(Associated Press report below my comments)
It is significant that Pope Francis met with Kim Davis for almost 15 minutes at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, DC and that Kim, her husband and lawyer were able to get in and out without any detection.
It is significant that Pope Francis met with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, DC given their battle with President Obama who want them to provide abortion and artificial contraception coverage for their employees' health insurance.
His little gestures speak loud and clearly without shrill language especially in the case of Kim Davis whose advocacy for natural marriage has been loud and clear.
When one reads Laudato Si, one realizes that Pope Francis basis his entire encyclical not only on the environment, but on human relationships on natural law. When we poke natural law in the eye by having dominion over it rather than cooperating with it, it brings damage to our relationship with God, with each other and the environment. Everything is inter-related. The pope has powerful words about this concerning the human embryo all the way to the most guilty in our midst.
He offers hope--the mercy of God that leads to conversion and the healing of our relationship with God, each other, the environment and natural law. At the core of this conversion is the acknowledgement of our sin, both Original and Actual that contributes to the crisis we see in the interrelated relationships of God, people and environment.
Enshrining unnatural sex into a civil institution and calling it marriage is part and parcel of the ecological crisis we are experiencing. It is no wonder Pope Francis met with Kim Davis as her heroic battle to set things aright plays deeply into Pope Francis' vision for a world where the ecological rift is healed through pro-active human activities to set things aright!
But the gay political lobbies which have effectively marginalized Christians in their efforts to prevent the ecological disaster of so-called same-sex marriage thought they had a benign ally in Pope Francis as do those in the abortion industry.
In fact Pope Francis decries the politics and economies that exploit the ecology of God, people and the environment and has the harshest words for them.
But this is the Associated Press's take on the "mistake" that Pope Francis made in allowing an audience to Kim Davis and her husband:
Observers question pope’s support for defiant clerk’s viewsBY CLAIRE GALOFARO AND RACHEL ZOLL Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The private meeting Pope Francis held with defiant Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is a strong papal endorsement of religious resistance to gay marriage, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he approves of how she’s waged her fight, experts said Wednesday.
The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said their encounter in Washington last Thursday was private. Out of deference to the Vatican, Davis’ attorney, Mat Staver, would not say how it was arranged. The Vatican essentially confirmed it, without further comment.
Davis said she grasped the pope’s outstretched hand, and he told her to “stay strong.”
Davis refused to issue any marriage licenses in Rowan County, Ky., rather than comply with the Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide. She served five days in jail rather than resign. Some of her deputies now issue licenses without her authority, and she claims they are invalid.
“Just knowing that the pope is on track with what we’re doing and agreeing, you know, it kind of validates everything,” Davis told ABC News.
But Vatican observers say that’s reading too much into the visit.
“You can’t take his presence with somebody as his affirmation of everything that they stand for,” said Cathleen Kaveny, a theologian and legal scholar at Boston College. “He thanked her for her courage and told her to stay strong. That’s a commitment to her voice in the conversation. I don’t think it’s necessarily commitment to her policy views.” (wishful thinking, but the pope's gestures as we have learned is the way Pope Francis communicates in a very powerful way.)
Staver’s revelation that Francis met his Apostolic Christian client at the Vatican Embassy after speaking to Congress provided a stunning coda to the pope’s triumphant visit, which ended Sunday.
Francis largely steered clear of culture war issues, telling the U.S. bishops to avoid “harsh and divisive” language despite the challenges they face in society. (We see here, the Pope not using harsh and divisive language, but making his point another way, through a kind gesture!)
From the start of his six-day tour, Francis encouraged Americans to preserve religious freedom, but did so among a list of many other issues.
Davis and her husband met with the pope for less than 15 minutes, Staver said.
That’s puzzling to Francis DeBernardo, who runs the New Ways Ministry, which seeks acceptance for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender Catholics.
The pope had turned away a crush of advocacy groups lobbying to see him, and held some meetings, including with donors to Catholic schools and heads of Catholic nonprofits. That he carved out even a few minutes in his event-packed schedule for Davis was noteworthy, DeBernardo said.
“It throws a wet blanket on the goodwill that the pontiff had garnered during his U.S. visit last week,” DeBernardo said.
Two years ago, Francis said “Who am I to judge?” when asked about a supposedly gay priest, but he has also affirmed marriage is between a man and woman. He didn’t emphasize church teaching on marriage during this trip because he wanted to offer a “positive” message about families to America, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told reporters.