NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A lawyer for Kim Davis tells CBS News the controversial court clerk from Kentucky met briefly with Pope Francis during his trip to the United States last week.
Davis was in Washington, D.C. at the time to pick up an award from a conservative group, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
Her attorney, Mat Staver, told CBS News that Davis and the pontiff met briefly on Sept. 24 at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C.
More: CBS News
Staver said during the meeting, which lasted just a few moments, the pope thanked Davis for her courage and told her to stay strong.
Francis asked Davis to pray for him and she asked the pontiff to pray for her, Staver told CBS News.
Pope Francis also gave Davis a rosary that he had blessed, Staver said.
Davis spent five days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Staver told the digital news service CBS-N the meeting was in keeping with the pope’s support for religious liberty.
“He is someone who stands with those individuals who are standing on their religious convictions,” he said. “That religious freedom is a worldwide message that the Pope wants to convey.”
On his return flight to Rome, Francis was asked about government officials who refuse to sign off on gay marriage. He didn’t mention Davis specifically, but said conscientious objection was a “human right,” Aiello reported.
Pope Francis’ first trip to the U.S. last week included a stop in New York City, which featured a prayer service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, an address to the United Nations General Assembly, an interfaith prayer service at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, a stop over at a Catholic school in East Harlem, a processional through Central Park and Mass at Madison Square Garden.