Report: Pope Francis Met With Kim Davis

 

From the NYT:

Pope Francis met secretly in Washington last week with Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who defied a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, her lawyer said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. Francis gave her rosaries and told her to “stay strong,” the lawyer said. Ms. Davis and her husband, Joe, were sneaked into the Vatican Embassy by car on Thursday afternoon, according to Ms. Davis’s lawyer, Mathew D. Staver. The couple met for about 15 minutes with the pope, who was accompanied by security, aides and photographers. Mr. Staver said he expected to receive photographs of the meeting from the Vatican soon.

It continues:

The pope did not mention Ms. Davis by name [while visiting the United States, nor during an interview on his flight back], but added, “Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise, we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, ‘This right, that has merit; this one does not.’ ”

While in Washington, Francis also made an unscheduled stop to see the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of nuns that is suing the federal government over the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate.

Published in Domestic Policy, Religion & Philosophy
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  1. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Already the left is furious at “their” Pope over this. To me, the stop to see the Little Sisters of the Poor was more appropriate and important.

    • #1
  2. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Concretevol:Already the left is furious at “their” Pope over this.To me, the stop to see the Little Sisters of the Poor was more appropriate and important.

    And the right was just as mad when they thought the Pope paid no attention to this.

    They can both go pound sand in my book.

    • #2
  3. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    I’m happy for Kim Davis. She’s had a tough and lonely row to hoe standing for her right not to violate her conscience. This must have been a great encouragement to her.

    • #3
  4. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    Over at the Corner Jim Geraghty asks:

    If the meeting didn’t happen, isn’t Davis… what’s the term I’m looking for… ah, bearing false witness against her neighbor? And if she is telling the truth, why is Pope Francis hanging her out to dry by refusing to confirm the meeting?

    My guess is that the Pope met with her to encourage her personally and privately. It wasn’t a political gesture. Whether she tells her story is her decision.

    His declining to confirm isn’t hanging her out to dry, it’s protecting the nature of the visit as personal. It was about her, not him.

    I read at the Daily Mail the other day that the Pope also made an unannounced visit to a family of four in Delaware that were poisoned by a pesticide in their vacation condo.

    • #4
  5. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Good news. But this bit is mistaken, if common:

    “Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise, we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, ‘This right, that has merit; this one does not.’ ”

    We have always had a situation in which we select what is right. That’s called law.

    Your conscience regards how you will answer to God. It does not free one of civil laws. A conscientious objector must be prepared to face the consequences of rejecting civil law.

    Like the very idea of “religious liberty”, it’s just a play on words. There is only liberty. All “religious” means is that a person takes the matter very seriously because it touches on core values.

    If a practice is particularly important to many people, then we should consider it carefully before obstructing it with laws. But our laws must align with truth and true justice. If Christians are unwilling to assert our own general perception of truth in civil laws, then we are as bad as multiculturalists.

    General Napier didn’t care that suttee was a religious practice. It was evil, so he ended it. Should he have allowed some of his soldiers to sit that one out?

    • #5
  6. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Aaron Miller: We have always had a situation in which we select what is right. That’s called law. Your conscience regards how you will answer to God. It does not free one of civil laws. A conscientious objector must be prepared to face the consequences of rejecting civil law. Like the very idea of “religious liberty”, it’s just a play on words. There is only liberty. All “religious” means is that a person takes the matter very seriously because it touches on core values. If a practice is particularly important to many people, then we should consider it carefully before obstructing it with laws. But our laws must align with truth and true justice. If Christians are unwilling to assert our own general perception of truth in civil laws, then we are as bad as multiculturalists. General Napier didn’t care that suttee was a religious practice. It was evil, so he ended it. Should he have allowed some of his soldiers to sit that one out?

    ^Like.

    • #6
  7. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    Aaron Miller:Good news. But this bit is mistaken, if common:

    We have always had a situation in which we select what is right. That’s called law.

