Bernie Sanders insists he didn't lobby for Vatican invite

The Bernie Sanders camp swears on a stack of Bibles: The senator’s invite to the Vatican next week came from a higher power — not political pressure.

A beaming Sanders, declaring he was a “big, big fan” of kindred spirit Pope Francis, announced Friday morning that he was asked to attend the April 15 papal conference on social, economic and environmental issues.

“People think Bernie Sanders is radical? Uh-uh,” Sanders said on MSNBC. “Read what the Pope is writing . . . He’s trying to inject a sense of morality into how we do economics. And we need that, absolutely, desperately.”

The 25th anniversary of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences kicks off just four days before Sanders’ Brooklyn presidential primary showdown with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

The invite sparked a campaign kerfuffle when academy president Margaret Archer told Bloomberg News that Sanders lobbied for inclusion in a cynical grab for Catholic support before the key vote.

“Sanders made the first move, for the obvious reasons,” charged Archer. “I think in a sense he may be going for the Catholic vote. But this is not the Catholic vote and he should remember that and act accordingly — not that he will.”


Archer’s allegation was rebutted by both the Sanders camp and the academy’s chancellor, Bishop Marcello Sanchez Sorondo.

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi blessing from the balcony of Saint Peter's Basilica during Easter Mass in Saint Peter's Square in March.ETTORE FERRARI/EPA

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi blessing from the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica during Easter Mass in Saint Peter’s Square in March.

The Sanders camp flatly denied her version of what happened, and asserted there was no angling for a spot before the March 30 invite arrived.

Archer — whose name actually appeared on the invitation — claimed in a jumbled timeline that Sanders started applying the pressure “two or three days ago” and described his approach as a “monumental discourtesy.”

Sorondo said he asked Sanders to attend because of the socialist candidate’s interest in Pope Francis’ positions on different subjects.

“I don’t see the other candidates quoting the Pope in their campaign,” said Sorondo.

But asked directly if Sanders had asked for an invite, Sorondo hedged a bit in an interview with CNN.


“He has expressed an interest many times in the Pope’s encyclical and it’s clear that he has an interest in studying it,” Sorondo said, adding, “We are not looking to support the campaign.”

He then told Reuters the invite was his idea, and that Archer had signed off on it. “I invited him with her consensus,” he said.

A press release from the papal academy said the event is “bringing together world leaders, including U.S. Sen. Sanders, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa (and) Bolivian President Evo Morales.”

After making the trip to Rome, Sanders will return to New York for the final days of campaigning before the April 19 primary. He heads over the day after his Brooklyn debate with Clinton.

While a Jewish leftist from Brooklyn and an Argentine Catholic pontiff sounds like an odd couple, Sanders said the two shared similar views on many issues — particularly the economy.

“He’s talking about the idolatry of money, the worship of money, the greed that’s out there,” said Sanders said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.


He has won six of the last seven Democratic primaries or caucuses, with the New York race shaping up as critical for both candidates.

The White House hopeful has not received an invitation for face time with Pope Francis. But “if the opportunity arises, he would be delighted to meet with the Pope,” said Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs.

Papal spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told the Italian news agency ANSA that “there is no expectation” of a get-together.

And papal expert the Rev. Thomas Reese said no one should confuse the invitation with an endorsement.

“The last thing Pope Francis wants to do is get involved in American presidential politics,” he said.

Francis was accused of doing just that earlier this year, when he said, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian” — a not-so-veiled shot at GOP front-runner Donald Trump. 

With News Wire Services 


bernie sanders ,
pope francis ,
vatican city

Source link


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
NBC tries to promote karate for 2020 Olympics, shows taekwondo
Ala. lawyer busted trafficking methamphetamine, 369 grams seized
Former Cuomo aide killed in crash on Long Island Expressway
Critics rip Cuomo plan that combines tax and wage subsidies
Oil prices fall as analysts say August price rally has been overblown
Asian shares slip, dollar stands tall on Fed hike bets
Japan Inc unenthused over Abe's stimulus, BOJ easing: Reuters poll
Facebook can climb more than 20 percent on ad growth: Barron's
Singapore Luxury Real Estate: Back to a Buyer's Market
Sail The Seven Seas With Ease In The Oyster 625 Bandido
The Montblanc Meisterstück Is On Point
The Wining Wines of the 2015 En Primeur Campaign
Can’t believe you ate the whole thing? Blame ‘false hunger’
Lead in NYC tap water is a danger despite quality system
Seattle toddler speaks first words after nearly drowning
Humans first infected Neanderthals with herpes, tuberculosis
Barbra Streisand Tells Apple to Fix Siri's Pronunciation of Last Name
Watch Metallica Debut Punishing 'Hardwired' Live at Minneapolis Concert
Matt Roberts, Original 3 Doors Down Guitarist, Dead at 38
Frank Ocean Reflects on Creating 'Blonde' in Tumblr Posts
Obama wants more choices for consumers using cable boxes
Sanders preaches economic equality at the Vatican
Senator calls out CUNY boss Milliken on campus anti-Semitism
Angry campaign making strange bedfellows out of bedfellows
Basketball Football Other Sports
SEE IT: Softball player pulls off behind-the-back bunt
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s office raided in Moscow
Isola: Phil Jackson no longer the cool, calm man on bench
Mobile Social
How carbon nanotubes could give us faster processors and longer battery life
Facebook’s new teens-only app Lifestage turns bios into video profiles
Looklive helps men shop by mimicking celebs’ styles