The top-secret meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis reached an inspirational high as the Pontiff asked the embattled Kentucky clerk to pray for him and she asked the same of him, Davis' lawyer Mathew Staver tells Newsmax TV.
"He thanked her for her courage and he said 'stay strong.' He asked Kim Davis to pray for him," Staver said Wednesday to J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan on "Newsmax Prime."
"He held out his hands, she clasped his hands, and she said she will. And she also asked Pope Francis to pray for her.
"She was really overwhelmed by that meeting because he was such a gentle, kind, and caring individual."
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The cloak-and-dagger secrecy shrouding the meeting — which occurred last Thursday at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C. — was instituted to avoid a media frenzy, according to Staver.
"The Pope had planned his meetings and his messages to the United States here for many, many months. We did not want to interfere with that messaging," he said.
"We didn't want the focus to be on Kim Davis and certainly Kim Davis did not want that focus to be on her. She never has wanted the focus to be on her.
"Once he returned to Rome and was there for a couple of days, it was at that point we ultimately released the information."
The meeting itself, Staver added, was only between the Pope, Davis and her husband, Joe.
Davis has become the center of national attention for her defiance of a federal court order to issue same-sex marriage licenses and was jailed.
But the meeting focused only on faith.
"It wasn't about political issues or the litigation or anything of that nature," said Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel.
"There's no question Kim has become a symbol of the right to religious freedom and conscience. As Pope Francis said, it's a human right and we need to wherever possible respect that and accommodate people of faith….
"That's our ultimate goal, to make sure that she and others have the right to a freedom of conscience and religious freedom."
Davis said she isn't judging gay people who want to wed, but sought an accommodation from the Kentucky state legislature when she assumed office in January so she wouldn't have to issue licenses without denying same-sex couples the right to have them.
She didn't succeed, and the U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.
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