    Your conscience regards how you will answer to God. It does not free one of civil laws. A conscientious objector must be prepared to face the consequences of rejecting civil law.

    I agree that the objector must be ready to face the consequences. But that doesn’t touch the Pope’s point, which is that just laws will  make room for conscientious objectors, because the right not to violate one’s conscience is a fundamental human right, like the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    In other words, laws and judicial acts that punish a person for refusing to violate their conscience are unjust laws and acts.

    • #7
  8. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    • #8
  9. The Forgotten Man Inactive
    The Forgotten Man
    @TheForgottenMan

    Jim Geraghty has an updated report at NR the corner indicating that the Vatican has confirmed the meeting  with Kim Davis and the Pope took place.  The Vatican would not comment beyond the confirmation.

    • #9
  10. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    katievs: In other words, laws and judicial acts that punish a person for refusing to violate their conscience are unjust laws and acts.

    Which would suggest to me that the remedy is repealing as many of those laws as possible rather than making carve-outs.

    • #10
  11. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    katievs: In other words, laws and judicial acts that punish a person for refusing to violate their conscience are unjust laws and acts.

    Which would suggest to me that the remedy is repealing as many of those laws as possible rather than making carve-outs.

    Well perhaps. But until the laws are repealed, human beings have a natural right, explicitly guaranteed in our Constitution, to a religious accommodation.

    • #11
  12. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Aaron Miller:Good news. But this bit is mistaken, if common:

    We have always had a situation in which we select what is right. That’s called law.

    Your conscience regards how you will answer to God. It does not free one of civil laws. A conscientious objector must be prepared to face the consequences of rejecting civil law.

    Entirely incorrect.

    Religious accommodation IS the law.

    Why do people keep forgetting that in the context of Kim Davis’ case?  Particularly the Judge who jailed her.

    • #12
  13. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re comment # 3

    My ears are from here on in and forevermore closed to a single negative word about Pope Francis. Whatever he doesn’t know about economics or climate change are insignificant details. He gets the big picture—religious freedom. That’s what matters. You Catholics should be proud of this Pope. And if you aren’t there’s something wrong with you.

    • #13
  14. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    katievs: In other words, laws and judicial acts that punish a person for refusing to violate their conscience are unjust laws and acts.

    Which would suggest to me that the remedy is repealing as many of those laws as possible rather than making carve-outs.

    When I entered the military, it was recognized that one could be a “conscientious objector” and could still serve in the military, most often as corpsmen and medics.  Not required to carry a weapon.  Fine people and good servicemen.

    Why is this important?  One was not forced to violate one’s conscience and one was not required to avoid service to one’s country.  It worked for both parties.

    • #14
  15. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    Aaron Miller:Good news. But this bit is mistaken, if common:

    We have always had a situation in which we select what is right. That’s called law.

    Your conscience regards how you will answer to God. It does not free one of civil laws. A conscientious objector must be prepared to face the consequences of rejecting civil law.

    Like the very idea of “religious liberty”, it’s just a play on words. There is only liberty. All “religious” means is that a person takes the matter very seriously because it touches on core values.

    If a practice is particularly important to many people, then we should consider it carefully before obstructing it with laws. But our laws must align with truth and true justice. If Christians are unwilling to assert our own general perception of truth in civil laws, then we are as bad as multiculturalists.

    General Napier didn’t care that suttee was a religious practice. It was evil, so he ended it. Should he have allowed some of his soldiers to sit that one out?

    Exactly.  If religious freedom in a given society is exemplified mainly be exemptions from generally applicable laws, something is very wrong.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a beneficiary of such an exemption, seeing all your fellow citizens under the burden of an unjust law while you have a pass.

    • #15
  16. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    Tommy De Seno:

    Aaron Miller:Good news. But this bit is mistaken, if common:

    We have always had a situation in which we select what is right. That’s called law.

