Mario Batali Has Choice Words for Pope Francis: ‘Why Would He Meet with That Woman?’

Staff Writer
Mario Batali Has Choice Words for Pope Francis: ‘Why Would He Meet with That Woman?’
Mario Batali

Mario Batali

“Political controversy is one of two things Italians like to talk about when they cook,” noted Mario Batali. “They also talk about the other meals of the day.”

Pope Francis didn’t just make waves when he visited the United States last week: he caused a typhoon of excitement with Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Although many aspects of the Pope’s three-city U.S. tour garnered positive publicity, one aspect has been heavily criticized: Kim Davis (the Kentucky County clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples after the legalization of gay marriage was made official by the Supreme Court) claims she had a private meeting with the Pope. The Vatican does not deny that a meeting took place.

During a cooking demonstration at New York City’s Eataly cooking school, as a part of the New York edition of Identità Golose (an international cooking convention in Milan), TV personality and Italian restaurant guru Mario Batali had something to say about Pope Francis and the encounter:

I am going to potentially meet [Pope Francis], and I want to ask him just one question: Why would the Pope want to meet the one woman who wouldn’t want to give out marriage certificates to gay people?” Mario Batali said. He received enthusiastic applause for his comment from an audience that had been paying rapt attention to the chef’s demo of homemade goat cheese tortelloni (a larger tortellini).

Batali isn't the only Eataly New York partner with a connection to Pope Francis. This week, we reported that Lidia Bastianich cooked for the Pope during his visit to New York.

Eventually Batali relented, letting audience members know that it seemed unbelievable that the Pope he knows would even entertain a meeting with Davis.

“I think they made it up on the Internet because this is not that guy,” he said. “This is a guy who is eating with the hungry and homeless people. He’s not going to meet someone who’s refusing to do something for people. He’s just not that guy.”

The Vatican yesterday issued a statement saying, “The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis, and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.” 

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