Justice

Pope Francis Met With A Gay Atheist Before Meeting Kim Davis

A day prior to meeting embattled Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, Pope Francis met with and hugged his former student, Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man from Argentina.

CNN reports that Grassi brought his buddies and partner, Iwan Bagus, to the Vatican Embassy in Washington D.C. last week. The video below shows the pope and Grassi embracing in a hug.


"Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug," Grassi told CNN.

The pope's meetings with Grassi and Davis have intrigued many, as Davis recently came under fire for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses in Rowan County, regardless of the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Rev. Federico Lombardi said on Friday that the pope's interaction with Davis "should not be considered a form of support of her position."

While Davis gushed about the engagement with Francis during a Good Morning America interview, Lombardi said she was one of "several dozen" people invited to the Vatican Embassy for the pope's visit. He described the encounter as "brief."

Lombardi added that "the only real audience granted by the pope at the nunciature (embassy) was with one of his former students and his family." 

Grassi told CNN that he was this student, as Pope Francis taught him literature and psychology classes at Inmaculada Concepcion in the 1960s. Grassi is currently an atheist, and he says the pope has never judged him for his sexuality. Traditional Catholic views often run counter to the gay lifestyle.

"I want to show the truth of who Pope Francis is," he said. "He has never been judgmental. He has never said anything negative. Obviously he is the pastor of the church and he has to follow the church's teachings. But as a human being he understands all kinds of situations, and he is open to all kinds of people, including those with different sexual characteristics."