    Your conscience regards how you will answer to God. It does not free one of civil laws. A conscientious objector must be prepared to face the consequences of rejecting civil law.

    Entirely incorrect.

    Religious accommodation IS the law.

    Why do people keep forgetting that in the context of Kim Davis’ case? Particularly the Judge who jailed her.

    Tommy, you know I think the world would benefit from a whole post by you on this subject.  One of the reasons people keep forgetting this is that you haven’t given them a good concise summary of the point.  ;-)

    • #16
  17. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Lucy Pevensie:

    Tommy De Seno:

    Aaron Miller:Good news. But this bit is mistaken, if common:

    We have always had a situation in which we select what is right. That’s called law.

    Your conscience regards how you will answer to God. It does not free one of civil laws. A conscientious objector must be prepared to face the consequences of rejecting civil law.

    Entirely incorrect.

    Religious accommodation IS the law.

    Why do people keep forgetting that in the context of Kim Davis’ case? Particularly the Judge who jailed her.

    Tommy, you know I think the world would benefit from a whole post by you on this subject. One of the reasons people keep forgetting this is that you haven’t given them a good concise summary of the point. ;-)

    You think too much of me!

    • #17
  18. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    I had a comment, but Aaron beat me to it.  Well said.

    • #18
  19. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Tommy De Seno:

    Aaron Miller:Good news. But this bit is mistaken, if common:

    We have always had a situation in which we select what is right. That’s called law.

    Your conscience regards how you will answer to God. It does not free one of civil laws. A conscientious objector must be prepared to face the consequences of rejecting civil law.

    Entirely incorrect.

    Religious accommodation IS the law.

    Why do people keep forgetting that in the context of Kim Davis’ case? Particularly the Judge who jailed her.

    These accommodations have limits.  You may not agree with where they have been set, but these laws largely leave it to the judiciary to determine where such accommodations are reasonable and where they are not.

    None of what you have said impacts Aaron’s comments.

    • #19
  20. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    donald todd:

    Tom Meyer: Which would suggest to me that the remedy is repealing as many of those laws as possible rather than making carve-outs.

    When I entered the military, it was recognized that one could be a “conscientious objector” and could still serve in the military, most often as corpsmen and medics. Not required to carry a weapon. Fine people and good servicemen.

    Why is this important? One was not forced to violate one’s conscience and one was not required to avoid service to one’s country. It worked for both parties.

    Making accommodation for religious/conscience objections is immanently sensible in many cases.

    My concern, however, is that our decision to codify such things into law has allowed bad laws to linger by removing only the parties most harmed by it generally invites the government to try to evaluate the quality of our convictions.

    • #20
  21. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    donald todd:

    Tom Meyer: Which would suggest to me that the remedy is repealing as many of those laws as possible rather than making carve-outs.

    When I entered the military, it was recognized that one could be a “conscientious objector” and could still serve in the military, most often as corpsmen and medics. Not required to carry a weapon. Fine people and good servicemen.

    Why is this important? One was not forced to violate one’s conscience and one was not required to avoid service to one’s country. It worked for both parties.

    Making accommodation for religious/conscience objections is immanently sensible in many cases.

    My concern, however, is that our decision to codify such things into law has allowed bad laws to linger by removing only the parties most harmed by it generally invites the government to try to evaluate the quality of our convictions.

    It’s not just sensible, it’s required, by both natural law and our constitution.

    • #21
  22. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    There will often be need for legal exceptions. I don’t object to the use of prudential judgment to make reasonable allowances for special cases. As the Donald’s example demonstrates, it is often possible to circumstantially amend a legal duty and reach a reasonable compromise.

    In the case of Kim Davis, a compromise was possible, though rejected by the judge. But exceptions cannot, by definition, be common. Otherwise, social classes become legal divisions. The scenario involving Davis is very common.

    My original point was that the religious nature of an objection to law does not automatically make that objection justifiable.

