Roman Catholic Church officials and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò have issued differing statements in recent days over the details of a meeting Pope Francis had with an American county clerk jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
In 2015, following the United States Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis garnered national headlines for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
During that year, Davis met with Pope Francis while the head of the Catholic Church was making an official visit to the United States.
At the time, Vatican officials and news media downplayed the meeting, claiming among other things that Francis’ meeting was not an endorsement of Davis’ efforts.
Archbishop Viganò, who recently garnered attention for his 11-page testimony arguing that the pope and other church leaders aided in the church sex abuse cover-up, told lifesitenews.com last week that contrary to 2015 reports, Francis knew who Davis was and that he indeed supported the county clerk.
“What is certain is that the Pope knew very well who Davis was, and he and his close collaborators had approved the private audience,” stated Viganò.
“It is clear, however, that Pope Francis wanted to conceal the private audience with the first American citizen condemned and imprisoned for conscientious objection.”
In response, Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., and Federico Lombardi, S.J. issued a statement on Sunday taking issue with the archbishop’s account.
Father Lombardi stated that the meeting between Pope Francis and Ms. Davis “was organized by the nuncio (Viganò) who inserted it in the context of the pope’s many and quick greetings at his departure from the nunciature.”
“This certainly did not allow the pope and his collaborators to realize the significance of this meeting,” added Lombardi, as quoted by America Magazine.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski