Pope Gave Official Audience to Gay Couple During DC Visit

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his weekly general audience at St Peter's square on September 30, 2015 at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read
Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Even as Vatican is denying Pope Francis met privately with Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, details are emerging that, while in Washington D.C., the Pope met privately with a gay man and his lover.

In denying that Davis met with the Pope, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said “the only real audience the Pope granted by the Pope at the Nuncaiture was with one of his former students and his family.”

Yayo Grassi, along with his lover of 19 years, had a brief visit with Pope Francis. CNN reports there is a video of the meeting where Grassi and the Pope greet each other with a hug.

Grassi told CNN that the meeting was initiated personally by the Pope, who sent Grassi an email suggesting they meet in Washington. The Pope had Grassi as a student at Immaculada Concepcion high school in Santa Fe, Argentina in 1964-65 and they have stayed in touch since then.

Grassi also said he and his lover have met with Francis before in Rome. CNN reports that at the end of the meeting the Pope hugged and kissed both men.

Grassi said, “The Pope has never been judgmental.”

Grassi and then Archbishop Bergoglio crossed swords over the gay marriage debate in Argentina. The future Pope referred to gay marriage as the work of the devil which drew a public rebuke from Grassi.

Grassi said he believes the Pope was “misled into meeting with Kim Davis.”

Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse