Pope Francis did not endorse Kim Davis during meeting in US, Vatican claims

The Vatican issued a rare statement on Friday 

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The Independent Online

The Vatican has denied Pope Francis endorsed Kim Davis during a private meeting in the US. 

Davis, a staunch Christian, was arrested for refusing to grant wedding licenses to gay couples after same-sex marriage was legalised nationwide in the US. 

The Vatican confirmed Francis had met with the controversial county clerk during his first official trip to America while the pontiff was visiting the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington.

Davis claimed Francis had praised her courage and told her to “stay strong” - a statement widely considered to be a display of support. 

In a rare statement addressing the claims on Friday, The Rev Federico Lombardi  stressed their brief meeting should not be considered a show of support for her position, “in all of its particular and complex aspects”. He said Francis met with a number of people invited by the Nunciature to greet him.

“Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability," he said. "The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family."