Speaking on the importance of addressing climate change, wealth inequality and advocating the abolishment of the death penalty, Pope Francis charmed and delighted liberals during his recent visit to the US.
But while he was leaving, he made a statement seemingly in support of the controversial position of Kim Davis.
Then, it was reported -- to the great dismay of lefties across the country and the great applause of Davis supporters -- he actually met with Davis privately.
Kim Davis, an Apostolic Christian, is a Kentucky county clerk who made headlines due to her anti-gay marriage position.
In September, she was arrested and placed in jail after refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis was released shortly thereafter, but she was accused of still meddling with marriage licenses after returning to work.
In the past, the pope exhibited a more tolerant stance toward the LGBTQ+ community than some of his predecessors, so when news broke he stood behind Davis, many were disappointed.
If pope did meet w/Kim Davis it undermined all he did in downplaying gay issue, reveals priorities. All a show. — Mike Signorile (@MSignorile) September 30, 2015
Well, it now appears all of this was overblown. According to a statement released by the Vatican, the pope's meeting with Davis did not indicate he supports her, The Washington Post reports. Moreover, it wasn't as private an "audience" as her camp purported.
The statement read,
The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC has continued to provoke comments and discussion. In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points: Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope's characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family. The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.
This statement is obviously a direct response to the criticism the pope received surrounding this story.
But we should all remember, while the pope is arguably quite progressive on a number of issues, he's still the head of the Catholic Church, an institution opposing gay marriage.
In that sense, even if he doesn't support Kim Davis explicitly, his views on same-sex marriage aren't very different.