WASHINGTON- Pope Francis has dominated headlines across the country this month, and his recent meetings with President Obama and Congressional leaders have been the target of much criticism. Many have dished out disdain for Francis’ refusal to publicly tackle controversies such as gay marriage and abortion, while instead focusing on a more liberal agenda. However, unbeknownst to many, Francis had a private meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples after the Supreme Court’s decision and was jailed for doing so.
Davis said her meeting with the Pope renewed her sense of purpose and inspired her.
“I was crying. I had tears coming out of my eyes,” Davis said in an exclusive interview with ABC News. “I’m just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me.”
Davis is currently back at work and not issuing any marriage licenses as her deputy clerks are doing so in her place. Davis said Francis was supportive of her efforts.
“I put my hand out and he reached and he grabbed it, and I hugged him and he hugged me,” Davis recalled. “And he said, ‘thank you for your courage.’”
Father Benedettini from the Vatican Press office released a statement after reports emerged that Davis and Francis had met.
“The Holy See is aware of the reports of Kim Davis meeting with the Holy Father. The Vatican does not confirm the meeting, nor does it deny the meeting. There will be no further information given,” the statement reads.
Hours later, Father Benedettini said, in another statement, “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I will not comment on it further.”
Davis’ attorneys have confirmed that the two met.