Pope Francis and President Obama
Pope Francis and President Obama

Like many others who watched the TV news as Pope Francis visited the US in the last week of September, 2015, I was thrilled about how well his introduction to our country and its peoples seemed to go. I genuinely enjoyed observing him take extra time to interact and touch children with special needs. Here was an important religious leader who was reaching out and touching the hearts of many with humility, his kindness, generosity, love along with his gracious words of tolerance, acceptance and inclusion. He managed to spend ample time with the homeless and prisoners. He presented himself as the epitome of one providing service with selflessness.

He lifted our spirits only to have them dashed when the story became public about Pope Francis having a meeting with Kim Davis. Ms. Davis is the Kentucky clerk who recently became a cause célèbre for the right when she was jailed for contempt because she refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, as required by law, due to her religious faith. In addition, she barred her other employees from doing this task.


The tale of this meeting does not end here. After a lot of research and collection of data, I was able to put the pieces of a puzzle together to detail a more fleshed out story. This will not diminish the fact that the meeting took place but it does allow for the very real possibility that Pope Francis was innocent and that he may have been deliberately set up by the conservative wing of his church.

And here is the rest of the story….

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born on 12/17/1936 where he grew up in Argentina’s cosmopolitan city, Buenos Aires. His Italian parents fled Italy when Mussolini came to power. The family moved to Flores, a solidly middle-class neighborhood.


Mark Binelli writes about Jorge Bergoglio who became the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church, in a 1/28/14 Rolling Stone article, titled, “Pope Francis: The Times They Are A-Changin’:”

“Bergoglio studied chemistry at a technical school, worked in a laboratory, moonlighted as a bouncer at a Buenos Aires bar, loved soccer and dancing the tango. Then, at 17, while meeting some friends, he walked past a church and had an epiphany. In an interview with a Buenos Aires radio station, Bergoglio described feeling “like somebody grabbed me from inside and took me to the confessional. . . . While I was there I felt that I had to become a priest, and I didn’t doubt it.”


(This man rose through the ranks of the church to become to become Pope Francesco (Francis) on March 13, 2013 which was a complete surprise to himself.) The Rolling Stone story continues:

“By all accounts, the papal conclave that elevated Bergoglio assumed it was electing a fairly anodyne compromise candidate. Cardinals liked the idea of a pope from Latin America, one of the Church’s leading growth markets. They also responded well to a stirring three-minute speech Bergoglio gave during the conclave, in which he said the Church, in order to survive, must stop “living within herself, of herself, for herself. But he gave no other indication that he’d be any kind of change agent.”


(The Hardliners within the Vatican Walls quickly regretted this vote.)

” By eschewing the papal palace for a modest two-room apartment, by publicly scolding church leaders for being “obsessed” with divisive social issues like gay marriage, birth control and abortion (“Who am I to judge?” Francis famously replied when asked his views on homosexual priests) and – perhaps most astonishingly of all – by devoting much of his first major written teaching to a scathing critique of unchecked free-market capitalism.”

“Even before the ordinance Pope Francis, the Vatican had been rife with infighting and strife among the Vatican insiders.”

The following information is from Bishop Leaks Reveal Bitter Vatican Power Struggle, by Ella Ide, Daily Star, May 29, 2012:

“A group of cardinals has begun to act on a very ambitious aim: to take the secretary of state, and then, conquer the conclave (the assembly which elects a new pope) with a chosen pope among them,” said La Repubblica newspaper.”

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Papal Nuncio
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Papal Nuncio

“The leaked documents have shed light on many Vatican secrets, including the Church’s tax problems, child sex scandals and negotiations with hardline traditionalist rebels.”

“Although they do not reveal any great surprises, the secret papers have lifted the lid on deep-seated venom among rival figures in the Vatican.”

Apostolic Nuncio_Carlo Maria Vigano
Apostolic Nuncio_Carlo Maria Vigano

“Leaks in January revealed a bitter battle between Bertone and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano,who had been attempting to clean up the Vatican’s finances when he was removed from his post.”

“Vigano wrote to the pope and begged not to be punished for rooting out examples of favours, waste and financial mismanagement which set the Vatican back millions of euros (dollars) in higher contract prices — but to no avail.”

“What is worse is that this letter was leaked to the Italian press!”

This is when the Archbishop Carlo Vigano was relocated to Washington DC to be the Papal Nuncio which is a prestigious assignment but not equal to his prior job as the Vatican’s mayor.

