Photo of Pope Francis (on the right) kissing Yayo Grassi’s (on the left) long-time lover (19 years) Iwan (in the center) at the audience in the Washington Nunciature on Friday, September 23, 2015
[ Emphasis and commentary in red type by Abyssum ]
CNN has helpfully helped us to understand Fr. Lombardi’s statement much, much more clearly. CNN has made it all better:
The day before Pope Francis met anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis in Washington last week, he held a private meeting with a longtime friend from Argentina who has been in a same-sex relationship for 19 years.
Didn’t Fr. Lombardi say that this chap, who had been a former student of Papa Bergoglio in Argentina, had brought his “family”?
CNN gives us a full interview
Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner, Iwan, as well several other friends to the Vatican Embassy on September 23 for a brief visit with the Pope. A video of the meeting shows YAYO Grassi and Francis greeting each other with a warm hug…
Grassi declined to disclose details about the short visit, but said it was arranged personally by the Pope via email…
“Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug,” Grassi said…
…The Vatican said that the meeting with Davis was not intended as a show of support for her cause and said “the only real audience granted by the Pope at the nunciature (embassy) was with one of his former students and his family.”
“That was me,” Grassi, a self-professed atheist, said.
Grassi said the Pope has long known that he is gay, but has never condemned his sexuality or his same-sex relationship. Grassi said he and Iwan (he declined to disclose his last name due to privacy concerns) had previously met Francis in Rome.
Greeting Iwan with a handshake, Francis says that he recalls meeting him, according to the brief video. At the end the meeting, the Pope hugs both men and kisses them on the cheek.
“He has never been judgmental,” Grassi said. “He has never said anything negative.”
“Obviously he is the pastor of the church and he has to follow the church’s teachings,” Grassi added. “But as a human being he understands all kinds of situations, and he is open to all kinds of people, including those with different sexual characteristics.”
…While Grassi describes his relationship to the Pope as very close, they haven’t always agreed on same-sex rights.
[When Bergoglio opposed same sex “marriage” in Argentina, Grassi wrote to him,]
“You have been my guide, continuously moving my horizons—you have shaped the most progressive aspects of my worldview,” Grassi wrote to future Pope in an email, according to National Geographic magazine. “And to hear this from you is so disappointing.”
Grassi said he believes the Pope was “misled” into meeting with Davis, who served six days in a Kentucky jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Grassi tells MSNBC he’s not the one that wanted this story out — the Vatican wanted it publicized and they made it public, not him
All of which gives some meaning to this The Church Militant YouTube of Michael Voris: