A spokesman for the Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis met Kim Davis during his visit to Washington.
“I do not deny that the meeting took place,” Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office, said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
According to a statement released by the Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty law firm representing Davis, Francis met with Davis and her husband, Joe, at the Vatican Embassy on Sept. 24.
“I was humbled to meet Pope Francis. Of all people, why me?” Davis said in the statement. “I never thought I would meet the Pope. Who am I to have this rare opportunity? I am just a County Clerk who loves Jesus and desires with all my heart to serve him. Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong.'”
According to the Liberty Counsel, Francis presented the couple with a pair of rosaries that he blessed. Davis will give them to her parents, who are Catholic.
Davis, the embattled Rowan County clerk who became the face of a national controversy over her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has argued that issuing licenses with her name on them to these couples would violate her conscience. Davis, a recent convert to Christianity, believes in traditional marriage.
Her critics have argued that she is discriminating against same-sex couples by refusing to issue marriage licenses to them.
Francis spoke of the necessity of “safeguarding religious freedom” during his address to a joint session of Congress.
The Daily Signal previously reported that during his time in Washington, Francis also made an unscheduled visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who have filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration to gain an exemption from its mandate that employers provide coverage for birth control and abortifacient drugs in their health insurance plans.