The Widdershins

That old tangled web

Posted on: October 7, 2015

conspirators-Havel“Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.”
― Walter Scott, Marmion

Good Afternoon Widdershins!

It’s been a few days since Pope Francis left the U.S. and he certainly left a swirl of stories and confusion behind him.  One of those stories concerned his meeting with Rowan County (Ky.) court clerk Kim Davis.

The story of the meeting was first made public in Inside the Vatican in a story written by Robert Moynihan.  There was no official record of the meeting because it was more of a “meet and greet” visit.  However, lil Kim recalls it this way:

“The Pope spoke in English,” she told me. “There was no interpreter. ‘Thank you for your courage,’ Pope Francis said to me. I said, ‘Thank you, Holy Father.’ I had asked a monsignor earlier what was the proper way to greet the Pope, and whether it would be appropriate for me to embrace him, and I had been told it would be okay to hug him. So I hugged him, and he hugged me back. It was an extraordinary moment. ‘Stay strong,’ he said to me. Then he gave me a rosary as a gift, and he gave one also to my husband, Joe. I broke into tears. I was deeply moved.

Now we already know that this Pope is a hugger; kissing the ring doesn’t seem to be high up on his list.  He also said to lil Kim: “Pray for me.”.  Again, that’s not unusual for this Pope to ask that of anyone that he meets.  Still, this meeting caused a lot of questions to be asked such as: “Who arranged the meeting?”, “How did Francis hear of Kim Davis?”, “Where did the meeting occur?”.  As more information came out about the “meeting”, we found out who was doing the publicizing and it was that good old hate group Liberty Counsel, the same group that’s been raking in the money, uh, defending Kim:

Matt Staver, a Liberty Counsel lawyer, told Time magazine that he, Davis and Vatican Embassy officials began discussing a possible meeting on Sept. 14. The Sept. 24 meeting lasted about 15 minutes, prior to the pope flying from Washington to New York.

Now, besides being part of a hate group, and we also know now that Matt Staver is a liar.

Kim Davis’ lawyer stood onstage in a Washington D.C. hotel and pointed to a photo on the screen. It showed 100,000 people packed into a Peruvian soccer stadium, Mat Staver told the crowd, all there to pray for the Kentucky clerk battling against gay marriage.

The crowd erupted.

It wasn’t true.

Staver’s firm, the Liberty Counsel, which revealed Davis’ secret meeting with Pope Francis, has been accused by advocacy groups of peddling misrepresentations in the past. Yet it has conspirators-movie-posterbecome the main source of details about the controversial pope meeting.

Online sleuths quickly debunked the Peru story Staver told at the Values Voter Summit, a conference for the conservative Family Research Council. The photo was from a year-old gathering unrelated to Davis, who spent five days in jail for defying a court order and refusing to license gay marriages. Staver could provide no evidence of a massive Davis rally. On Monday, he called it a mistake and blamed miscommunication with the Peruvian authorities who gave him the photo.

There was an excellent piece on this meeting written by Fr. James Martin, SJ. and brings out some salient points that you can read at the article but one of them being:

It’s ill advised to use a private visit with the pope to make political point. It’s also unfortunate that after the pope’s visit, during which he sought to reconcile divisions, during which he explicitly lamented political polarization in his speech to Congress and during which he sought to show how foolish the “culture wars” are, that his meeting with Ms. Davis may be used to score political points.

When all the uproar finally sunk through to the Vatican they finally had to release a statement about the meeting.

In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points:

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.

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.

Ah poor Kim!  Can’t get no respect anywhere.  But wait!  Let’s rub some salt into the wound.

Pope Francis privately met with a gay couple last week while visiting Washington, D.C., according to several news reports Friday.

Yayo Grassi, an openly gay Argentine-American caterer who lives in the Washington area and is a former student of the pope’s, met with Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature one day before the pope met Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who has been at the center of a national controversy over her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Joining Grassi was his boyfriend of 19 years, Iwan.  (and here’s some salt Kim)
The Associated Press reported Friday that the Vatican confirmed Francis had met with a “gay former student and his partner.”

This must have sent Matt Staver and L.C. over the edge because they felt the need to issue their own story of what happened between lil Kim and Francis despite the Vatican saying it was a meet and greet.

The Liberty Counsel didn’t back down at all. They argued that Pope Francis made clear in an interview that he does in fact support their client by virtue of the fact that he supports conscientious objection.

Staver argued that whether or not his story was factually accurate, it was symbolically accurate: Pope Francis supports conscientious objection, and since the Liberty Counsel sees Conspirators_TCM posterDavis as a conscientious objector (many disagree with that assessment, by the way), then they don’t think it’s a lie to present Francis and Kim’s meeting the way they have.

