It appears that Pope Francis knew who Kim Davis was when he met with her in 2015, according to a former Vatican official.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò responded to an account from Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean survivor of sexual abuse, in a New York Times article claiming otherwise.
Cruz stated that Francis, in an audience with Holiness, told his that Viganò smuggled Davis into a private meeting at the Vatican Embassy in Washington D.C., and at the time the Pope did not know who Davis was at the time.
Francis discovered the controversy surrounding Davis (the Kentucky clerk who refused to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples) “I was horrified and I fired that nuncio,” said Francis, in Cruz's account.
From 2011 to 2016 Viganò served as the nuncio, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States. Archbishop Christophe Pierre replaced him after the media firestorm sparked by the meeting with Davis. This meeting could have derailed Francis’s visit to the U.S.
In a letter published on the conservative website LifeSite, Cruz’s claims "Faced with the pope’s reported statement, I feel obliged to recount the events as they really unfolded," he wrote in a three-page statement.
"One of them is lying: either Cruz or the pope? What is certain is that the pope knew very well who Davis was, and he and his close collaborators had approved the private audience," he stated.
Davis and her attorneys from the Liberty Counsel announced in September 2015, that “Kim Davis and her husband met with Pope Francs, who her to “stay strong.”
The announcement was headline news for weeks and in response, Vatican officials stated that: “The session was not private — the Davises were among several dozen people in a papal reception— and that the pope did not discuss the details of her situation.”
“His meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” a Vatican spokesman said at the time.
In August Viganò called for the Pope to resign, saying that the Pope knew about allegations that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually abused boys and young men but failed to take action. Francis has not responded to the accusations.
Viganò's letters came as the Catholic Church is under heavy scrutiny when a report reviled that leaders possibly covered up nearly 1,000 instances of child abuse by clergymen in Pennsylvania. Viganò like many conservatives in the church blames gay men for the culture of abuse. It is assumed that Viganò and others are politically motivated, especially when Pope Francis said: "Who am I to judge?" after he was asked about gay priests.
Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University told slate: “Viganò is just using the Western church, and American Catholicism, and the shock caused by the revelations against Cardinal McCarrick, to make his own personal case against the Vatican, which expelled him and didn’t make him a cardinal.”