general rule, the Vatican does not comment on the pope’s private meetings.
But Davis and her supporters say the meeting took place.
“It was really very humbling to even think that he would want to meet me or know me,” Davis said in an interview broadcast by ABC News.
Davis and her husband, Joe, met with Francis for about 15 minutes last Thursday in Washington, D.C., where Francis addressed a joint meeting of the Congress, according to the Liberty Counsel, the Florida-based lawyers who have been representing Rowan County clerk Davis.
An Apostolic Christian, Davis earlier this month spent parts of six days in jail for defying an order from federal Judge David L. Bunning that she issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Davis argued that her religious beliefs prevented her from issuing a license to gay couple so she stopped issuing any marriage licenses, even to heterosexuals.
Davis’s position was rejected by federal appellate courts including the U.S. Supreme Court which refused to get involved after upholding same-sex marriage in June. Bunning eventually held Davis in contempt and she was jailed until her office began issuing the licenses to all couples.
Pope Francis did not focus on same-sex marriage during his visit last week, though he repeatedly called for strengthening family values.
On the plane back to Rome, Francis told reporters that he did not know Davis’ case in detail but he defended conscientious objection as a human right.
“It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right,” Francis said.
Davis said the pope spoke to her in English.
“He told me before he left, he said ‘Stay strong.’ That was a great encouragement,” Davis said during the ABC interview. “Just knowing that the pope is on track with what we’re doing and agreeing, you know, it kind of validates everything.”
Davis was in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, where the Family Research Council, which opposes same-sex marriage, presented her with an award for defying the federal order.
While there, Davis, a longtime Democrat, said she was switching to the Republican Party because she felt abandoned during her legal fight.
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