After lying and hiding the truth about the private meeting of Pope Francis and Kim Davis in 2015, Vatican officials now admit Pope Francis and his high-ranking officials knew who Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis was and approved a private meeting with her during his 2015 visit to the United States.
Federico Lombardi, S.J., former director of the Holy See Press Office, has now "recalled that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò had spoken the night before the Davis meeting with Pope Francis and his collaborators and obtained their consensus," as reported in the America.
Sunday, the Associated Press received a statement from Lombardi in which he now admits "Vatican officials approved" of the meeting with Davis. Yet, in 2015, Lombardi said the opposite of his 2018 admission. Davis is the Kentucky clerk jailed for not granting marriage licenses after the Supreme Court opinion.
This is not the first time the Vatican has changed its story about Kim Davis. Back in 2015, Fr. Thomas Rosica, an English-language assistant to the Holy See, stated that "the only real audience granted by the pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family," which included a homosexual man and his partner, according to The Washington Post. However, off-record they said there was a meeting: "Privately, Vatican officials told CNN and other news outlets that the meeting with Kim David [sic] irked Pope Francis, saying that he didn't know the specifics of Davis' situation before the meeting," CNN reported.
In 2015, Lombardi and Rosica lied about the private meeting with the pope. Now Lombardi and Rosica admit there was a private meeting and that Vatican officials approved the meeting. The Vatican only changed its story to admit the private meeting was approved after Archbishop Vigano released several documents that detailed how top officials, including the pope, knew about Kim Davis through a memo that Vigano provided to them. These leaders vetted her and even received legal advice regarding the situation before approving the private meeting with her.
In contrast to the disinformation and spin coming out of Rome, the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops gave the Nuncio, Archbishop Vigano, two standing ovations at an event following the pope's visit in 2015.
To counter the misrepresentations of Lombardi and Rosica, in 2015 Liberty Counsel released a detailed description of the events before, during and after the meeting with Pope Francis. This description matches perfectly with the recent statement of Archbishop Vigano about the meeting.
Exactly three years ago, Davis, was in jail because of her religious belief to not place her name, title and authority on same-sex marriage licenses in Kentucky. Liberty Counsel successfully obtained her release six days later and continues to represent her. After his election as governor, Matt Bevin issued an executive order accommodating her religious beliefs. In April 2016, the Kentucky legislature unanimously passed a law to accommodate the religious beliefs of all Kentucky clerks.
In 2015, Kim Davis was invited to the private meeting with the pope after her release from jail. She attended and followed every instruction given to her about the meeting. Liberty Counsel held the public release about the meeting until it was authorized to release after the pope finished his visit to the United States. As a result of lies about the meeting coming from Lombardi and Rosica, Kim Davis and Liberty Counsel were ridiculed and maligned, because some media, relying upon the disinformation and spin of the Holy See Press Office, which is directly under the authority of Pope Francis, denied that a private meeting occurred.
This meeting occurred during the papal visit to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24, 2015, and within two weeks of the Synod on the Family in which some factions within the Catholic church sought to alter the church's teaching on homosexuality. The private meeting with Kim Davis apparently ran counter to the narrative of some factions within the Catholic church, and, as a result, the Holy See Press Office lied about the meeting.
"For the first time in three years, the same Press Office officials of the Holy See, who lied about the private meeting, have now confirmed what Liberty Counsel has been stating: there was a private meeting with Kim Davis that was approved by the pope who was aware of her religious stance regarding her refusal to issue marriage licenses that conflicted with God's definition of marriage," said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. "Efforts to downplay or distort the truth have been coming from the Vatican and continue about the private meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis. We are grateful that Archbishop Vigano has set forth the truth about the meeting. Attempts to discredit or attack him personally regarding this meeting have only served to reveal who was lying and who was telling the truth. It is disturbing that the Holy See Press Office, which had to include the pope, sided with certain factions within the Catholic church seeking to change the church's teachings, and they were willing to lie about the meeting and malign an innocent person when the meeting was pre-approved."
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