Two liars telling their separate stories?: Vatican Says Kim Davis ‘Exploited’ the Pope

Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi is disputing Liberty Counsel’s version of the meeting between renegade antigay county clerk Kim Davis and the pope, saying people shouldn’t read too much into it.

After Davis recounted the experience to ABC News and her attorney, Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver, claimed the pope told the defiant antigay clerk to “stay strong,” the Vatican now says Pope Francis did not talk about Davis’s defiance of federal law in denying same-sex couples marriage licenses. In fact, the Vatican claims that Davis’s audience with the pope wasn’t even a private meeting, as she and Staver have repeatedly claimed.

“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 said in a prepared statement this morning. “Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.”

An unidentified Vatican official told Reuters the Holy See had a “sense of regret” that Pope Francis had any face time at all with the antigay clerk. Lombardi’s assistant, Canada’s Father Tom Rosica, told Reuters that the Vatican underestimated the significance of a papal audience with Davis, who has become the leading symbol of religious-based opposition to civil marriage equality in the U.S. He also rejected Davis’s claim that the pope spent 15 minutes speaking with Davis and her fourth husband, Joe. “There simply was not enough time” during the pope’s six-day tour of the country, he said.

pope“I’m not sure that [the embassy] realized how significant it would be,” Rosica told Reuters. “The visit was extraordinary … so to allow this to kind of overshadow it would be very unfortunate. This is not the centerpiece of the papal visit. This is one small part of it, but it is a loaded centerpiece.”

According to Chicago’s WBBM TV, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich also denied the meeting was requested, and a source inside the Vatican told the television station the pope was “blindsided.” According Vatican officials, Davis met the pope as part of a receiving line of “dozens” of people, although Davis’s attorney disputes that claim.

Staver, who leads the right-wing Liberty Counsel, a certified anti-LGBT hate grouptold the Associated Press that Davis was invited by the papal ambassador and was picked up at her hotel by a car dispatched by the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C. Staver said Vatican officials asked Davis to change her hairstyle for the trip so she wouldn’t be recognized, and stood by his claim that the meeting was private and not part of a receiving line.

After Pope Francis departed, Liberty Counsel announced that the pontiff had met with the antigay clerk, explaining that the meeting was kept secret until the pope left the United States because the group “didn’t want the pope’s visit to be focused on Kim Davis.” He contends that the Davises sneaked into the Vatican embassy for a 15-minute meeting with the Holy Father, wherein Pope Francis gave the Apostolic Pentecostal Christian Davis a pair of rosary beads he personally blessed, which she then gave to her Catholic parents.

An adviser to Pope Francis has claimed on Twitter that the pontiff was “exploited” by Davis and her attorneys, calling it a “meeting that never should have taken place.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Liberty Counsel has been caught in a fabrication about international support for Davis. Earlier this week, leaders in the right-wing group were forced to admit that a photo they claimed showed 100,000 people praying for Davis in Peru was a fake after ThinkProgress blogger Zack Ford exposed the fraud. The photo was actually taken in May 2014 at a multi-day religious event. Staver now admits that no prayer rallies were held specifically for Davis as he previously claimed, saying some people prayed for her instead.


HYPOCRISY: Vatican Priest Comes Out, Promptly Fired


The Catholic Church on Saturday dismissed high-ranking Vatican official Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, who worked in the Holy See press office, after he revealed to an Italian newspaper he was gay and has a male partner.

In an interview published Saturday, Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, 43, told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he was proud of his sexuality.

“I want the Church and my community to know who I am: a gay priest who is happy, and proud of his identity,” he said.

Charamsa, originally from Poland, also said he was fully aware that he would most likely be excluded from the Vatican by coming out.

“I’m prepared to pay the consequences,” he said, “but it’s time the Church opened its eyes, and realised that offering gay believers total abstinence from a life of love is inhuman.”

Charamsa has worked for the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith since 2003, according to the official Vatican news website. He also teaches at two Catholic universities in Rome.

