The Sliming of Kim Davis, and Her Exoneration
Kim Davis met privately with Pope Francis when he visited Washington, D.C., in 2015. At the time, the Pope’s men denied this meeting ever took place and claimed that it was an ambush on a Pope entirely unawares.
These men essentially called this brave and lovely woman a liar. And now we see these same men admit that the meeting actually took place, the Vatican was briefed in advance, and we see at long last that Kim Davis has been exonerated.
The Pope’s spokesmen, Father Federico Lombardi and Father Thomas Rosica, owe her a public apology.
Let’s recall what happened.
Three Years Ago …
When Pope Francis visited the United States in September 2015, the Vatican’s Ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, suggested to his Vatican colleagues that the Pope may want to meet Kim Davis. Her name was much in the news because she was a public official resisting the Kentucky law on same-sex marriage.
The meeting took place in the Vatican Embassy to the United States on September 24, 2015. During the admittedly short private meeting, Pope Francis spoke to her in English. He thanked Davis “for her courage.” He urged her to “stay strong.” He gave her and her husband rosaries. He offered his prayers and asked for hers. And then it was over. Short. Sweet. Sincere.
The Davis’s were told to keep quiet about the visit until the Pope had left the country. They did.
On the plane home, the pope took a question and, though the Davis meeting was still secret, he said this, “Conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right.”
ABC’s Terry Moran asked if that included government officials as well, and the Pope said, “It is a human right, and if a government official is a human person, he has that right.”
Upon his return to Rome, the Davis meeting broke in the magazine Inside the Vatican, a publication run by long-time Vatican journalist Robert Moynihan who helped Archbishop Viganò reach out to Davis for the meeting.
Two Different Accounts
Once it broke, the gay activists went crazy. The Vatican got cold feet and went into crisis mode.
Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi S.J. dissembled. He said the pope did not discuss the particulars of her case with Davis. Nobody claimed he did. He said the pope did not support her case in all its particulars. Nobody claimed that either. And then he said there were dozens of people in the nunciature that day, implying she was just one of dozens. This was false.
Then Vatican English-language spokesman Father Thomas Rosica pounced. He did not just imply she was in the crowd. He said so explicitly. And this was a lie. Rosica even referred to Davis as “this person” as if she were unclean.
In my reporting at the time, I invited Davis’s attorney, Mat Staver, to drive with me to the Nunciature in Washington, D.C., and walk me through the visit.
Though Staver was not at the meeting itself, he was with her in the hotel so he knew the story. Staver said the Vatican sent two Vatican security officers to pick her up and deliver her to the Embassy back door. He described the room they were led to, a room I know. He published photos of the room taken by Davis where she and her husband met Francis. A Vatican monsignor met with them there and told Davis an interesting tidbit about how part of the wall paper in the room was painted on because they could not find wall paper to match what was already there. The monsignor offered them refreshments that were delivered on a silver tray.
I will point out, people invited into a Vatican crowd do not get Vatican drivers or refreshments on a silver tray or such care from Vatican monsignors.
All of these specific details rebutted the Vatican narrative that a private meeting never took place.
A New Issue Arises
And now, in the current controversy, we see these same men finally admitting Kim Davis’s claims were true. They admit the Vatican was briefed in advance and that the Pope met with her privately.
But now they are spinning yet another tale; that the pope objected to the meeting because she had been married four times. Dutifully, the pope’s sycophants replied.
Lefty journalist David Gibson said, “My understanding is that the problem regarding the 4x married is that she was held up as a paragon of marriage …”
Journalist Austen Ivereigh chirped, “Francis clearly thought it strange to combat gay marriage with an example of divorce.”
Kim Davis Exonerated
Though none of this is likely true, none of it matters today. The important thing today is that this good and brave woman has finally been exonerated by those who lacerated her reputation three years ago.
Kim Davis and all Evangelicals should understand, these men are not the Church. They are ideologues. Faithful Catholics cheer you, Kim, and how you stood up for the Truth.
As the pope said on the record as he left the United States three years ago, conscientious objection is a human right that even adheres to government employees. And as he said to you privately that day in Washington, D.C., “Stay strong.”