Saturday, April 16, 2016


As luck would have it for Sanders, panelists who speak at Vatican-sponsored events are given the rare opportunity to stay at the Santa Marta guesthouse inside the walls of Vatican City. Most decline. Who would want to stay in such Spartan digs in what is essentially a hostel for clerics when the glory of Rome calls? But for Sanders, the sacrifice of a midnight stroll through Rome’s cobbled streets or a toss of a coin into the Trevi Fountain paid off before sunrise this morning, when the Santa Marta’s other VIP guest, Pope Francis, was in the foyer of the hotel getting ready to leave for Lesbos, Greece. That’s where the two met for around five minutes, Sanders told the Associated Press. No photographer was present.

On the flight back from Lesbos, Francis confirmed the encounter, but played it down considerably. “This morning as I was leaving, Senator Sanders was there,” Francis told reporters on the plane. “He knew I was coming out at that time, and he had the kindness to greet me. When I came down, he introduced himself, I greeted him with a handshake, and nothing more. It’s common courtesy, this is called common courtesy."

Then, for good measure, he added, “If someone thinks that greeting someone is getting involved in politics, I recommend that they find a psychiatrist.”

An ABC News article, written by MaryAlice Parks, asserts Sanders and Pope Francis share similar views on the topics of political engagement, wages, the family, unemployment, war, climate change, health care, and inequality.

Sanders has also reposted the ABC article on his official senate website.

Last month, Sanders tweeted his approval of an article claiming the senator and the pope are both “prophetic voices.”