Because Kim Davis had become a public figure championed by many people for many reasons not necessarily her own (who knows?), the Vatican needed to acknowledge that as it welcomed her as an individual. The truth is that some people who champion her are not only against gay marriage in the secular state but are those who promote hate and prejudice against the gay and lesbian community. Yes, Pope Francis met with Yayo Grassi, a gay man AND his partner– a fact that addresses the issue of consistency regarding his stance of being welcoming and promoting dialogue. But without clarifying that and qualifying the Davis visit, opportunities for misinterpretation and politicizing of her visit became rife. Kim Davis is a public figure, whereas Mr Gassi is not. Had Mr. Gassi been a public figure, the playing field would have been more balanced.
I would like to affirm and promote Pope Francis’ insistence on ongoing dialogue. A Church that promotes love, charity and that preaches against prejudice and hatred, must always be open to hear all sides, all perspectives to inform her pastoral response. Love requires a listening stance. Of course the Bible is an essential source in the conversation but by no means can it be an exclusive one. If the Church took every verse of the Bible on an absolute literal level (without honoring context, Church Tradition and the latest in biblical scholarship) adherents could justify prejudice against all kinds of people. Tragically, they have throughout history. In other words, without ongoing dialogue with all kinds of people and all branches of knowledge such as psychology, anthropology along with the Bible, and peoples’ experiences, the Church would condone all kinds of bigotry and hatred in God’s name–just pick your verse. As for those who adhere to a strict literal interpretation of all Biblical prohibitions, even they admit to various criteria for prioritizing them. In truth, most acknowledge that charity and love toward others must always prevail whatever they may choose for themselves. God bless them. God bless us all.