The Vatican has reportedly signed off
on a statement disputing allegations made by a former Vatican
official against Pope Francis.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who in
his former capacity as the Vatican's ambassador to the United States
arranged a private meeting between Pope Francis and Kentucky clerk
Kim Davis in 2015, on Friday claimed that the pope knew who Davis
Davis fought to keep her office from
issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Amid a firestorm of protest, the
Vatican asserted that the Holy Father was caught off guard by the
“What is certain is that the pope
knew very well who Davis was, and he and his close collaborators had
approved the private audience,” Vigano wrote.
Vigano asserted that he personally
briefed the pope on Davis' case in a memo and that the pope
“immediately appeared in favor” of a meeting but asked Vigano to
clear the meeting with his top adviser.
Vigano wrote that Pope Francis
“affectionately embraced” Davis during the meeting and “thanked
her for her courage and invited her to persevere.”
The meeting, held at the Vatican
Embassy in Washington, threw a wrench into Pope Francis' message of
The Reverend Federico Lombardi and his
assistant, the Rev. Thomas Rosica, issued a joint statement disputing
Lombardi and Rosica met with Vigano the
day after he spoke with the pope on October 9, 2015. They quoted
Vigano as saying that the pope chastised him for “deceiving” him.
They said the pope was critical that Vigano had withheld the fact
that Davis had been married four times.
Lombardi said that Vigano, who is known
for his opposition to marriage equality, should have known that such
a meeting would be controversial.
has also claimed that Pope Francis protected a “predator”
Rosica said that the joint statement
was shared with Vatican officials, but that they were not involved in