(WASHINGTON) — Pope Francis’ meeting with the anti-gay marriage Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis has been the subject of controversy ever since it came to light earlier this week. But while on his tour of the United States, the pope also met with an openly gay couple.
The audience was with Yayo Grassi, a gay man and former student of Pope Francis. Grassi brought his partner, Iwan Bagus, to a private meeting at the Papal Nunciature in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 23.
In a short video posted on several social media accounts that belong to Bagus, the pope is shown embracing both men.
“One fine afternoon in Apostolic Nunciature, Washington, D.C.,” Bagus wrote in a caption to the video on Facebook. “Hasta pronto, Francisco! Muchas gracias. Besos.”
Grassi confirmed the meeting to ABC News.
According to an interview with CNN, which first reported the meeting, Grassi arranged for the visit with the pope himself. Grassi also told CNN that the pope was his teacher at a high school in Argentina during the mid-1960s.
“He has never been judgmental,” Grassi told CNN about being openly gay. “He has never said anything negative.”
On Friday, Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, released a statement on the controversial meeting between Pope Francis and Davis, the Kentucky court clerk who has refused to marry gay couples. But included in that statement was a hint of the pope’s meeting with Grassi and Bagus.
“The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family,” said Lombardi noted.
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