It has emerged that the Vatican will likely fire Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, for setting up a meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to LGBT couples.
The Pope’s recent visit to the United States has sparked the debate about gay marriage and the Church, with some criticizing the Pope for supporting Davis’s position on the keenly contested issue. Currently, many people believe this issue is responsible for gradually tearing the Church apart.
According to an anonymous insider at the Vatican, the Pope was not happy meeting with Davis. As a result, the Vatican administration is considering dismissing Archbishop Viganò for the unilateral decision that was made without the consent of the Pope.
According to a statement made by the Vatican press office, the Pope’s meeting with Davis was not meant to be interpreted as an endorsement of her views, but rather a simple exchange of pleasantries between the Pope and a group of admirers, one of whom happened to be Davis.
“The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis, and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” the Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement.
The statement also added that the brief meeting “has continued to provoke comments and discussion,” and that the statement on the issue is intended to provide clarification “in order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired.”
The Vatican also emphasized that the only one-on-one meeting that Pope Francis had during his time in Washington DC, was with Yayo Grassi, a gay man who was a former student of the Pope some years back.
From all angles, it appears the Vatican does not support the position of Davis and the Pope was not quite happy to meet her. In addition, the Archbishop is expected to be held responsible for the controversies and the criticisms that have been caused by the Pope’s encounter with Davis.
The New York Times has said Archbishop Viganò is “likely to be removed at the first respectable opportunity” if the pressure from the meeting with Davis continues to build in the Church in the days ahead.
Theologians have said the Vatican is handling the issue of gay marriage cautiously in order to prevent gay people from feeling that they have no place in the church.
A theology professor, Dr. Massimo Faggioli, was quoted by the New York Times as saying, “The pope has to be able to rely on his own system, and in this case the system failed him. The question is, was it a mistake, or was it done with full knowledge of how toxic she was?”
Dr. Faggioli, also added that the Pope carefully structured both his trip and his speeches in order to avoid being politicized by any particular faction. However, as the Archbishop’s actions seem to have politicized the Pope’s trip, the Church is likely to act.
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