The Vatican issued a statement Friday that said Pope Francis’ Sept. 24 meeting with Kim Davis in Washington, D.C., was not a direct endorsement of her views.
The 15-minute encounter between the pope and Davis, the Rowan County, Ky. clerk who was briefly jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, was part of several dozen encounters the Vatican Embassy, also called the Nunciature, had arranged to take place in D.C. right before the pope’s trip to New York City.
“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,” Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement released Friday.
The statement attempts to clarify a meeting that many took to mean the pope decided on a stance in the gay marriage debate in the U.S. Lombardi said that these brief meetings were typical for papal visits.
“The only real audience granted by the pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family,” he said.
Earlier in the week, Davis said the pope gave her two rosaries and told her to “stay strong.”
“Just knowing the pope is on track with what we’re doing, and agreeing, you know, kind of validates everything,” Davis told ABC News on Wednesday.
Davis’s lawyer, Mat Staver, released a statement Friday that said the pope’s meeting with Davis indicated “support for the universal right of conscientious objection.”