Pope Francis has just returned home, following a 10 day trip to the United States and Cuba, and he finished off the trip by answering some questions about some major issues.
One of those, unsurprisingly, was related to Kim Davis. He was asked if supported individuals, including government officials, who had disobeyed the law and refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The reporter asked of the Pope: “Do you … support those individuals, including government officials, who say they cannot in good conscience, their own personal conscience, abide by some laws or discharge their duties as government officials, for example when issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples?”
The Pope’s response to this was disappointing, but not surprising: “I can’t have in mind all the 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. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.”
“Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, ‘this right that has merit, this one does not.'”
When someone asked for clarification on whether or not this includes government officials carrying out their duties, he said: “It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.”
Keep in mind this is not an official translation of the Pope’s comments, what he said was translated by the pool of reporters present at the time.