Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis stirred up enough religious noise that even Pope Francis had to sit down with her.
Reverend Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, confirmed to Buzzfeed News that Davis, who defied a court order to issue marriage license to same-sex couples, met privately with the pontiff during his trip to Washington, D.C. last week.
"I don't deny the meeting has taken place. but I have no comment to add," Lombardi said.
Their meeting was rumored to have happened after Davis' account of the incident was first published by Dr. Robert Moynihan, the editor and founder of Inside The Vatican. The piece was later publicized on the Liberty Council's website. Davis told Moynihan that the pair had seen each other in private in the afternoon of Sept. 24—the same day the pope made his address to Congress.
The next day, Davis was awarded the Cost of Discipleship award at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit in honor of her actions surrounding her initial incident—the original reason for her trip to the city, according to Moynihan.
After Davis was brought to the Vatican Embassy along with her husband, Moynihan said the pope thanked her in English for her courage and presented her and her husband with a pair of blessed rosaries.
"Stay strong," Moynihan claims he told Davis as he held out his hands and asked her to pray for him. According to the account, Davis obliged and asked for the same in return.
Davis's attorney, Mathew Staver, said in a telephone interview with USA Today that the meeting lasted around 15 minutes long. No photographs of the meeting have been released as of yet.
Davis rose to notoriety following the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage over the summer. She continually failed to issue marriage licenses to gay couples "under God's authority," citing her Apostolic Christian faith and religious liberty as the reason behind her objections. She was later issued a court order which she continued to ignore until she was arrested for contempt of court and released five days later.
The pope addressed the entire ordeal during a gaggle with reporters on the papal plane on the return flight to Rome, declaring that government workers may object to their duties if they have a "conscientious objection" to it because that is their "human right."