In a statement, Rev. Federico Lombardi, who serves as the director of the Holy See press office, maintained that Charamsa’s firing had less to do with his statement and more to do with its timing, which came a day before an important papal meeting.

A synod, or a special meeting of bishops and the clergy, is due to begin on Sunday to discuss family matters, including how to engage with the gay community.

Lombardi said Charamsa’s “decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure.”

Lombardi added that Charamsa would no longer be able to carry out his duties in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or at the Pontifical universities.

The Corriere della Sera reported that Charamsa would join an LGBT Catholic International Meeting organized by the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics later on Saturday.

The group had initially planned to protest Charamsa’s firing, Reuters reported.

Charamsa said he had given up his life at the Vatican.

“I know that the Church will see me as someone who has failed to keep a promise, who has lost his way, and what’s worse, not with a woman, but a man,” Charamsa told the Italian newspaper. “I also know that I will have to give up the ministry, even though it is my whole life.”


Oops: ADIOS to the Anti-Gay Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and His Bigotry


Vatican Observers: It’s Likely That The Pope Will Shitcan The Guy Who Sprung Kim Davis On Him

According to a report published today by the New York Times, Vatican observers expect US Papal Nuncio Carlo Vigano to be removed at the “first respectable opportunity” for his “grave misstep” in secretly orchestrating the Pope’s meeting with Kim Davis. They write:

Archbishop Viganò is turning 75 in January, the age at which bishops must submit a formal request to the Vatican asking for permission to resign. These requests are not automatically accepted, and bishops often stay in their appointments well past age 75. But if Archbishop Viganò is held responsible for what is seen as a grave misstep on an important papal trip, he is likely to be removed at the first respectable opportunity, according to several church analysts. “Nobody in the Catholic Church wants another Regensburg,” said Massimo Faggioli, an associate professor of theology and director of the Institute for Catholicism and Citizenship at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. He was referring to the backlash that resulted when Pope Benedict XVI, Francis’ predecessor, gave a speech in Regensburg, Germany, that appeared to denigrate Islam. The meeting with Ms. Davis was clearly a misstep, Dr. Faggioli said, “because the whole trip to the United States he very carefully didn’t want to give the impression that he was being politicized by any side.” He added, “And this thing is the most politicized thing that you can imagine.”

The Vatican’s spokesman today also made it very clear that Mat Staver is lying (again) when he insists that the invitation to meet the Pope came directly from Rome.

“Who brought her in? The nuncio,” said Father Rosica, who is working with the Vatican’s media office in advance of a major meeting of bishops that begins this weekend. “The Nunciature was able to bring in donors, benefactors.” Father Rosica said of the controversy: “I would simply say: Her case is a very complex case. It’s got all kinds of intricacies. Was there an opportunity to brief the pope on this beforehand? I don’t think so. A list is given — these are the people you are going to meet.” Mr. Staver, for his part, said he had been briefly introduced to Archbishop Viganò in April, when he spoke at a large rally in Washington against same-sex marriage, before the Supreme Court ruled on the issue.

Here’s what Brian Brown wrote after Vigano attended NOM’s hate march:

One of the biggest pieces of news about the March for Marriage last Thursday is something that you probably won’t read about in most of the major outlets. The March was honored by the presence of a very special guest: the official representative of Pope Francis himself, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, His Excellency Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. I am extremely grateful to Archbishop Viganò for his attendance of the March, and I cannot express what a great honor it was to have him in our midst. This is a sign of great encouragement and hope for the marriage movement in America. Archbishop Viganò’s demonstration of solidarity with our movement is an exciting and edifying piece of news. The Archbishop has been a vocal defender of the family on the world stage, and his leadership and witness in this matter are exemplary.

That dude is SO fucking fired.



 Pope met with  homophobic Kim DavisWhere is your Cool Pope now, America? His PR game is undoubtedly on fleek, but he’s still beholden to the same homophobic crap we know and love from the Catholic Church, the world’s most powerful supporter of impunity for priestly pedophiles.

During his U.S. visit, Pope Francis privately met with Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk of Court who was jailed for five days for refusing to obey the law and do her job: issuing marriage licenses to people, including people who are gay.

