Big Story: Pope Francis and Kim Davis

'Funny or Die' Video Spoofs Pope's Meeting with Kim Davis

How did a thrice divorced non-Catholic with a history of adultery and not "doing unto others..." get a date with Pope Francis? It's simple. She used PopeMeet.

Proving again that the Internet can beat "Saturday Night Live" to the punch, a new "Funny or Die" video launched Thursday offered a satirical take on the outrage many Americans felt this week upon learning that Pope Francis held a clandestine meeting with anti-gay Rowan County clerk Kim Davis during his recent trip to the United States.

According to the view, Kim Davis' meeting with Pope Francis was arranged through PopeMeet, the new app that matches the Pope with everyday Americans for one-on-one meetings -- as long as they aren't any of the volunteer workers, humanitarians, or devout Catholics you may think deserve it!

Gay Former Student of Pope Francis' Speaks Out

(AP) The pope's meeting with Washington resident Yayo Grassi, his boyfriend and a few others came to light Friday as the Vatican was distancing itself from claims the pope's meeting with the clerk, Kim Davis, was an endorsement of her stance on same-sex marriage.

Grassi, 67, met Francis more than 50 years ago when the future pope taught at his all boys’ school in Argentina. They reconnected in 2008, and since becoming Pope Francis has since met him and his boyfriend of 17 years twice, once in Rome and most recently in Washington, Grassi said.

Grassi, spoke with The Associated Press at his home Saturday.

He said he told friends who were quick to criticize that they should not rush to judgment and that he didn't think they had all the facts. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, declined to say who invited Davis or what the pope knew of her case but such encounters are arranged by the Vatican ambassador and his staff, not the pope's delegation or the U.S. bishops' conference.

Grassi said "Here is this guy that is so much into integrating everybody, communicating with everybody," Grassi said, adding he was "500 percent sure" the pope did not initiate the meeting with Davis.

On exchanging e-mail with Pope Francis, then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, when the country was debating legalizing same-sex marriage, which it did in 2010:

"I remember reading excerpts from the press saying that Cardinal Bergoglio had said ... things that were extremely negative. I immediately thought 'This is not like the Bergoglio that I know, not the person that I loved so much when I was growing up,'" he said.

Petition Calls on Vatican to Fire Official Behind Kim Davis Meeting

(EDGE) A petition is being circulated to have Pope Francis fire the Vatican ambassador (apostolic nuncio) who many believe purposefully invited Kim Davis to meet with the Pope in an effort to embarrass the liberal-leaning pontiff.

After days of speculation, the truth has finally come out: Pope Francis did not hold a private meeting to express his support for Kim Davis's efforts to block gay marriage licenses.

According to an official Vatican statement, Kim Davis was among "several dozen persons" attending a reception at the Vatican embassy, "the pope did not enter into the details of the situation," and "his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support."

Moreover, it seems that the pope did not request Kim Davis be invited.

According to press reports, one man was likely responsible for Davis's invitation: Carlo Maria Vigano, a conservative church official who was appointed by Pope Benedict as Vatican ambassador to the United States (formally called the "apostolic nuncio").

Having created an opportunity for right-wing evangelicals to dishonestly hijack the message of the pope's visit to the United States, Faithful America, a group that fights against anti-LGBT discrimination within the Catholic Church is calling for Vigano to resign.

Faithful America is the largest and fastest-growing online community of Christians putting faith into action for social justice. "Our members are sick of sitting by quietly while Jesus' message of good news is hijacked by the religious right to serve a hateful political agenda," reads their website. "We're organizing the faithful to challenge such extremism and renew the church's prophetic role in building a [freer] and just society."

Read the full petition at www.FaithfulAmerica.org

Pope Aims to Assure Conservatives Marriage Doctrine Safe

(AP) Pope Francis sought Tuesday to assure conservatives that Catholic doctrine on marriage is safe, as a three-week meeting of bishops began hashing out how the church should welcome gays, divorcees and other Catholics in "irregular" unions.

Francis took the floor Tuesday morning after the meeting's first day was marked by a speech from the synod manager, Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo, in which he closed the door on any movement on whether Catholics remarried outside the church could receive Communion.

Francis told the 270 cardinals and bishops that the issue wasn't the only one on the table and that church doctrine was never up for question. But he also seemed to discount Erdo's commentary by saying the only "official" documents heading into the debate were a final report issued from a big meeting of bishops last year, where the issue of Communion was left up in the air, and two of his speeches.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, echoed that by noting that the synod is debating a papally approved working text, where the question of Communion for civilly remarried Catholics is still open.

Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, who heads the synod's information commission, said the issue remains open as a pastoral question.

"There was the affirmation of the pope on what Catholic doctrine on matrimony is," Celli told reporters. "But I believe that if the work of the 'fathers' ended with yesterday morning's speech (by Erdo), what are we doing here?"

Church teaching holds that Catholics who divorce and remarry without a church annulment are committing [adultery] and therefore cannot receive the sacraments. Francis has called for a more merciful, inclusive approach in the church's pastoral care, but conservatives insist Catholic doctrine is clear.


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