Matt C. Abbott
Pope Francis, Kim Davis, Ann Coulter, Troy Newman
By Matt C. Abbott
October 1, 2015

(An abbreviated version of this column originally appeared at the American Thinker Blog.)

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, who's been the primary object of the left's scorn for a number of weeks, met privately with Pope Francis during his recent trip to the U.S.

From Liberty Counsel:
    The pope met privately with Kim Davis and her husband, Joe, at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, September 24, which was the birthday of Kim's father. Pope Francis spoke with Kim and Joe Davis in English.

    During the meeting Pope Francis said, 'Thank you for your courage.' Pope Francis also told Kim Davis, 'Stay strong.' He held out his hands and asked Kim to pray for him. Kim held his hands and said, 'I will. Please pray for me,' and the pope said he would. The two embraced. The pontiff presented Kim and Joe Davis each with a rosary that he personally blessed.
This is heartening news, particularly because the mainstream media have been portraying – and will likely continue to portray – Pope Francis as a liberal icon. Granted, he's made a number of remarks that have appealed to liberals (while angering conservatives), but Bernie Sanders he ain't!

As to why the meeting was kept secret, Catholic journalist Dr. Robert Moynihan, who resides in Rome, wrote:
    The Vatican evidently feared the 'politicization' of a 'pastoral trip' which clearly wished to emphasize the encounter with Jesus Christ, with the poor, with the faithful, with the handicapped, with children, and with all Americans of whatever background. But there was also, evidently, a desire to meet with a person who has taken a controversial stand out of conscience.
I understand the Vatican's reasoning, but at the same time, I wish the meeting had been prominently featured.

It's almost funny to read the comments in response to this story at liberal news and commentary websites. Some refused to believe the meeting actually took place, some expressed anger and disappointment toward the pope, and others spewed their usual vulgar venom toward religion in general and Kim Davis in particular.

Of course, if Pope Francis had met with, say, Caitlyn Bruce Jenner or Michael Sam, the left would be singing the pope's praises all the more.

Spewing venom is not exclusive to liberals, mind you. "Conservative" commentator Ann Coulter – who once gave a rather bizarre defense of abortion in cases of rape – recently tweeted that the Catholic Church was "largely built by pedophiles."

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, wrote at
    Coulter also tweeted, 'I'm an American and this is why our founders (not 'immigrants') distrusted Catholics and wouldn't make them citizens.'

    If she doesn't already belong to the Klan, they would love to have her....

    Pope Francis is open to fair criticism, but when facts are distorted, they need to be corrected. Worse, the kind of rank anti-Catholicism voiced by Coulter cannot go unchallenged. It's about time conservatives called her out for her hate speech.
I agree with Donohue.

Intelligent and measured criticism of the pope's remarks, writings and actions is not out of line. However, Coulter's tweets are neither intelligent nor measured; they're simply anti-Catholic. Coulter should know better, but apparently, she doesn't.

Now on to embattled pro-life activist Troy Newman, whose latest situation is still developing as of this writing.

From a Sept. 30 news release:
    Troy Newman has been detained in Melbourne, Australia pending deportation due to his visa being cancelled at the request of pro-abortion bullies who were bent on silencing Newman's message of peaceful, legal activism on behalf of preborn babies.

    Newman's deportation could take up to 72 hours. Meanwhile, his wife, Mellissa, whose visa is still active, is left alone in a foreign country with no luggage.

    Newman is the president of Operation Rescue and serves as a board member for the Center for Medical Progress, the organization that recently released a series of undercover video showing prima facie evidence that Planned Parenthood was engaged in the illegal sale of aborted baby remains for profit.

    He was invited to Australia for a 10-day speaking tour by Australia Right to Life. He planned to share news concerning the shock videos and their impact in American politics as well as his message of peaceful activism in order to save innocent lives from abortion.

    A pro-abortion Member of Parliament, Terri Butler, sent a spurious letter to Minister of Immigration Peter Dutton falsely accusing Newman of advocating the execution of abortion providers, which Dutton never bothered to fact-check.
Reacting to the persecution of Troy Newman, Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, wrote in an email to me:
    Troy Newman and I have worked closely together for many years as colleagues in national pro-life leadership. We have collaborated on many projects, including behind the scenes advice and encouragement on many undercover projects, including the most recent one of Planned Parenthood.

    Troy is completely committed to the principles at the foundation of our movement, including that of non-violence. Those who see him as an enemy do so not because he is some kind of violent fanatic, but precisely because he is effective at what he does, namely, researching the weaknesses of the abortion industry and then using the legal system to make them accountable for their unscrupulous and dangerous practices.

    Troy is not being allowed in Australia not because there's something wrong with him, but because there's something wrong with those who are denying him entrance. And we've seen this pattern in other countries, too. What tremendous tolerance these governments show to viewpoints and activities that might rip the mask off their mindless devotion to keeping the status quo on the greatest holocaust of human history.

    Those of us in pro-life leadership will be particularly vigilant regarding any attempt to limit our freedom because some people give too much credence to the smears and slanders that are regularly leveled against us because of our role in leading the movement against abortion.

    I know what those smears are like, having been the object of public protests organized by sitting government officials, leaders of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Catholics for Choice, and other groups who have accused me of fostering violence.

    But as the Lord said, time will prove where wisdom lies.
© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media, and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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