Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Had Secret Meeting With The Pope05:20
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Kim Davis, the Rowan County Clerk of Courts, is pictured at the County Clerks Office on September 2, 2015 in Morehead, Kentucky. (Ty Wright/Getty Images)
Kim Davis, the Rowan County Clerk of Courts, is pictured at the County Clerks Office on September 2, 2015 in Morehead, Kentucky. (Ty Wright/Getty Images)

A Kentucky clerk who went to jail for defying a federal court's orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses says she met briefly with the pope during his historic visit to the United States.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, didn't deny the encounter took place but said Wednesday in Rome that he had no comment on the topic.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her husband met privately with Pope Francis on Thursday afternoon at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., for less than 15 minutes, said her lawyer, Mat Staver.

"It was really very humbling to even think that he would want to meet me or know me," Davis said in an interview with ABC.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, spent five days in jail earlier this month for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In a telephone interview late Tuesday, Staver would not say who initiated the meeting with the pope or how it came to be, though he did say that Vatican officials had inquired about Davis' situation while she was in jail. He declined to name them.

"He told me before he left, he said `stay strong.' That was a great encouragement," Davis said of the pope during the ABC interview. "Just knowing that the pope is on track with what we're doing and agreeing, you know, it kind of validates everything."

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This segment aired on September 30, 2015.

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