Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis and her husband secretly met with Pope Francis at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24 (video below).
Davis has refused to obey the U.S. Supreme Court and a federal judge's ruling that she issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
"It was really very humbling to even think, you know, he would want to meet me or know me," Davis told ABC News' "Good Morning America" on Sept. 30.
"And I put my hand out and he reached and he grabbed it, and I hugged him and he hugged me," Davis added. “And he said, ‘Thank you for your courage.’”
Davis said the meeting "kind of validates everything."
Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, told The New York Times: “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no other comments to add."
Davis' lawyer Mat Staver originally leaked news of the meeting to CBS News on Sept. 29. Staver was not at the meeting, but claimed Davis had a different style hairdo from her well-known mugshot when she secretly went to the Vatican Embassy in an SUV.
Staver said the meeting was kept secret so that it would not overshadow the pope's message.
Staver stated the pope gave Davis and her husband some rosaries he had blessed. Davis plans to give the rosaries to her mother and father.
Christian psychologist Warren Throckmorton notes on his blog:
"I puzzled by what violates and doesn’t violate her conscience. She refuses to affix her name to a same-sex marriage license in her official capacity as clerk but she will in her personal life accept a blessing and rosaries from the Pope which would appear to violate her religion as well. The founder of Apostolic manifestations of Christianity such as hers S.H. Froehlich has very little good to say about the Pope."