Everything We Know About Kim Davis’ Alleged Secret Meeting With The Pope
The story was first reported by a conservative Catholic magazine.
Kim Davis apparently spoke with Robert Moynihan, founder of the Catholic magazine Inside the Vatican. His website has largely been down due to the influx of traffic since he published her storyTuesday evening. He was not present, but he tells Davis’ story in his own words, oddly emphasizing that it was kept secret because it would spark controversy, but that it definitely happened:
The meeting is a fact, and facts are the material of which reality is composed, and human beings, though they cannot, as T.S. Eliot said, bear very much reality, strive nevertheless to live in reality. And reality cannot be understood without knowledge of the facts. Of what really happened.
Moynihan also explained that there is, to his knowledge, no recording or photographs of the conversation. But, he insisted that “Vatican sources have confirmed to me that this meeting did occur; the occurrence of this meeting is not in doubt.”
The Vatican will neither confirm nor deny that the meeting occurred, and says it will not issue any further comment.
After fielding repeated late-night inquiries form reporters, the Vatican announced Wednesday morning that they could neither confirm nor deny the alleged meeting happening, saying they wouldn’t comment further. ThinkProgress received a similar response from the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See: “The embassy does not deny that the meeting took place, but will not make any further comments on the subject.”
Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, later told the New York Times that he “did not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no other comments to add,” which led the New York Times to conclude that he had “confirmed the meeting.” To BuzzFeed, Lombardi said that, “yes,” the meeting took place — an apparent confirmation — but then repeated the line, “I don’t deny the meeting has taken place. but I have no comment to add.” According to David Gibson of Religion News Service, “it wasn’t actually a ‘yes’.”
The response is highly unusual for the Vatican, which typically either denies false accusations or issues additional details and transcripts of the pope’s visits with dignitaries — and even everyday people. However, the Vatican has been tight-lipped about at least one private meeting in the past: In January, the Vatican refused to confirm a private meeting between Pope Francis and a transgender man, although the rendezvous was widely covered in the press.
In addition, the Vatican’s close-hold on information appears to contradict the Liberty Counsel’s claim that the Holy See would be releasing images of the meet up in the near future.
The alleged meeting was not long.
Both Kim and her husband Joe Davis were present for the meeting. According to her account to Moynihan, Pope Francis spoke in English with no interpreter, they hugged, and he gave them both rosaries that he had blessed. They promised each other that they’d pray for each other. “Thank you for your courage,” he allegedly said. “Stay strong.” That was all that happened.