    Any legal system ultimately depends upon a dominant set of common principles. The problem at the heart of the Davis case is that Obergefell represents principles which only half of American citizens share. No ideas about religious liberty will spare our nation the challenge of agreeing on a basic, legally enforceable definition of marriage.

    • #22
  23. iDad Inactive
    iDad
    @iDad

    I’m glad to hear this.

    • #23
  24. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    Tom Meyer, Ed.

    Making accommodation for religious/conscience objections is immanently sensible in many cases.

    My concern, however, is that our decision to codify such things into law has allowed bad laws to linger by removing only the parties most harmed by it generally invites the government to try to evaluate the quality of our convictions.

    If national defense could see the sense of permitting conscientious objectors to operate in the military including during times of war, finding a method for conscientious objection for other duties, including elected duties, should be sensible as well.

    Equally, the people who merely wanted tolerance when they weren’t backed by the government and the judiciary, now want compliance without regard to the consciences of the people they no longer want tolerance from.  Conformity or jail?  Conformity or fines?  Hefty fines so that nobody misses the message.   Soviet tolerance or Article 58 is enforced.

    • #24
  25. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Aaron Miller:There will often be need for legal exceptions. I don’t object to the use of prudential judgment to make reasonable allowances for special cases. As the Donald’s example demonstrates, it is often possible to circumstantially amend a legal duty and reach a reasonable compromise.

    In the case of Kim Davis, a compromise was possible, though rejected by the judge. But exceptions cannot, by definition, be common. Otherwise, social classes become legal divisions. The scenario involving Davis is very common.

    My original point was that the religious nature of an objection to law does not automatically make that objection justifiable.

    Any legal system ultimately depends upon a dominant set of common principles. The problem at the heart of the Davis case is that Obergefell represents principles which only half of American citizens share. No ideas about religious liberty will spare our nation the challenge of agreeing on a basic, legally enforceable definition of marriage.

    Your last comment was wrong on the law (your assertion that a religious person has to accept the consequences of civil law  –  the whole point of the statutes are to allow them to avoid those consequences).

    This time you are wrong on the facts.   The religious accommodation Kim Davis sought has yet to be granted or denied by the legislature there.  The Judge has not ruled on it.

    • #25
  26. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I didn’t know this was April 1st . . .

    • #26
  27. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Concretevol:Already the left is furious at “their” Pope over this.To me, the stop to see the Little Sisters of the Poor was more appropriate and important.

    Amen, Bro.  What leader wouldn’t meet with the oppressed during any state visit, say to Cuba?  The U.S.?

    Oh, it’s this Pope . . .

    Pope John Paul II set the bar high, coming from a country that had lived under socialist/communist oppression for so many years (Poland).  This current Pope embraces those oppressive political systems, and denigrates the one economic system (capitalism) that has actually alleviated poverty worldwide . . .

    • #27
  28. Paul Dougherty Member
    Paul Dougherty
    @PaulDougherty

    Apparently a visit with dissidents is possible.

    • #28
  29. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Your last comment was wrong on the law (your assertion that a religious person has to accept the consequences of civil law  –  the whole point of the statutes are to allow them to avoid those consequences).

    Not to mention St. Thomas More, St. John Fisher, John the Baptist Beheaded (what were they beheaded for again?)

    • #29
  30. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Tommy De Seno: This time you are wrong on the facts.   The religious accommodation Kim Davis sought has yet to be granted or denied by the legislature there.  The Judge has not ruled on it.

    There has been no final ruling. But Kim Davis was imprisoned for contempt… for continuing to exercise her supposed freedom of conscience while awaiting that final ruling.

    A federal judge has ordered a defiant Kentucky clerk to jail after she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

    U.S. District Judge David Bunning told Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis she would be jailed until she complied with his order to issue the licenses.

    She has since been let go. But is it not significant that she was jailed at all?

    • #30
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