To put it in theological terms, the Liberty Counsel expects us to ignore the letter of what they say and pay attention to the spirit of what they say. This explanation is an odd strategy for, you know, attorneys. “Your honor, you’re getting tripped up here on the evidence! Look at the big metaphorical picture!”

Well we now know that Staver met with Carlo Maria Viganò, the papal nuncio to the United States and Conspirators-comicthese two were involved with setting up the meeting.  We also know that Benedict (the widow Ratzinger) appointed Viganò as secretary of the governorate of Vatican City State.  And when Francis was made Pope he cleared Viganò out and sent him to the U.S. Said Staver:

Mr. Staver said a conservative deacon, Keith Fournier, introduced him to Archbishop Viganò back in April before speaking at a National Organization for Marriage rally on the Washington Mall in opposition to same-sex marriage. As Mr. Staver descended from the stage, Archbishop Viganò made a point to “thank me for my message,” the lawyer said.

It figures that Staver was at a N.O.M. rally.  This is the group that believes you can “pray the gay away” and you can be changed to heterosexuality by “conversion therapy”.

Lastly, two things:  I wrote that Liberty Council is considered a hate group and that designation is from The Southern Poverty Law Center.  The SPLC says it ” does not classify religious groups as hate groups simply because they believe or preach that homosexuality is sinful (religious groups have a protected right to that belief) but because they propagate known falsehoods, and often employ’ groundless name-calling.’.”

And the second thing is this from James Martin who wrote the article linked to earlier:

 Most of all, despite what Ms. Davis said, a meeting with the pope does not “kind of validate everything.” Again, the pope meets with many people, some of whom he may know well, others of whom may be introduced to him as a reward for long service, and perhaps others who will use a meeting to make a political point. Meeting with the pope is a great honor, but it does not betoken a blanket blessing on “everything” one does. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Pope Francis also met Mark Wahlberg, and that does not mean that he liked “Ted.”

Consider this a completely wide open thread.  Don’t feel as if you need to confine yourself to the topic .  Take the discussion wherever you wish.






42 Responses to "That old tangled web"

I fear that Kim may well have mistaken the Pope’s listening to her as agreement. This is messy. However, it does put the Repubs into quite a quandry as they have been repudiating him since the address to Congress.

@1: Well of course she did. And her shyster lawyer isn’t helping in her delusion by basically calling the Vatican liars.

Great post Fredster! I agree with the articles that said that Vigano & co. “ratfucked” the Pope into seeing her. I think they were using him (and Davis for that matter) to change the impression of the Pope being liberal.

Davis is also being used and manipulated by that lowlife Staver and his nasty cronies. She’s enjoying the fame, and anyway is probably too dumb to understand that, like she’s also too dumb to understand that handing a gay couple a piece of paper which states they are qualified to be legally married does not mean that she personally agrees with gay marriage rights.

They are bringing my poor sister-in-law home today so she can die at home. They say she is very close. They want the whole family there tonight, so we are going. I am dreading this. This has been an awful Fall.

Excellent post Fredster — and well-organized because there is so much about all this. Staver is a loathsome pseudo-human. He’s not so much a lawyer, but is a stage-managing sloganeer.

Kim Davis and her scarecrow howdy doody lookin’ muffin fluffer hubby, Joe Davis, has just about worn out their welcome. They best be figuring out where they want to spend their book royalty buying an RV because they aren’t going to be welcomed many places.

WPress is acting up and won’t let me like your post, so this is my like.

@4: Your sister in law is fortunate to be able to die peacefully at home, surrounded by people who love her. Hopefully, hospice is providing 24/hr caretakers, if not, please request that they do so. Y’all will need some help with this. Otherwise, all I can suggest is that everyone remember the good times, and hard as it may be, be thankful that she will be free from pain very soon.
Y’all are in my thoughts.

annie@3: Absolutely right on what they did to Francis. Vigano is of the age that he’s supposed to ask the Pope if he may resign. HA! Bet he gets that reply in about two seconds.And let’s hope there is a big ole cold, drafty monastery they can send him in retirement. Two groups I would not want to cross are the Mafia and the Vatican. Now, now…no making comparisons there. 😉

@4: I’m glad your sis-in-law is being sent home to pass. She will be more comfortable and she’ll have her family around her.

Prolix@5: There was a *ton* of stuff on the situation…so much I had to cull some of the links. And at one point I had so many tabs opened that I crashed the browser. I was afraid I hadn’t done a recent save when writing it.

I agree that Davis’ 15 minutes of fame is about over. And that’s when Staver will drop her like a stone. Can’t happen fast enough.

