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Vatican Confirms Secret Meeting Between Pope and Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis

Vatican Confirms Secret Meeting Between Pope and Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis

Photos: Jeon Han (left) and ABC News

Francis reportedly gave Davis a rosary and thanked her for her courage. 

After a papal visit celebrated for calls of tolerance and inclusion, it has now been revealed that Pope Francis took time out of his very full schedule to hold a private, secret meeting with thrice-divorced right-wing darling, Kim Davis, according to the New York Times. On Tuesday, Davis's lawyers released a statement describing the encounter between the Catholic leader and the Kentucky clerk who was jailed after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to fulfill her constitutional oath to marry same-sex couples. Today, Vatican officials confirmed that the meeting did indeed take place. Matthew D. Staver, Kim Davis's attorney, says that they will soon have photos to share.

Staver says that Davis and her fourth husband, who were in Washington, D.C., to receive an award from the Family Research Council, snuck into the Vatican embassy for a 15 minute meeting with the Holy Father. Davis disguised her appearance by changing her hairstyle for the occasion. Speaking with ABC News, Davis described the events:

"I put my hand out and he reached and he grabbed it, and I hugged him and he hugged me. And he said, 'Thank you for your courage.' I was crying. I had tears coming out of my eyes. I'm just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me."

Pope Francis then presented her with two rosaries, which Davis, an Apostolic Pentecostal Christian, gave to her Catholic parents. Davis then asked the Pope to pray for her, which he promised to do, before asking her to pray for him in return. Staver says that the meeting was kept secret until Pope Francis left the United States because "we didn't want the pope's visit to be focused on Kim Davis." On the plane back to Rome, Francis said that the right to conscientious objection is a human right, thereby supporting Davis without explicitly referring to her.

Since assuming the supreme position in the Catholic Church in 2013, Pope Francis has kept LGBT advocates on their toes, offering hopeful signs, such as his "who am I to judge" comment, only to be underscored by anti-gay efforts, like his call for Slovakians to vote against a referendum on marriage equality. Therefore, while disappointing, given the decision to have openly gay Mo Rocca to open his Madison Square Garden mass, such sobering news is not surprising.

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