Friday, October 02, 2015

The Vatican Rushes to Distance Pope Francis from Kim Davis/Liberty Counsel

Mat Staver and his wife - professional Christian liars and parasites?
I have been pretty hard on Pope Francis since he ascended the throne of St. Peter, but especially so since word of his purported meeting with batshit crazy modern day Pharisee (and 4 times married serial adultery) Kim Davis.  Now, in an unusual step, the Vatican has basically called Davis and her parasitic lawyer Mat Staver liars and totally rejected their version of the fact.  Per the Vatican, Davis was merely in a receiving line thanks to the efforts of right wing extremist US Papal Nuncio Carlo Vigano (a Nazi Pope appointee) - Joe Jervis reports that Vigano may be fired - and that Davis never had any private meeting with Francis.  Personally, having followed Staver's anti-gay activities for over 15 years, if the man's lips are moving, the safest bet is to assume that he is lying.  As for Davis herself, she is living in a fantasy world where her wishes magically become reality.  Further arguing that Davis and Staver are lying is the fact that it has now been confirmed that Francis DID have a private meeting with a gay couple.  This unfolding take down of Davis and Staver has some of the usual suspects (e.g., Ben Shapiro at Breitbart) engaging in shrieks and spittle flecked rants.  The Advocate looks at the Vatican's quick efforts to kick Davis to the gutter.  Here are excerpts:

Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi is disputing Liberty Counsel's version of the meeting between renegade antigay county clerk Kim Davis and the pope, saying people shouldn't read too much into it.

After Davis recounted the experience to ABC News and her attorney, Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver, claimed the pope told the defiant antigay clerk to "stay strong," the Vatican now says Pope Francis did not talk about Davis's defiance of federal law in denying same-sex couples marriage licenses. In fact, the Vatican claims that Davis's audience with the pope wasn't even a private meeting, as she and Staver have repeatedly claimed.

“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,” Lombardi said in a prepared statement this morning. “Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.”

An unidentified Vatican official told Reuters the Holy See had a "sense of regret" that Pope Francis had any face time at all with the anti-gay clerk. . . . He also rejected Davis's claim that the pope spent 15 minutes speaking with Davis and her fourth husband, Joe. "There simply was not enough time" during the pope's six-day tour of the country, he said.

According to Chicago's WBBM TV, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich also denied the meeting was requested, and a source inside the Vatican told the television station the pope was "blindsided." According Vatican officials, Davis met the pope as part of a receiving line of "dozens" of people, although Davis's attorney disputes that claim.

Staver, who leads the right-wing Liberty Counsel, a certified anti-LGBT hate group, told the Associated Press that Davis was invited by the papal ambassador and was picked up at her hotel by a car dispatched by the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C.
An adviser to Pope Francis has claimed on Twitter that the pontiff was "exploited" by Davis and her attorneys, calling it a “meeting that never should have taken place.”

This wouldn't be the first time Liberty Counsel has been caught in a fabrication about international support for Davis. Earlier this week, leaders in the right-wing group were forced to admit that a photo they claimed showed 100,000 people praying for Davis in Peru was a fake after ThinkProgress blogger Zack Ford exposed the fraud.
Staver and his wife are enjoying a very nice income peddling hate and bigotry.  Indeed, they make far more each year as parasites bringing bogus law suits for Christofascists than do the majority of decent, honest attorneys.  It should also be noted that, in my view, Staver should have been criminally indicted for his likely involvement in the Lisa Miller kidnapping - something that may have led to his "voluntary resignation" as dean of Liberty University's law school.  My experience in both politics and business has been that no one lies more or is more unscrupulous than "the godly folk" who wear their religion on their sleeve.   One can only hope that the Vatican denunciation helps hasten the end of Staver's snake oil legal practice.

The New York Times has this in part on the role of the Papal Nuncio in setting up the possible ambush fro Francis:

Mr. Staver, for his part, said he had been briefly introduced to Archbishop Viganò in April, when he spoke at a large rally in Washington against same-sex marriage, before the Supreme Court ruled on the issue.

Archbishop Viganò is turning 75 in January, the age at which bishops must submit a formal request to the Vatican asking for permission to resign. These requests are not automatically accepted, and bishops often stay in their appointments well past age 75. But if Archbishop Viganò is held responsible for what is seen as a grave misstep on an important papal trip, he is likely to be removed at the first respectable opportunity, according to several church analysts.

“Nobody in the Catholic Church wants another Regensburg,” said Massimo Faggioli, an associate professor of theology and director of the Institute for Catholicism and Citizenship at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. He was referring to the backlash after Pope Benedict XVI, Francis’ predecessor, gave a speech in Regensburg, Germany, that appeared to denigrate Islam.

[T]he 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?”

The meeting with Ms. Davis was clearly a misstep, Dr. Faggioli said, “because the whole trip to the United States he very carefully didn’t want to give the impression that he was being politicized by any side.”

He added, “And this thing is the most politicized thing that you can imagine.”

I and I suspect many others will be watching to see if Vigano's resignation is quickly accepted.  Do I trust the Vatican to be honest?  No, but I trust Staver even less.  He needs to keep in the limelight to keep the cash rolling in. God forbid that he and his wife have to get real jobs. 


Stephen said...

The papal nuncio to the US, Carlo Maria Viganò, can easily be retired in January, when he reaches retirement age of 75. Perhaps he'll be moved earlier.

EdA said...

It should be noted that The Advocate's author of this piece, as well as of so many others, is Bil Browning, founder and long-term editor and chief contributor of The Bilerico Project, now sadly gone. But though regretting the loss of the Project, I am so glad that Bil has been able to continue providing our community with the benefits of his talent and commitment.