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Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

The Vatican's former spokesman issued a statement Sunday challenging claims made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano regarding Pope Francis' 2015 meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to sign same-sex marriage licenses, reports the AP.

Why it matters: Vigano has also claimed that Francis knowingly covered up sexual misconduct allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. His statements last week that Francis approved of the meeting with Davis further turned up the heat against the Vatican, which has so far remained silent on the McCarrick allegations.

The details of the "he said, he said" surrounding the Davis meeting:

  • Vigano claimed that he was summoned to Rome but praised by Francis after news leaked of the pope's meeting with Davis during a 2015 trip to the United States.
  • Rev. Federico Lombardi, the former Vatican spokesman, and his English-language assistant released notes from a contemporaneous conversation with Vigano showing that Vigano said he'd been scolded by the pope for not being clear about the potential political implications of meeting with Davis.

Go deeper: Cover up claim against Pope Francis shakes a Church in crisis.

Go deeper

17 mins ago - World

"I assume full responsibility," Duterte says of drug war

Rodrigo Duterte in 2017. Photo: Linus Escandor II/AFP via Getty Images

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday that he assumes full responsibility for a violent war on drugs that has killed thousands of people, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: Last month the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally authorized an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity during Duterte's war on drugs.

CDC approves boosters for Moderna and J&J and mix-and-match

Boxes containing vials of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's independent advisory panel voted unanimously to recommend booster doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine for certain populations and allow people to mix-and-match doses.

The big picture: The agency aligns with the Food and Drug Administration authorization Wednesday night which said people could switch to whichever vaccine they wanted for their booster shot.

2 hours ago - World

Israel to approve new construction in West Bank settlements

Bennett (L) and Biden discussed the settlements issue. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Israel will approve the construction of 4,400 new homes in the West Bank next week: 3,10o in the Jewish settlements and 1,300 in Palestinian villages.

Why it matters: This will be the first time Israel has approved new settlement building since President Biden assumed office, and it's the first time since 2007 that it approves a significant number of new homes for Palestinians in "Area C" of the West Bank, which is controlled by Israel.