Davis has become a cause célèbre among bigots who believe two people who love each other should not be allowed to marry if they have matching genitals.

“Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong,'” said America’s Martyr of her meeting with the Cool Pope.

“Thank you for your courage,” she claims he then said.


Rosaries Kim Davis says Pope Francis gave to her and her husband Joe during their meeting last week.

Maybe he’ll canonize her as the Patron Saint of Tenacious Homophobia, as he did with the Patron Saint of American Genocide, Junipero Serra.

The Vatican confirmed on Wednesday morning that yes, the visit really did take place, as reported by Davis and her cronies.

Here’s the official statement from Kim Davis’ camp via Liberty Counsel, the legal nonprofit that represents Kim Davis and her husband, Joe.

The Pope met privately with Kim Davis and her husband, Joe, at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, September 24, which was the birthday of Kim’s father. Pope Francis spoke with Kim and Joe Davis in English.During the meeting Pope Francis said, “Thank you for your courage.” Pope Francis also told Kim Davis, “Stay strong. He held out his hands and asked Kim to pray for him. Kim held his hands and said, “I will. Please pray for me,” and the Pope said he would. The two embraced. The Pontiff presented Kim and Joe Davis each with a Rosary that he personally blessed. Kim’s mother and father are Catholic, and Kim and Joe will present the Rosaries to her parents. Kim’s mother was the elected Clerk of Court for Rowan County for 37 years until her retirement in 2014.Kim Davis said, “I was humbled to meet Pope Francis. Of all people, why me?” Davis continued, “I never thought I would meet the Pope. Who am I to have this rare opportunity? I am just a County Clerk who loves Jesus and desires with all my heart to serve him.” Kim said, “Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong.'”

More: The blog “Inside the Vatican” first broke the story. Washington PostNew York Times, and ABC News is making a big deal out of the fact that they interviewed Kim Davis about this pope crap.


Hypocrite Pope?




What The Pope Really Said About Kim Davis

Fresh off his whirlwind tour of the United States, Pope Francis is still making news in America — this time for weighing in on whether government officials have a “human right” to refuse same-sex couples marriage licenses.

According to NBC, a reporter on the pope’s flight back to the Vatican Monday night asked him a question that appeared to reference Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk recently jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples by citing her faith.

“Do you … support those individuals, including government officials, who say they cannot in good conscience … abide by some laws or discharge their duties as government officials, for example when issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples?” a reporter asked.

Francis did not specifically mention Davis in his reply, noting, “I can’t have in mind all the cases that can exist about conscientious objection.” But he did offer a vigorous defense of conscientious objection as an important part of civil society.

“Yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right,” he said. “And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right … Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, ‘this right that has merit, this one does not.’”

When the reporter, identified as Terry Moran from ABC News, followed up by asking about the specific issue of government officials, Francis replied: “It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.”

It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.

Several media outlets jumped on Francis’ comments as tacit support for Davis. But while the pontiff’s answer made his support for conscientious objection clear, he was vague on what conscientious objection actually would mean in Davis’ situation. For example, Francis did not explain whether he believed an elected government official should be allowed to keep a job while refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The distinction is crucial to millions of religious Americans such as Mennonites, who are allowed to refuse military service and some taxes but, unlike Davis, willingly accept the consequences of doing so — including passing on certain jobs. Others take financial hits to accommodate their faith: Some pacifist Christians oppose paying federal taxes that support the military, and so intentionally make very little money to avoid paying the IRS.

Francis’ comments echoed both the Catholic Church’s historic opposition to same-sex relationships and the pope’s longstanding support for religious liberty as a fundamental right — a position he mentioned several times during his visit to the United States. The pontiff dedicated an entire speech to the subject over the weekend while visiting Philadelphia, condemning what he saw as infringements on religious liberty.

“[Religious freedom] is a fundamental right which shapes the way we interact socially and personally with our neighbors whose religious views differ from our own,” Francis said. “Religious freedom certainly means the right to worship God, individually and in community, as our consciences dictate. But religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families.”

