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The Vatican Confirms That Pope Francis Met Privately With Kim Davis

Davis told ABC News that the pope told her to 'stay strong.'

By Paige Gawley

The Vatican verified on Wednesday (Sept. 30) the reports that Pope Francis met privately with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis on Thursday (Sept 24).

Though, in the first statement from Father Benedettini at the Vatican press office, the meeting was neither confirmed nor denied.

"The Holy See is aware of the reports of Kim Davis meeting with the Holy Father. The Vatican does not confirm the meeting, nor does it deny the meeting. There will be no further information given," the first statement reads.

And then, just hours later Father Benedettini released a second statement that read: "I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I will not comment on it further."

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Davis told ABC News that Pope Francis thanked her for her courage, gave her a hug and gifted her two rosaries during their meeting.

“I'm just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me,” Davis told ABC News.

According to Davis's attorney, Mathew Staver, the meeting lasted for approximately fifteen minutes and was arranged following a call to Davis from a church official.

Davis made headlines this summer when she refused to issue marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky following the Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. She did this referencing her religious beliefs and it resulted in her spending six days in jail.

Davis, who told ABC News that she "had tears coming out of [her] eyes" during the meeting, is now back at work at the clerk's office.

“He told me before he left, he said, ‘stay strong,' That was a great encouragement," Davis told ABC News. "Just knowing that the pope is on track with what we're doing, it kind of validates everything to have someone of that stature.”