Pope Francis US visit with gay couple, who were married in 2010, Yayo Grazzi, Iwan Bagus and family
Pope Francis US visit with gay couple, who were married in 2010, Yayo Grazzi, Iwan Bagus and family

The Papal Nuncio in his Washington DC post, Carlo Vigano has let his hardline attitude effect how he manages same-sex marriage issues in the United States.

LGBT Catholic advocates who spoke to BuzzFeed News which published their story  by J. Lester Feder on 8/27/15 tell the following:

“Several archdioceses have recently imposed policies restricting teachers in Catholic schools from expressing support for marriage equality and several have fired gay and lesbian faculty members who have married. But advocates said they knew of no other archdiocese that required parents of students to sign what they say amounts to a morality agreement.”

Attorney Matt Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, and author of 2004 book “Same Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk.”
Attorney Matt Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, and author of 2004 book “Same Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk.”

“The new policy comes shortly before Pope Francis is due to visit the United States and attend an event called the World Meeting of Families, and LGBT advocates say this new policy appears to be a direct attack by Paprocki on Francis’s more inclusive tone towards LGBT people. There has also been a wave of firings of LGBT faculty from Catholic schools ahead of the pope’s visit, including a teacher at a primary school just outside Philadelphia with the blessing of Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput. The Philadelphia Archdioceses will host the pope’s visit to a church-organized World Meeting of Families at the end of September.”

“This is clearly the rejection of children of same-sex couples and contradicts the welcome that all should experience in our church,” wrote leaders of the LGBT Catholic organization Dignity USA, in a letter protesting the policy to the pope’s representative to the United States, Apostolic Nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò. The group noted that the pope has said that baptism should not be denied to the children of same-sex couples and the same logic should dictate welcoming these children into Catholic schools.”

“Paprocki became infamous among LGBT Catholics after he held an “exorcism” service as Illinois Governor Pat Quinn enacted a marriage equality law in 2013. Dignity USA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke told BuzzFeed News that Paprocki and the Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput are “choosing their moment to roll [hardline policies] out on the eve of the pope’s visit to the U.S.” to send a message to the pontiff.”

Kim Davis Attorney Matthew Staver, President of Liberty Counsel, and author of the 2004 book “Same Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk.”
Kim Davis Attorney Matthew Staver, President of Liberty Counsel, and author of the 2004 book “Same Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk.”

Next onto the stage of life, enters the attorney for Kim Davis, Matthew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, and author of the 2004 “Same Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk.”

The news and its partnership with Davis have thrust the organization into its most visible perch to date, bringing Liberty Counsel within proximity of a global celebrity on the most publicized trip of his papacy. “I am fully aware of the timing,” Staver said, adding later, “I understand it’s a huge event.”


This is what Terrence McCoy writes about Liberty Counsel in a 9/30 Washington Post article:

“But among critics, the mounting prominence of Liberty Counsel has resurrected the ghosts of past battles in which they say the group veered from religious activism to demagoguery and defamatory rhetoric against gays. This is a group that has advocated gay conversion therapy. It’s a group that fears opening up the Boy Scouts to gay scout leaders has forged a “playground for pedophiles.” A group led by a man who links promiscuity with homosexuality.”

“The group, which launched in 1989 and has ties to the late televangelist Jerry Falwell Sr., has long straddled the fault lines dividing American society on gay rights, endearing it to some and riling others.”


“But now, amid historic support for same-sex marriage Liberty Counsel also represents how such groups are trying to reframe the debate on terms more sympathetic to their cause. It’s no longer about marriage equality. It’s about religious freedom.”

“What they’re saying isn’t just  matters of opinion,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow of the Southern Law Poverty Center, which in 2010 designated Liberty Counsel a “hate group.” “These are falsehoods, and have the effect of defaming a very large group of people which has the opportunity to subject them to violence. It gives people permission to believe that gay people are insidious characters who deserve to face violence.”

Wikipedia reports the following:

“Staver received his B.A. in theology from Southern Missionary College, his M.A. in Religion from Andrews University, and his J.D. from the University of Kentucky. He has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States twice and has argued before most of the federal court of appeals. Staver served as Liberty University’s law school dean from 2006 to 2014”


“He authored nine books, including Faith and Freedom: A Complete Handbook for Defending Your Religious Rights, Religion and the Future of America, Religious Expression in Public Schools, Judicial Tyranny; Political Activity of Nonprofit Organizations, Union Membership and its Constitutional Implications, Take Back America, and Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk.”

NOW THE PLOT THICKENS …as both religious hardliners, the attorney, Mark Staver and the Papal Nuncio, Carlo Vigano, meet in April, 2015.

