Kim Davis’ Lawyer Claims She Had Secret Meeting With Pope, He Said ‘He Would Pray For Me’

Attorneys for Rowan County clerk Kim Davis claimed Tuesday that she had a secret meeting with Pope Francis during his trip to America — and he supposedly told the defiant county clerk to “stay strong” and that he would pray for her, reports NBC News.

The supposed meeting occurred in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, on the same day of the pontiff’s speech to a joint session of Congress, according to Liberty Counsel, which has represented Davis in her legal battles.

In a statement released by Liberty Counsel, Davis says she and her husband, Joe, met face to face with Francis at the Vatican Embassy in D.C.

“Who am I to have this rare opportunity? I am just a county clerk who loves Jesus and desires with all my heart to serve him,” Davis said in the statement. “Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong.'”

The statement continues:

“The Pope spoke in English,” she told me. “There was no interpreter. ‘Thank you for your courage,’ Pope Francis said to me. I said, ‘Thank you, Holy Father.’ I had asked a monsignor earlier what was the proper way to greet the Pope, and whether it would be appropriate for me to embrace him, and I had been told it would be okay to hug him. So I hugged him, and he hugged me back. It was an extraordinary moment. ‘Stay strong,’ he said to me. Then he gave me a rosary as a gift, and he gave one also to my husband, Joe. I broke into tears. I was deeply moved.

“Then he said to me, ‘Please pray for me.’ And I said to him, ‘Please pray for me also, Holy Father.’ And he assured me that he would pray for me.”

NBC News could not immediately verify Liberty Counsel’s statements with the Vatican, adding:

But Francis appeared to back Davis when asked about the issue during his return flight from the U.S. on Monday. He said people, including government workers, have the right not to do something in which their conscience objects. He did not specifically mention Davis by name.

“I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right,” the pope reportedly said.