While there’s disagreement among Republicans over whether or not Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was correct to put up a fight in refusing to issue marriage licenses in the wake of the Supreme Court’s same-sex ‘marriage’ decision, her position has gotten support from someone all the more important: Pope Francis.
Responding to a reporter’s question on his flight back home Monday, Francis said government officials have a “human right” to refuse to carry out certain duties that violate their conscience.
Although the Argentine-born pontiff delved into some of the United States’ thorniest political debates during his visit, he never specifically referred to a controversy over same-sex marriages, which the Church firmly opposes.
On the flight back to Rome, he was asked if he supported individuals, including government officials, who refuse to abide by some laws, such as issuing marriage licenses to gays.
“Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right,” Francis said. […]
“I can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscientious objection but, yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right,” he said, speaking in Italian.
“And if someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right,” he added.
Francis said conscientious objection had to be respected in legal structures.
“Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying: ‘This right has merit, this one does not.'”
The American public disagrees with this sentiment, however. A recent poll found that 63 percent said Davis should be required to issue marriage licenses even though she objects on religious grounds.