The right-wing relationship with Pope Francis is nothing if not confusing. While right-wing Catholics threatened to boycott his speeches, right-wing Protestants are overjoyed that they got to meet with the guy.
But, as the Vatican announced today, the feeling is not mutual.
Kim Davis and the Pope
As far as conservative heroes go, Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis is a c-lister. I don’t even think she has a show on Fox News lined up yet, and the “failed Republican politician-to-Fox News host” pipeline is a well-documented phenomenon. She made a name for herself when she decided to discriminate against gay people, and found herself jailed as a result.
However, Davis is still apparently popular enough to score a private meeting with the Pope, where he “thanked” her and told her to “stay strong”.
That was Davis’ description, anyway.
On Friday, the Vatican had something different to say: Pope Francis didn’t ask to meet with Davis, and he didn’t offer her unconditional support.
Davis was apparently one of “several dozen” people who had been invited by the Vatican ambassador to see Francis, according to spokesman Federico Lombardi. In a statement released on Friday, Lombardi said:
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.
The meeting, which was kept secret originally, disappointed many liberals and left-wingers, not just liberal Catholics, and for some reason, delighted conservatives. They took it as a sign that the Pope was condemning the SCOTUS ruling.
According to a senior Vatican official, there was a “sense of regret” about the meeting, which ended up overshadowing almost everything else that the Pope did during his first visit to the United States.
The official, who declined to be named, said Davis had been in a line of people the Pope met at the embassy in Washington before he left for New York:
The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature (Vatican embassy) was with one of his former students and his family.
Davis declared herself an Apostolic Christian, and said that those beliefs prevented her from doing her job. The church that she’s part of is a Protestant movement known as Apostolic Pentecostalism.
Feature image via Wikimedia Commons