Oh and I *did* have to make sure I got that quote in about Francis, Marky Mark and Ted. 😆

I sorry for what your whole family is going through, socalannie.

Annie, I hope your sister-in-law is getting the hospice care she needs and that she will pass away peacefully. It is good that she is at home with her loved ones around her. That is a blessing. My thoughts are with her and your entire family.

Kevin McCarthy drops out of Speaker race.

@11: chatblu, I’m loving watching the Republican party tear itself to shreds.
Sadly, there are always some consequences for the nation: can anyone imagine Jason Chaffetz with his homemade graphs third in line for the Presidency?

@13: I can, and it isn’t pleasant at all.

We are going to miss so many good speeches, interviews, and soundbites now. 😦

@14: She had even more last night but no one has put that up on youtube yet.

Peter Daou has a good article up at HillaryMen.

My SIL passed away last night, a few hours after getting home. We were all there, and several friends came by to say goodbye to her. I doubt if she was conscious though. The whole thing was very bizarre, she was diagnosed last Dec, given 9-12 months to live, and felt fairly fine until the last couple of weeks when she went downhill suddenly. So she didn’t have to suffer long with the pain, so that was a blessing at least.

Oh yes, hospice was there and waiting for her. They had set up the day before.

I’m glad it’s over for her, and that she was able to enjoy the bulk of her time here. She was fortunate to be able to be home. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

Oh annie. It’s a blessing in one way – that her suffering is over and sad for those of you left behind. It’s good that you all were with her at the time.

Sending good thoughts your way.

I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, annie.

Annie, so sorry for your family’s loss. No matter what preparation there is, it never really prepares you, but time does dull the pain. May that time be sooner than later.

Annie, sorry for your family’s loss. It’s very tough. Been there and it’s no fun and the grieving continues even after they have passed on.

So the GOP is now in utter chaos with McCarthy not running for speaker. We should take bets on how long Boehner actually ends up continuing as speaker. Do you think it will be 2016 and he’s still speaker? Sure looks like it right now.

@24, GA, being a purebred cynic, there is something that rings very hollow about what McCarthy did. Given what we have seen of late, the letter by Walter Jones about misdeeds might have something to do with it. Jones is really plugged-in — he blew the whistle on Bob Livingston causing him to resign from the floor of the House and Scalise putting on his sheet and talking to the guys who are always shopping the January White Sale. If McCarthy had something in his closet, it might have been about to surface. Here’s the article:

Ga6th@24: Boehner probably loves the *institution* too much, but I’d love to see him say “you can’t get your stuff together and that’s real sad but adios!”.

@Prolix: You mean it wasn’t just his mouthful of pebbles when speaking?

Anyone else remember Fannie Foxe? Of course, ol’ Wilbur was a Democrat, albeit the bluest of Blue Dogs. Congress can be such fun.

@28: Is she the one he put on his office staff as a “typist” or was that another congress critter?

@me: Nope that was apparently another critter and another bombshell .

She’s the stripper than ran into the Tidal Basin to elude the police after she and the ?Hon. Wilbur Mills were stopped for speeding. That was back in the ’70s.

Hurray for Bren Carpson!

Thanks everyone, for your condolences and well wishes.

Fredster, like the Funny or Die vids. Did you see the story he told about when an armed robber held a gun on him when he was at a Popeye’s? He directed the gunman to the person behind the cashier. I wonder if it was a kid? What a hero!

Prolix, the Bernington Post is saying that McCarthy did get a threatening letter. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy…

@35: That was just Ben Carson being smart! You see, if the robber went ahead and shot the Popeye’s employee in the head then Dr. Ben could operate on him and all would be well. 😯

I can’t get over Carson doing that. He’s lucky no one was shot. The same thing happened to my brother when he was 17. He was in a McDonalds, standing at the counter, a guy in a ski mask came in and held a gun to my brothers head and said he was “gonna blow this kids brains out if they didn’t give him all their money at once.” The employees scrambled to empty all the registers into a large bag and gave it to him and he took off, thank god. I am proud to say my bro did not indicate to the gunman that he should point his gun at someone else.

Your brother was very fortunate (and had good co-workers also)!

Welp, it looks like Cousin Eddie from the Vacation movies has finally gone over the edge.

My brother didn’t work at the McD’s, he was standing there to buy a hamburger, like Carson was at Popeye’s. You’re right though, he was lucky the employees didn’t argue with the guy and jumped to do what he wanted. My brother has had the craziest life, weird things always happen to him, its a miracle he’s still alive.

@41: Oh I misunderstood. When you said standing at the counter I took it as him being behind the counter. My bad. 😦

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