Hardline Archbishop Set Up Kim Davis Meeting
Her lawyer is now feuding with the Vatican
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2015 9:56 AM CDT
Pope Francis attends a meeting with members of the Italian Food Bank Network charity organization in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015.   (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
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(Newser) – A Vatican official says there is now "a sense of regret" that Pope Francis ever met Kim Davis, reports Reuters—and that could be bad news for the archbishop who set up the meeting. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican's ambassador to the US, was appointed by Benedict XVI and is known for his hardline stance against same-sex marriage, the Washington Post reports. Vatican officials say Francis wasn't briefed on the Davis case and the meeting "should not be considered a form of support," which has left church insiders wondering whether Vigano deliberately blindsided Francis or merely underestimated just how controversial the meeting would turn out to be, the New York Times reports.

A Vatican source tells CBS 2 that Francis was "exploited" by those with their own agendas and the meeting should never have happened. Davis' lawyer, who first announced the meeting, tells the Times that it was set up by Vigano—whom he met at an anti-gay marriage rally in Washington, DC, earlier this year—but they were "led to believe that the invitation did come directly from Pope Francis." The lawyer says the Vatican's description of the meeting as a very brief one among dozens is "absolute nonsense" and "somebody is trying to throw some people under the bus." Bishops are required to ask for permission to resign when they turn 75, and it seems likely that Vigano's will be accepted when he reaches that age in January, the Times notes. (Francis met a gay couple the day before the Davis meeting.)