Jason Horowitz in the 10/2/15 NY Times article writes the following about this introduction:

“Mr. Staver said a conservative deacon, Keith Fournier, introduced him to Archbishop Vigano back in April before speaking at a National Organization for Marriage rally on the Washington Mall in opposition to same-sex marriage. As Mr. Staver descended from the stage, Archbishop Vigano made a point to “thank me for my message,” the lawyer said.”



Fortuitously, the attorney, Matthew Staver met his “made to order” client Kim Davis around the beginning if September, 2015.

This is what Brian Tashman of the “Right Wing Watch” writes on Thursday, 9/3/2015:

“Davis has now become a figure that Liberty Counsel uses to claim that Christians in America are not only facing oppression, but have no need to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage. If Davis can defy the courts, Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver argues, then other elected officials can turn their counties into “sanctuary cities” safe from gay marriage. “If they come out with a decision that is contrary to God’s natural created order,” Staver said before the court ruled in Obergefell, “I personally will advocate disobedience to it … and collectively, we cannot accept that as the rule of law.”


Then comes the miraculous opportunity for the religious right to color the debate around “religious freedom” and to undermine the same-sex marriage equality law by arranging a “greet and meet” between Pope Francis and Kim Davis. And so, the Papal Nuncio, Carlo Vigano extended an invitation to Kim Davis to be included in an audience group of Catholics.

After this fateful time spent between Pope Francis and Kim Davis in September 2015, it was her lawyer, Matthew Stover who leaked this story for the mutual self serving purposes of himself, his client Kim Davis and the Papal Nuncio, Carlo Vigano to the detriment of Pope Francis’ message of tolerance and inclusion.


The Pope, his message, the Catholic LGBT families, the LGBT community in general and peoples like myself who were uplifted by his demeanor have been grievously harmed by these hardliners’ Machiavellian orchestration of these events.

To counter the continued escalation of this story, the Vatican has released press reports indicating that Pope Francis was completely unaware of circumstances surrounding Kim Davis; has detailed the interaction as being brief because he had many other waiting visitors to greet; explained that he does not want this event to reflect the Pope’s implicit approval of her actions; explained that the invitation was not from the Pope; and that the Pope did personally invite a former gay student and his family to spend some real personal  time with him during his US visit.

In 2016, when the Papal Nuncio, Carlo Vigano turns 75 years old, he will have to tender his resignation which will be accepted with no allowance for exceptions.

Dear Reader, Please believe that it is possible for Pope Francis to be an innocent party in this tale of subterfuge and intrigue?

UPDATE: This blog was updated on 10/4/15.


Accused of fabrication, the lawyer representing Kim Davis…/accused-of-fabrication-the-lawyer…10/4/15- Staver’s firm, which revealed County Clerk Kim Davis‘ secret … Online sleuths quickly debunked the Peru story Staver told at the Values Voter …

‘This is not like him’: Kim Davis meeting shocks Pope › World › Pope Francis –10/04/15 – Grassi said that after the Davis story came out and he was contacted by the media, he thought: “Perhaps this is the time to defend him.


  1. The #1 villain is Pope Benedict. It doesn’t matter anymore what kind of excuses and rationalizations the Vatican gives. Pope Francis’ visit of goodwill is now tainted. That he met with Davis was a fact… it was the one true event that happened…. the reasons behind it cannot be confirmed as facts.

    Im a practicing Roman Catholic who shed tears during his visit…… now, all I feel is betrayal..

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are not alone in your feelings! Probably most folks will ditto your thoughts. Here’s the rub. If the Pope is an innocent in all of this and was truly set up, then those like the Papal Nuncio, Carlo Vigano and the lawyer for Kim Davis, Mat Staver are guilty of grievous harm. If I choose not to believe Pope Francis, they win in undermining his message of inclusion and tolerance, etc. If I choose to give the Pope the benefit of the doubt, then these two villains lose. I don’t believe that we will ever know what really happened.These two have no possibility of being innocent because their past deeds and their own words damn them. The Pope does have the possibility of being innocent and his past words and deeds do not demonstrate a history of duplicitous actions.

      Having formerly been in an executive position. I have experience in dealing with folks who are sycophants to your face while they are doing their best to undermine your leadership. If I had been placed in a situation to where I had to defend my innocence, I would expect my past history of being trustworthy, reliable, fair, competent, decent etc. to hold me in good stead even if I couldn’t produce absolute evidence to confirm my version of events.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent!! I knew it … great job!! Can’t say it enough!! I’m sharing this …. I have to help spread this info.
    Personally, like another reader, I feel betrayed for three reasons: my Catholic upbringing, my hope for the Catholic Church including me & the fact that I’m a legally married member of the LGBT community. Thank you, dear friend, that you!!


