Our View: What did the pope say to Kim Davis?

KS Editors

A story spread throughout the media Tuesday that Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reportedly had a secret meeting with Pope Francis while he visited the United States.

The news surprised many, who did not understand how the pope, who has commented on everything from global warming to human rights, preaching a progressive message of love and peace for humanity, could meet with Davis. Many did not believe the story was true.

The Vatican initially refused to comment on the alleged meeting, but on Wednesday, it confirmed the meeting, though no details were provided on what they discussed.

Davis said the pope told her to stay strong and thanked her for her courage.

We do not understand why the pope met with Kim Davis. As a government employee, Davis is legally obligated to uphold the law, regardless of her religion. The United States has a separation of church and state, and we believe the pope should respect that.

The fact that the Vatican initially refused to comment on the meeting and now refuses to say what was discussed adds to the confusion.

A religious leader meeting with a religious follower is perfectly acceptable, but Davis broke the law, and Pope Francis should not congratulate her for doing so, regardless of how their religion factors into it.

While the pope is not obligated to follow American law and might support Davis as a conscientious objector, he should not attempt to usurp the law with religion in a nation with a separation of the two.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of The Kent Stater editorial board, whose names are listed above.