Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Harriet Sherwood, and Calla Wahlquist in The Guardian this morning on the secret meeting Pope Francis is said to have held with Kim Davis:
If Francis was trying to portray an image of a pope that was floating above America’s culture wars, his apparent meeting with Davis puts him right back on the battleground, and conservatives will feel cheered by it.
That's correct: if this meeting did take place, it's designed to give cheer to conservatives like Reverend Huckabee and Mat Staver and the right-wing evangelicals who follow them. These are folks who have absolutely not a scintilla of respect for pretty papal words about healing a broken world, reaching out to those on the margins of society, exercising mercy and refraining from fanaticism and fundamentalism.
If Pope Francis met with Kim Davis, he has effectively erased all those pretty words for many members of the American public who have any knowledge at all about what Huckabee, Staver, and Davis stand for. As a Facebook friend of mine who's an ordained UMC minister has written to say to me this morning,
This is way too much "interference" from the pope! Our Supreme Court ruled and that should be the end of it. I was generally quite pleased with the pope's visit. I especially liked his speech before Congress and mention of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. What to do now? This will only embolden the haters. I am so disappointed!
Color me disappointed, too, if the story is true. Color me downright disgusted.
If it's true, I will not listen again with respect to any word Pope Francis utters. And I suspect I'm far from alone in concluding this.