After Pope Francis met with Kim Davis during his US visit, a Los Angeles Times editorial framed the meeting as having "inevitably created the impression that the pope agreed with her assertion of a religious right to defy the US Supreme Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage." The Vatican today tried to clear up the impression given by finally issuing a fuller statement to "contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired," says Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi. His standout line, per the AP: "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."
Lombardi says Francis met with "several dozen" people at the Vatican's Embassy in DC last Thursday just before departing for New York due to his "kindness and availability." Davis said the pope embraced her during their 15-minute meeting, thanked her for her courage, and told her to "stay strong." Her lawyer earlier this week told the New York Times the meeting was first discussed with the pope's representatives on Sept. 14, though he didn't say which side brought the idea to the table. Davis had to be sneaked to the meeting spot, where she and her husband took photos with a portrait of Francis. "Out of deference and respect, they didn't want to pull out a cellphone with the pope," her lawyer said; he added that the meeting was attended only by Davis and her husband, the pope, various security and staff, and a photographer. (Read more Kim Davis stories.)