The Vatican issued an unusual statement to distance itself from the Kentucky County Clerk who has been using her meeting with Pope Francis to suggest Pope Francis supported her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
The "brief meeting" during the pope's visit to Washington, D.C., was not a "real audience" with the pope and was only one of dozens "due to the Pope's characteristic kindness and availability."
A anti-same-sex marriage group that provides public relations and legal help for Davis quoted the pope telling Davis "Thank you for your courage" and "Stay strong" during a 10-minute meeting at the Vatican's embassy in Washington, D.C., Thursday September 24, 2015.
Davis told ABC News meeting the pope gave her a renewed sense of purpose. "I was crying. I had tears coming out of my eyes," she said. "I'm just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me."
She spent six days in jail last month after being found in contempt of court for defying a judge's order to issue same-sex marriage licenses to comply with June's Supreme Court order on the matter. Davis cited "God's authority" in her refusal.
Mike Huckabee, who has used Davis' case to bolster his GOP presidential bid among conservative Christians, boasted about the pope's supposed endorsement of Davis when word of the meeting first broke.
While the media elites were slobbering b/c @Pontifex commented on climate change, he held a quiet & powerful meeting w/ a humble KY clerk.-- Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) September 30, 2015
The full Vatican statement on the pope's meeting with Davis:
"The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC has continued to provoke comments and discussion. In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points:
"Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope's characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.
"The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects."
Lead Stories' Trendolizer scours social networks globally for the hottest content on Pope Francis, Kim Davis and same-sex marriage. Scroll down to see the latest.