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Vatican: Pope Francis meeting with Kim Davis not an endorsement

The Vatican said Friday that Pope Francis did not specifically seek a meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, and that their encounter did not represent an endorsement of her views, according to reports.

Davis, the Rowan County clerk who became a grassroots conservative hero after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, was one of "several dozen" individuals invited by the Vatican ambassador to meet with Francis at the Holy See embassy in Washington last week, said spokesman Federico Lombardi.

"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," Lombardi said in a statement.

He added: "The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family."

Davis spent five September days in jail for defying a court order to issue same-sex marriage licenses following this year's landmark Supreme Court ruling. Social conservatives, including 2016 GOP presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, rallied to her cause.

Huckabee was among those who applauded news of her meeting with Francis when it broke earlier this week.

"While the media elites were slobbering all over themselves because Pope Francis commented on climate change, the pope was having a quiet and powerful meeting with a humble Apostolic county clerk from Kentucky," Huckabee said Tuesday.

An unnamed Vatican official told Reuters there was a "sense of regret" within the Holy See over the meeting.

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