The day before Pope Francis met with Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, he paid a visit to a same sex couple. During his tour of the U.S., the pope had a private meeting with a friend, originally from Argentina, who has been in a same sex partnership for 19 years.
The friend, Yayo Grassi, with the company of his partner, Iwan Bagus, as well as a few other friends, attended a private meeting at the Vatican Embassy on September 23rd. CNN reports, that Grassi had a private interview, with the news outlet. Grassi declined to give many details, but did confirm that the meeting between the two was arranged personally, via email, week before Pope Francis’ visit.
The meeting between the two comes shortly after the mixed response to the discovery that Pope Francis met with Kim Davis, the Kentucky Clerk who refused marriage licences following marriage equality legislation. Conservatives took the visit as an endorsement for Davis’ actions, while liberals were unsure how informed the pope was about the issue.
The two meetings have forced the Vatican to release short statements, with the intention to remove political intent from the pope’s action.
Grassi stated that the Pope Francis has known that he was gay for years, and has never looked down on his relationship or orientation. Grassi also wants to draw attention to the meeting, “to show truth of who Pope Francis is.” The pope ended the meeting with hugs and kisses on the cheek, to both men.
Pope Francis has advocated for mercy over judgement, for his duration as pope. In October, the Vatican will hold a meeting, in which they will discuss how to minister to gay and lesbian individuals, as well as other modern Catholic issues.