WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVQ) – Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her husband had a private audience with Pope Francis last Thursday at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., according to Davis’ attorney with the Liberty Counsel. During the meeting Pope Francis thanked Davis for her courage and told her to “Stay strong,” according to Davis’ attorney.
The Pope reportedly held out his hands and asked Davis to pray for him. Davis held the Pope’s hands and said she would pray for him and the two embraced, according to Davis’ attorney. The Pontiff presented Kim and Joe Davis each with a Rosary that he personally had blessed, according to Davis’ attorney.
“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,” Davis said. “Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring and very personable,” said Davis.
Vatican officials did not respond to an email from the Associated Press asking for comment early Wednesday.
As Rowan County clerk, Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses, under her name, to same-sex couples because it goes against her religious beliefs. She spent several days in jail for violating a federal judge’s order to issue the licenses. Davis’ stand drew international attention and led to both criticism and praise from people all over the world.
Speaking with reporters on the Papal plane on his way back from the United States to Italy, Pope Francis told Terry Moran of ABC News that conscientious objection is a human right, even for government officials.