In the same speech, however, Francis appeared to call out extremists on both sides of the debate, condemning those who silence religious expression as well as religious people who use their faith to oppress others.

“In a world where various forms of modern tyranny seek to suppress religious freedom, or try to reduce it to a subculture without right to a voice in the public square, or to use religion as a pretext for hatred and brutality, it is imperative that the followers of the various religions join their voices in calling for peace, tolerance and respect for the dignity and rights of others,” he said.

The pope’s comments on same-sex marriage are also unusual, primarily because he took pains to avoid specifically naming the subject during his U.S. visit. Although he directly addressed issues such as immigration and climate change, he discussed homosexuality only in coded language, speaking generally of “threats” to marriage and unions between a man and a woman. In his 3,404-word address to Congress, he only dedicated 75 words to both abortion and same-sex marriage, while offering lengthy treatments of economics and the death penalty.





Pope Francis appeared to weigh in on the side of anti-gay-marriage clerk Kim Davis, saying government workers have a “human right” to refuse to carry out a duty if they have a “conscientious objection.”

While returning from his visit to the U.S., the pontiff told reporters aboard the papal plane Monday that anyone who prevents others from exercising their religious freedom is denying them a human right.

His comments are likely to be seized upon by backers of Kentucky-based Davis, whose refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling — has turned into her into a folk hero among some on the religious right.

The pontiff was asked: “Do you … support those individuals, including government officials, who say they cannot in good conscience, their own personal conscience, abide by some laws or discharge their duties as government officials, for example when issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples?”

He did not refer specifically to Davis in his reply, saying: “I can’t have in mind all the cases that can exist about conscientious objection … but yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.”

Francis added: “Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, ‘this right that has merit, this one does not.'”

Asked if this principle applied to government officials carrying out their duties, he replied: “It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.”

Francis’ remarks were translated by pool reporters aboard the plane, and were not an official translation.

The pope also said he understands the anger of people abused by clergy, saying: “I pray for them.”

He spoke after meeting with some victims of Catholic Church abuse in Philadelphia Sunday on the final day of his visit to the United States. The pontiff prayed with and blessed three women and two men, according to a statement from the Vatican, in a meeting that lasted about 30 minutes.



On his flight back to the Vatican, Francis was asked about victims and relatives who do not forgive the church for the crimes of priests.

“I met a woman who told me ‘when my mother found out that I had been abused, she became blasphemous, she lost her faith and she died an atheist,'” the pope said. “I understand that woman. I understand her.”

He added: “I pray for them. And I don’t judge them.”

Francis also spoke about the issue of women priests, firmly ruling out any idea of the Catholic church following the Anglican example.

“As for women priests, that cannot be done,” he said, explaining that the issue had already been examined in “long, long intense discussions” by Pope John Paul II.

“Not because women don’t have the capacity. Look, in the church women are more important than men, because the church is a woman. It is ‘la’ [female] church, not ‘il’ [masculine] church. The church is the bride of Jesus Christ. And the Madonna is more important than popes and bishops and priests.”

He added: “I must admit we are a bit late in an elaboration of the theology of women. We have to move ahead with that theology. Yes, that’s true.”





Pope Francis, in Philadelphia, Tells Immigrants: ‘Do Not Be Discouraged’

“Many of you have emigrated to this country at great personal cost, but in the hope of building a new life. Do not be discouraged by whatever challenges and hardships you face,” the pope, standing before Independence Mall in Philadelphia, said Saturday afternoon. 

“I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation. You should never be ashamed of your traditions.”

“By contributing your gifts, you will not only find your place here, you will help to renew society from within,” he said in Spanish.

“I take this opportunity to thank all those, of whatever religion, who have sought to serve the God of peace by building cities of brotherly love, by caring for our neighbors in need, by defending the dignity of God’s gift of life in all its stages, by defending the cause of the poor and the immigrant,” he said. ” All too often, those most in need of our help are unable to be heard. You are their voice, and many of you have faithfully made their cry heard.”