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WASHINGTON, October 2, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - Liberals feel betrayed and are turning their back on Pope Francis for having a private meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.
Rowan county clerk Kim Davis made headlines over the summer when she refused for reasons of conscience to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The couples filed a lawsuit against her, eventually resulting in jail time for Davis, who had defied court orders to issue the licenses. Davis was subsequently released, and has become something of a folk hero to conservatives, while the liberal media has demonized her.
It came as a shock to the left, therefore, when "their" Pope was revealed to have arranged a private meeting with Kim Davis. According to Davis' attorney Mat Staver, the Pope had requested to meet privately with her.
[It] was just Pope Francis, Kim Davis, her husband Joe and other papal staff and security. No one else was in the room. Pope Francis came out. He held out his hands. He asked Kim Davis to pray for him. ... He encouraged her. He said, "Thank you for your courage," and he also said, "Stay strong."
Kim Davis was invited to the meeting by a high-ranking Vatican official connected to the Secretariat of State of the Holy See acting on behalf of the Pope himself, Breitbart revealed.
Originally, the Vatican confirmed that these events took place. However, it made another statement this morning downplaying the event, saying, "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."
Liberty Counsel, which represents Davis, issued a statement today responding to the Vatican's backtracking.
Despite a statement this morning by a Vatican official, the Pope's own words about conscientious objection being a human right and his private meeting with Kim Davis indicate support for the universal right of conscientious objection, even for government officials. The meeting with Kim Davis was initiated by the Vatican, and the private meeting occurred at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, September 24. This meeting was a private meeting without any other members of the public present. ...
[T]he meeting was a pastoral meeting to encourage Kim Davis in which Pope Francis thanked her for her courage and told her to "stay strong."
Liberty Counsel also rejected Vatican spokesman Fr. Thomas Rosica's claim that Davis was just one among a number of guests the Pope met with that morning.
Kim and Joe Davis were picked up by security at the hotel in which she and her husband were staying and driven to the Vatican Embassy. Kim and Joe Davis waited for the private meeting with the Pope. There were no other people in the room. This was a private meeting between Pope Francis and Kim and Joe Davis. This was not a meeting with other people in which Kim and Joe Davis were a part, but rather a private meeting with no other people in the room except Vatican security and personnel.
And responding to an inaccuracy reported in Reuters, Liberty Counsel continued:
There was no line of people before, near, or around Kim Davis. Had Kim Davis been in a line of people or been seen by anyone outside of Vatican personnel, we would not have been able to keep her visit secret.
Several explanations have been given as to why the Vatican is trying to downplay the issue, even to the point of fudging the facts. Catholic journalist Michael Brendan Dougherty tweeted that it was likely owing to the complaints of Jesuits, who would've made their distress known to Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi.
Regardless of the Vatican's statement, the damage has been done, and this event has caused liberals to storm the media with their feelings of betrayal and outrage.
Charles P. Pierce at Esquire called the Holy Father's meeting with Kim Davis "a sin against charity" and the "dumbest thing this Pope has ever done," while Father James Martin, SJ., tried to deflect the event by saying the Pope met many people during his visit, and this one means no more than the rest of them.
"If it turns out the meeting actually happened, I would be very disappointed in Pope Francis," said Frank DeBernardo, executive director of the pro-homosexualist group New Ways Ministry. "There were numerous calls for him to meet with LGBT Catholics and families while in the U.S., and the Vatican ignored them all."
Twitter was set ablaze with tweets from the outraged, including Mashable writer Brian Ries and his followers.
It seems that after two years of being told Pope Francis is a progressive theologian, lauded by the secular media for his stances on the environment and immigration, and his infamous "Who am I to judge?" comment in reference to a priest with same-sex attraction, the news that Pope Francis is true to Catholic teaching against same-sex "marriage" may be too much of a shock for liberals to make sense of, leaving them to try and downplay the meeting with Davis.
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League summarized his thoughts with the following: "The Catholic and secular Left are beside themselves. They thought they owned the Pope, and now they are in a state of disbelief. If they don't get what they want at the Synod next month, watch for them to turn on him with a vengeance."