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 was.

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 meeting.

“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 inclusion.

The Reverend Federico Lombardi and his assistant, the Rev. Thomas Rosica, issued a joint statement disputing Vigano's assertions.

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.

Vigano has also claimed that Pope Francis protected a “predator” cardinal.

Rosica said that the joint statement was shared with Vatican officials, but that they were not involved in its drafting.