Pope Francis has finally made moves to replace the Vatican’s U.S. ambassador that blindsided him with a surprise meeting with controversial, anti-equality county clerk Kim Davis.
For any of you who may need a little reminder, Kentucky-native Davis was the county clerk made famous when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Despite the fact that same-sex marriage was legal in the state of Kentucky that she worked in, Davis felt that she had the right to refuse to do so because of her religious beliefs. She was eventually jailed (and later released), but the Kentucky Governor ultimately decided to remove clerks’ names from the licenses as a way to quell the controversy (it didn't do much).
Of course, to some, Davis was considered a hero, a true Christian American fighting the good fight against those horrible same-sex couples that just want that damn piece of paper. It’s just like the Oregon bakery that refuse to take orders from some lesbian hippies that wanted a damn cake at their wedding. The audacity! Only straight couples get to enjoy scrumptious, sugary cakes at their celebrations of love!
The whole issue became relevant again when Pope Francis, quite possibly one of the most notoriously liberal Pope’s the Vatican has seen in decades (if not centuries), had an unexpected visit with her when he came to the United States.
Those who originally supported Davis’ efforts against the LGBT were not only awe-struck but completely thrilled at this show of support by the Vatican. Davis even claimed that the Pope had told her to “stay strong,” which many took to mean that she should stay strong in her anti-equality efforts.
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However, reports emerged shortly after this “visit” that it was actually the Vatican’s nuncio (ambassador) to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò that had sent an anonymous invitation to Davis, and that the Pope didn’t speak with her about her “situation” at all.
“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,” Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a prepared statement. “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.”
Now, new reports are emerging that say that the Pope has finally found the best way to replace Viganò.
According to Daily Kos, “Viganò turned 75 in January; when bishops and archbishops reach that age, they are required to submit a letter of resignation to the Vatican.”
This is what is known as a “statutory retirement age,” and it allows the Pope to quietly accept his resignation and replace him with someone more suited to his Catholic values.
Now rumors are swirling that the Pope is looking to replace Viganò with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, a French-born clergyman and an advocate for immigration.
The announcement of the new Ambassador will not be made until the Obama administration has agreed to the new nuncio’s appointment, but it is expected to happen before Easter.
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