    • You helped with this story. I just wrote on your blog on the above the following:

      Your ambivalence matches what my follower renxkyoko said and how most of the readers will react and rightfully so. There has been real harm done. I used to tell folks who tried to justify actions with excuses, the following. It makes no difference what your intentions were to the victim recently harmed. To the person run over by a car, it means little that there may have been mitigating circumstances until this person recovers and is made whole.

      In my mind, the story doesn’t end here until Pope Francis takes responsibility for this meeting with the actions of an innocent person such as apologizing publicly to the LGBT community and others who have been so disappointed and hurt. It was one of his own who was his Judas and Brutus, Archbishop Vigano along with Mr. Staver.
      Reply ↓

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    …… here are the details of what happened prior to the Pope’s visit with Ms. Davis and the players in this incident … Make your own decision with these facts! I’m still “on the fence” and so disappointed!!


    • GRAZIE MILLE!!! Thanks a million for your continuous support and for this reblog. I’m hoping that Pope Francis has the courage to publicly apologize that this meeting occurred, period.


      • I’m not seeing him apologizing for meeting anyone that was set up by his underlings, now the Bishop/Cardinal (I’ve heard it one one or the other) who arranged this farce should apologize.


        • To my way of thinking, the guilty guy, Papal Nuncio, Archbishop, Carlo Vigano is not the kind of man of character who would ever apologize. This would be like Ted Cruz apologizing for shutting down the government which harmed the economy just to stick it to President Obama.I would have the Pope apologize for the genuine harm done to those believing in his message.This subterfuge was orchestrated by one of his own. Then I wouldn’t wait for the required resignation letter by Archbishop Carlo Vigano when he turns 75 years old in 2016. Frequently the resignation letter is ignored, so the cleric can choose to stay in his job. In this case, I can say with 100% certainty, that his letter of resignation will NOT be ignored.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I have no doubts about the integrity of Pope Frances, because his innocence in the situation completely fits the patterns of his behaviour, writings, and public statements, to date. At the same time, I’d put absolutely nothing past that morbidly obsessed anti-gay crowd. Simple 🙂


    • WELCOME!!! I appreciate this positive feedback. I am hoping that others genuinely hurting because of this event will at least consider that the Pope could have been duped. However, even I who am openly willing to do this expect Pope Francis to act to alleviate the pain caused by these hardliners. The fruit of this gesture would tell more than any claims of innocence.

      Liked by 1 person

        • To my mind the Church still has a long way to go on this issue as well as others. I compare what the Pope is going through, like what Ted Cruz and folks have been doing to President Obama. Reform is not going to be an easy process.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    The Pope is the leader of a Church that still holds very Conservative views regarding sex and sexuality.

    I am gay and I have been fighting for gay liberation and gay rights for my entire life.

    When are we ‘liberals’ going to learn that we can’t have everything.

    We can’t elect Democratic Presidents and give them a Republican Congress and then complain when they can’t fulfill their entire agenda.

    We can’t refuse to vote and then complain when the other side wins and thinks that it has won a mandate.

    This Pope has restored hope to billions of people who are sickened and silenced by U.S. conservative economic dogma and political decadence.

    It is essential that people believe that their lives are worth more than whatever the minimum wage is in your state or nation.

    It is essential that our children be educated, housed and fed.

    It is essential that we stop sending the mentally ill to their deaths on our streets while calling it a symptom of their illness,

    It is essential that all of us have access to medical care and some kind of social safety net that gives us a chance to learn new skills and find new ways to thrive as our life spans become longer.

    I have read that this Pope never says no to a request for an audience.

    If KIm Davis asked for a secret meeting than the Pope probably agreed to it.

    Touting the meeting as favorable sounds like right wing spin.Why would a Christian who practices the Gospel be less patient with Kim Noble than he was with John Boehner who is actually more dangerous because he has real power.

    If he asked John Boehner to pray for him than what would he ask of Kim Noble?

    He is the international leader of a global Christian denomination.

    How convenient it is for us to toss out his entire message because Pope Francis didn’t adhere to an unwritten piece of liberal dogma that is so much easier for us to focus on.

    Same Sex marriage is a secular issue and we will win that battle in a secular court of law.

    I suggest that we go back to what the Pope said in his speech to Congress and to his extensive encyclical let Kim Davis slouch back home to obscurity.

    Even is he were not innocent he is innocent, given that he has absolutely no reason at all as a Pope to embrace same sex marriage. He has already supplied us with what he thinks as a Christian: “Who am I to judge.”


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